It doesn’t look as though Erik Karlsson will suit up on Monday in a huge game for Ottawa’s playoff chances.
And, depending on who you talk to, an equally huge chance at revenge.
Tonight’s game will mark the first time the Sens and Pens have played since Cooke sliced Karlsson’s Achilles with his skate, an incident that essentially wiped out the defenseman’s season and put Cooke on Ottawa owner Eugene Melnyk’s “most wanted” list.
There might be outrage emanating from the owner’s suite but, on the ice, the Senators seem less hell-bent on revenge.
Tied on points with the eighth-place Rangers (52), Ottawa needs to focus on wins, rather than getting even.
“When it comes to it, it will come to it. We haven’t thought much about that,” forward Zack Smith told the Ottawa Sun about getting revenge on Cooke. “It will be the first matchup since the incident, but at the same time, we’re trying to make the playoffs.
“I don’t think we need that to be a distraction.”
As for the other half of the equation — Karlsson — it sounds as though he’s unlikely to go tonight. Several reporters at the morning skate report the reigning Norris winner is participating, but didn’t take part in all the drills.
Bruce Garrioch of The Sun also notes there didn’t appear to be any changes on Ottawa’s defense pairs, meaning Karlsson would likely be a scratch.