The first-round series between the Seattle Kraken and Colorado Avalanche has not escaped the ultra-physical way the 2023 playoffs have started. Earlier in the series, Avalanche star defenseman Cale Makar was suspended one game for a devastating hit away from the puck that injured Kraken top goal scorer Jared McCann.
On Friday, the teams reversed roles as Kraken forward Jordan Eberle labeled Avalanche forward Andrew Cogliano incredibly dangerously into the boards. Eberle received just a two-minute minor penalty on the ice and somehow escaped a hearing from the NHL’s Department of Player Safety. He will face no supplemental discipline for the illegal hit.
— Hockey Daily 365 l NHL Highlights (@HockeyDaily365) April 29, 2023
The hit in question occurred with 2:16 left in the second period of Game Six with Colorado up 3-1. The Avalanche would eventually take the Kraken out 4-1 and force a Game Seven at Ball Arena in Denver on Sunday night.
On the play, Cogliano goes to corral a puck with his skate along the boards in the Avalanche’s defensive zone. Before he can gain full control and move the puck up the ice, he is driven head and neck first into the boards by Eberle. Cogliano made no quick or sudden movement that would have not allowed Eberle to avoid drilling him in the numbers.
Cogliano stayed down on the ice as his teammates circled Eberle to try and get some quick retribution. The veteran forward needed help off the ice from Colorado’s training staff but luckily was able to return to the game and participate further in his team’s clutch victory.
“He’s a warrior,” Avs defenseman Devon Toews said postgame of Cogliano.
Cogliano has previously had an 830-game ironman streak, which ranked fourth in NHL history at the time he was forced out of an Anaheim Ducks’ lineup in 2018 via suspension.
Avalanche head coach Jared Bednar was baffled by the fact that Eberle did not even get so much as a call from Player Safety. If Eberle had been doled out a fine or suspension, he would have been the fifth player already in these playoffs.
“I don’t know,” Bednar told The Denver Post’s Bennett Durando. “I can’t figure it out anymore. I don’t even try.”
Bednar added that while Cogliano is definitely still feeling sore from the hit, he expects him to play in Game Seven. Cogliano has yet to record a point in any of the four games he has played in this postseason. Eberle has three points (1g, 2a) in six games for Seattle.
Cogliano could get the ultimate form of revenge on Sunday if he gets rid of that goose egg in the point column and directly factors into eliminating the Kraken. Puck drop for that deciding matchup is at 9:30 pm ET.
Update (6:54 pm): It appears Bednar was not exactly being truthful with the media. It has been announced that Cogliano broke his neck on the hit and will be out indefinitely.
So, Cogliano returned during the game and played with a broken freakin’ neck and Eberle will face no punishment (for now) for being the one to break it. Wow.
Colorado’s Andrew Cogliano suffered a fractured neck in the hit from behind last night in Game 6 versus Seattle. He’s out indefinitely
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) April 29, 2023
Screenshot via TNT
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