FanDuel - WFBC

March 05, 2006

Canes' Cole suffers serious neck injury: The Carolina Hurricanes have suffered a setback to their aspirations to win the Stanley Cup because winger Erik Cole has suffered a significant neck injury.

posted by wingnut4life to hockey at 06:33 PM - 28 comments

Just when you thought head hunting was being weeded out of the NHL. You can expect to see Orpik suspended by the league for a couple of games, and maybe a pretty heavy fine.

posted by wingnut4life at 09:14 PM on March 05

I'll have to get in front of a TV to see the clip. I wish I would have seen the game. Another article on this story says there's some feeling that the refs were somehow to blame for this as well. I'm curious to know how the rough play during a game is the fault of the officiating crew? Apparently, Orpik has been trying to make a bit of a name for himself as a big-hitter in the league. Was this one of those hits that was a blatant attempt to injure, or was it one of those hits that a "loss of footing" before contact resulted in something unavoidable? Like I said, I wish I would have gotten to see it live in the context of the game. Will Orpik be suspended/fined because of the outcome, or because of the intent? Anyone?

posted by Spitztengle at 09:25 PM on March 05

From what I've heard and read, Hurricanes coach Peter Laviolette and defenseman Bret Hedican criticized the officiating because they felt that the game was getting a little out of control. Apparently there was a fight (no way! really? damn I miss all the good stuff!) between Pittsburgh's Andre Roy and Carolina's Mike Commodore. As far as the fine and/or suspension, you can bet that if the league determines that Orpik's hit was intentional, his days are numbered in the NHL. They don't like that stuff anymore (dammit). I tried looking in the rule book to see if they had a rule, but I'm too tired to go through the whole thing. I would think that it is up to the commisioner to hand down fines and/or suspensions.

posted by wingnut4life at 09:56 PM on March 05

Seems like Cole is always the target of dirty hits. Has been his whole life, although before it was because he sometimes maybe made a bit of an effort to draw penalties. Now it seems like it's because he plays such a great hardnosed style that it just gets under everyone's skin. We saw it in the olympics, and while I haven't seen this hit yet, I wouldn't be at all surprised if there was a bit of an element of purpose behind it. It happened last night but maybe I can catch a shot of it on this evening's sportscenter. Anyway, this sucks. l really hope he can make it back in time for the playoffs. This was kind of a breakout year for him, and it's too bad it had to end like this. The rest of the team ought to be able to keep it together to wrap up a top seed, I hope, but they're going to need him to go deep in the playoffs.

posted by Bernreuther at 10:00 PM on March 05

It wasn't really a dirty hit, so far as I could tell. It was a little questionable, but I don't think Orpik was trying to board him. Cole was skating in one direction, Orpik lined him up, right before he makes contact Cole starts to turn back, and so Cole's face is at the boards when the hit lands. If Cole doesn't turn backwards, it's just a normal check, I think. Maybe Orpik could have held up some, but maybe not. I don't know, really. But it didn't look like Orpik was trying to run him into the boards head first.

posted by fabulon7 at 10:09 PM on March 05

The N in NHL stands for National, not Nancy-boy. They check their opponent, not dance with him. These are warriors out on the ice, not weirriors.

posted by chrisly13 at 12:02 AM on March 06

Cole didn't so much as turn backwards as he did just pass him by while controlling the puck. I don't think Orpick was trying to really do anything dirty though. Erik was pretty low to the ice and I think it was just an unfortunate coincidence of events. It's pretty accepted practice to still finish checks gently even if they're from behind, and half the NHL, Erik included, makes that hit regularly (any time you're behind a guy it's more of a pinning or light shove than a real hit, of course, and players are respectful enough in 99 out of 100 cases about it, and technically yes, it's illegal). I was hoping to find something dirty to complain about but in this case, it was a fairly common hit, a lot of momentum, and a low to the ice player. The 5 minute and misconduct was the right call and if there wasn't an injury, noone would say a word about a suspension. Now that there is one, he may get a game or three and that'll be more than sufficient. I'll still want to see it a few more times though, but the ESPNNews highlights I just saw made it seem like that. I just moved two days ago and already I'm tired of being without a tivo. As far as the rest of the game and whether the previous calls turned it into a chippy shitfest, I don't know. They don't show Canes games here in Chicago.

posted by Bernreuther at 12:06 AM on March 06

They don't show Canes games here in Chicago. Ooooooo, Blackhawks territory. I'm sorry... These are warriors out on the ice, not weirriors. Yeah, I think we know that. We were just trying to discuss whether the hit was intentional or not. Finishing a hit and trying to hurt someone are two totally different things. Orpik's reputation (he made his reputation for himself as a bruiser at Boston College, as a ruthless, physical presence in the slot, corners and open ice) doesn't help his side of the story, though.

posted by wingnut4life at 08:23 AM on March 06

Didn't seem terribly dirty to me. Unfortunate yes, and a penalty for sure - but not something I'd call intentionally attempting to injure. It is too bad for Cole and the Canes, though - it's a huge hit for that team's Cup aspirations. He was easily their third or fourth best player.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 08:24 AM on March 06

This is awsome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

posted by sportgirl at 10:01 AM on March 06

To put the Cane's loss into more perspective, his coach recently called him the league's best power forward. Before this weekend, I had the Canes, Sabres and Rangers as probable East champs. That list is now down to two.

posted by garfield at 10:13 AM on March 06

This is awsome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! .

posted by yerfatma at 10:26 AM on March 06

This is awsome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Well, I'm glad I'm not the first person to say it. Go Red Wings!

posted by wingnut4life at 10:38 AM on March 06

To put the Cane's loss into more perspective, his coach recently called him the league's best power forward. No way. Do it for more than a year. And that term should be retired: "Power Forward" used to describe a Cam Neely type guy who scored points and hit guys silly (and got penalty minutes). So my vote right now would go to Ovechkin - but you don't think about him when you think about the term do you? Would you take Cole over Rick Nash? That guy's the best "Power Forward".

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 11:21 AM on March 06

I did include that his coach said it. I don't agree with the assessment, and Cole's game doesn't scream power hockey, but he was having a career year. I think Cole's game is more well-rounded and his maturity level gives him 'intangibles' that Nash doesn't have yet, but Nash is raw talent that needs a season or two for him to become the game-changer he should be. Hopefully he'll be healthy so we can see what he can become. But I have to say I wasn't impressed with him in Turin, and watching the odd Blue Jacket game, he doesn't work hard enough without the puck for my liking. When everyone on the ice knows you want the puck so you can shoot, it makes it easier for defences.

posted by garfield at 11:38 AM on March 06

oh, and Cole is hella fast as hell.

posted by garfield at 11:50 AM on March 06

I think the rule changes helped him a lot, both because of the speed and because he has always been plenty physical in a non-obstruction way. Whereas a lot of guys lost their edge when they couldn't bump, clutch, and grab, he became a lot more noticeable because he just kept finishing his checks and throwing hard hits without regard for his body. I just remember a game in the opening week where he ended up getting hurt three times, just incidental stuff from playing so hard. This is awsome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Classy.

posted by Bernreuther at 11:56 AM on March 06

Cole is a good player, and undoubtedly having a career year, but it seems to me like he's the new "totally overhyped guy that everyone is jumping on the bandwagon about to make it seem like they all knew it was going to happen." Good skater, good shot and Eric Staal is making him look great (I haven't seen a Canes replay/highlight/game since December that didn't feature Eric Staal with two or three opposing jerseys scurrying around him). Doesn't hurt that he's scored 8 game winners this year. That said - if you wanted to trade me Cole for Nash based on maturity, intangibles and this alledged more complete game - I'll do it every time. Nash is just better. Period. And yes I agree he didn't look great at the Olympics (but Cole didn't look any more awesome either). Nash is being totallly keyed on by the opposition with every move that Columbus has made completely backfiring on them this year - and like Cole, as a winger he needs a centre. He's not producing the good numbers like he did last time around - but he'll score 50 baring a series of injuries. He has hands, size and skill that compare better to a Thornton (with the emphasis on scoring) than to anything Cole has. But I'm not trying to bash Cole - who is a fantastic hocky player. He's just not close to being a NHL's best anything hockey player.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 12:18 PM on March 06

He's just not close to being a NHL's best anything hockey player. I don't even think he's the best forward named Eric on the Hurricanes...

posted by grum@work at 12:22 PM on March 06

This injury to Erik Cole will affect the team, but not as much as everybody thinks. If this was Brind'Amour, then I think they would be hurting in a very bad way. The captain is the heart 'n soul of this Hurricanes team and is the real reason for the success this year. Look for Andrew Ladd to step up his game and try to fill Cole's skates. It's also time for Doug Weight to find the team chemistry. This is awsome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Well, I'm glad I'm not the first person to say it. Go Red Wings! .

posted by NoMich at 12:52 PM on March 06

Weedy and grum, do you remember Cole having a hand in beating the Leafs in the playoffs in 02-03? I see where you are coming from, but I don't think he is totally over-hyped. I wouldn't trade Nash for him; no one would. But if I wanted to win in the post season this year, I'd rather have Cole than Nash. I posted the 'best power forward' commment because obviously his coach values his services.

posted by garfield at 01:32 PM on March 06

This is awsome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! posted by sportgirl at 10:01 AM CST on March 6 Sportgirl with all 20 words you have posted (that includes a double post) you are yet to make any sense.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 02:31 PM on March 06

Weedy and grum, do you remember Cole having a hand in beating the Leafs in the playoffs in 02-03? Hell, I remember him scoring the prettiest hat trick I've seen in years against the Leafs THIS year. He's good. I'm not suggesting otherwise. I wouldn't trade Nash for him; no one would. But if I wanted to win in the post season this year, I'd rather have Cole than Nash. Just because I like beating this particular dead horse - I'd rather have Nash. For one thing, he doesn't have a busted vertebrae. For another - why wouldn't you take the better player? They're both scorers and Nash currently (this season) is scoring at a higher per game rate (51.5)than Cole (50) without a centre that could even sniff Staal's jockstrap. But your likely talking about these intangibles - and Cole has been there before, deep into the playoffs. And he played well. So I sorta see your point. I just don't think there are a lotta people that would make the same choice.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 02:51 PM on March 06

I'd probably take Nash too, in all honesty. I don't think anyone is arguing that Cole sucks though. And yeah, Staal is clearly the best on that team. He impressed me from his very first game. Hell, I remember him scoring the prettiest hat trick I've seen in years against the Leafs THIS year. If I'm not mistaken, he has had 3 hat tricks in his career (that I remember, at least), all against the Canadiens. He came into that Leafs series with a target on his back after dominating the Montreal series and Roberts and Tucker held him pointless, or close to it. That was one hell of a series.

posted by Bernreuther at 03:10 PM on March 06

They're both scorers and Nash currently (this season) is scoring at a higher per game rate (51.5)than Cole (50) without a centre that could even sniff Staal's jockstrap. Actually, you can't make kind of comparison with a team coached by Peter Laviolette. He doesn't have set lines. They are very fluid thing that changes from game to game, and even period to period.

posted by NoMich at 03:31 PM on March 06

without a centre that could even sniff Staal's jockstrap I'd wager Fedorov might have something to say about that. And what NoMich said. For one thing, he doesn't have a busted vertebrae....why wouldn't you take the better player? You've got me there. But I think Cole would've had more value this year because he is a better two-way player. I know I'm making a difficult case. But when have I been conventional? It was a great series.

posted by garfield at 03:33 PM on March 06

I'd wager Fedorov might have something to say about that. Well, he better not. Fedorov has become a pretty brutal hockey player. Actually, he kinda blows now. Actually, you can't make kind of comparison with a team coached by Peter Laviolette. He doesn't have set lines. They are very fluid thing that changes from game to game, and even period to period. Yeah, OK - but he primarily plays with either Brind'amour or Staal. Both who are better than anything the Jackets have. See above, than add Manny Malholtra and Jan freaking Hrdina. Actually, one impressive thing about Cole is that he has scored almost all of his goals 5 on 5 or shorthanded - 27 of 30. That's gotta be the highest percentage in the league. Mucho props.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 09:13 PM on March 06

Orpick gets 3 game suspension. According to this, they say his intention wasn't to injure, but he bears some responsibility for trying to avoid the hit. Bernreuther, you hit this one right on the money.

posted by Spitztengle at 09:21 PM on March 06

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