NHL playoffs: Avalanche's Cogliano suffered neck fracture on hit from Eberle
Cogliano was somehow able to return to Friday's Game 6 against the Kraken, but is now said to be out indefinitely.
Colorado Avalanche forward Andrew Cogliano suffered a fractured neck from a dangerous hit from behind by Jordan Eberle of the Seattle Kraken on Friday. Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman first reported the news of the frightening injury, noting that Cogliano is out indefinitely.
The Denver Post’s Bennett Durando reports that Cogliano suffered a fractured C5 Lamina.
The incident occurred late in the second period during the Avalanche’s eventual 4-1 win in Game 6, with Eberle only receiving a minor penalty for boarding on the play. Somehow, Cogliano logged more ice time in the third period following that hit (four minutes) than he had in any other period in Game 6.
Scary hit by Eberle on Cogliano here. Was called a 2-minute penalty. Do you agree?
— Drew Livingstone (@ProducerDrew_) April 29, 2023
Avalanche head coach Jared Bednar was baffled that Eberle appears to have avoided a suspension or fine.
“I don’t know,” Bednar said, per Bennett Durando. “I can’t figure it out anymore, so I don’t even try.”
Such feelings are likely heightened based on Cale Makar receiving a one-game suspension for his hit on Jared McCann earlier in the series.
Avalanche face lineup decisions heading into Game 7 vs. Kraken
Remarkably, the Avs seemingly expected Cogliano to play in Game 7 before the severity of his injury was revealed.
Cogliano adds to a growing list of Avalanche players who are injured and/or unavailable. Gabriel Landeskog suffered a setback from knee issues and isn’t expected to return during the playoffs. Valeri Nichushkin has been away from the team since Game 3 following an incident at a Seattle hotel.
Colorado Hockey Now’s Evan Rawal notes that frequent Cogliano linemate Darren Helm is unavailable, and defenseman Josh Manson is out, too. Veteran depth defenseman Brad Hunt may not be in the mix after being sent to the AHL.
According to the AHL transaction page, the Avs have sent Brad Hunt to the Colorado Eagles.
He’s their Captain, and they’re currently tied 1-1 in their series with Coachella Valley. Big Game 3 tomorrow for them.
— Evan Rawal (@evanrawal) April 29, 2023
The Athletic’s Peter Baugh notes that rugged defenseman Kurtis MacDermid could draw into the mix, or the Avs could go with familiar names if they choose to call up someone like Alex Galchenyuk, Charles Hudon, or Mikhail Maltsev.
Either way, Colorado will miss a player with a ton of experience both in the regular season (1,219 career games played) and playoffs (120 games). That said, it’s a relief the 35-year-old Cogliano didn’t make a scary injury worse by playing through it.