NHL playoffs: Avalanche’s Cogliano suffered neck fracture on hit from Eberle

Andrew Cogliano of the Colorado Avalanche is tended to by medical staff. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

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.

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.

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.

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