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Video: Yeo asked if Cooke told to ‘target’ Avs, does not like question

Apr 22, 2014, 4:53 PM EDT

Skip ahead to around the 7:30 mark, when it all starts with Minnesota Wild coach Mike Yeo being asked if his skilled players need to keep their heads up after Matt Cooke injured Colorado defenseman Tyson Barrie last night.

“Well, this is playoffs,” Yeo responded. “[The Avalanche have] said it themselves that they’re trying to target certain guys. Likewise, we’re trying to target certain guys as far as playing physical. But nobody wants to see anybody get hurt. That’s not their intention to hurt us; it’s not our intention to hurt them. But this is a fast, physical game.”

To which a reporter — a Denver Post columnist, according to the StarTribune’s Mike Russo — countered with, “So…you wanted Cooke to target specific guys?”

To which Yeo, though clearly annoyed with the way his words were spun, smiled and said, “If you think that I’m saying, ‘Go take him out,’ no, you’re wrong. There’s a lot more respect in this game than that.”

Anyway, Russo never revealed the identity of the Denver Post columnist, but we’d say there’s a good chance it was the Denver Post columnist who wrote this:

I feel sorry for Matt Cooke. In a year or two, max, he’ll be out of the league. He’ll have no more money coming in, and he’ll have to sit and really look at what his career was all about. He’ll realize he had no respect of anybody in the game, and that will include his teammates — which will hurt the most. He’ll be filled with an old age of regret, a career of selling his hockey soul to the hockey devil. He’ll realize it wasn’t worth it, but by then it’ll be too late.

Related: On Matt Cooke and whether he’s a ‘repeat offender’

  1. vstar1us - Apr 22, 2014 at 5:01 PM

    Really, wow fricken wow!

    • apkyletexas - Apr 23, 2014 at 1:43 AM

      That Post columnist is spot-on. He was hated in Pittsburgh.

      • harpdog - Apr 23, 2014 at 11:38 AM

        Well, he was not hated in Vancouver where, in the penalty box, it reads in a Sharpie “Cookie was here”. He did not sell his soul to the hockey devil but to the team with the highest salary offer. If he was hated so much why is he still playing?

      • c9castine - Apr 23, 2014 at 2:32 PM

        thats actually false why dont you ask pittsburghers youll find more people who liked him as a player and person here than didnt.

        also, i doubt hell be an old man filled with regret. hell be a retired NHL hockey player who played 1000 games and is a stanley cup chamipion.

        aside from that, he has a family that he loves and im sure thats much more important to him than wether or not other players who all play with varying degrees of violence respect him.

  2. getadealdonealready - Apr 22, 2014 at 5:04 PM

    In playoff’s series teams get sick of each other and the physical play increases. There were at least 3 times where Granland was hit high and hard, and two of them sure appeared to be charges (even though that is rarely called anymore). It was clear as he was playing well last night the Avs were playing physical with him, and going high on a guy with concussion history. I’d prefer if they let the clean physical play go, and started calling a lot more of the interference and picks that are happening away from the puck, however it seems the changes to open the ice after the first lookout are a distant memory and it’s a clutch and grab game again.

    • ignath - Apr 22, 2014 at 5:31 PM

      I’ve noticed this as well. Granlund and Brodin have been targeted (Brodin all year actually, teams must have some insight that he’s vulnerable to physical play or something…) all series long.

      I’d expect to see some hunting for Granlund tomorrow as well…hope he keeps his head on a swivel, last thing he needs is another concussion.

      • hennessey1200hp - Apr 22, 2014 at 7:06 PM

        I wonder if Yeo is teaching his guys how to dive because no one can clear the zone, or take a fake slash and come right back out, this is hockey not soccer go play in england if you can’t handle physical play

      • ignath - Apr 22, 2014 at 7:38 PM

        seriously…have you even watched a game. There was no diving at all in any of the first 3 games on either side. What a pathetic attempt man…I never said anything about it not being physical, I expect that, it’s playoff hockey.

    • matt14gg - Apr 22, 2014 at 5:40 PM

      It’s become pretty clear that unless the pick/interference is blatant the officials are going to let it go. Part of this is that the league understands that slowing guys down before they can blast a guy in the corner is a small way of cutting down on those big, injury causing hits.

      Detroit (and I say this as a compliment) is great at having defensemen set picks and rub off guys, thus giving their teammates more time to handle the puck and transition after retrieving the puck in the corner. It’s frustrating to watch, but I understand why they do it and it’s hard to deny that protecting a puck carrier whose back is to an oncoming forechecker is a bad thing.

  3. vstar1us - Apr 22, 2014 at 5:05 PM

    I feel sorry for Matt Cooke. In a year or two, max, he’ll be out of the league. He’ll have no more money coming in, and he’ll have to sit and really look at what his career was all about. He’ll realize he had no respect of anybody in the game, and that will include his teammates — which will hurt the most. He’ll be filled with an old age of regret, a career of selling his hockey soul to the hockey devil. He’ll realize it wasn’t worth it, but by then it’ll be too late

    Really, I think with the Drain Bamage he has he really won’t care. He will be back in Canada collecting royalties on the Country’s National Sport! Now Matt Cooke, get out there and kick some Ass……

    • spoon9z - Apr 22, 2014 at 9:16 PM

      you can’t damage a brain that was never there in the first place

      pure trash

  4. vstar1us - Apr 22, 2014 at 5:06 PM

    Yeo is the biggest tool of the all.

    Now let’s Go Wild and stray some flockey…….
    Like I said Drain Bamage

    • thesportsjudge - Apr 22, 2014 at 5:17 PM

      Wow, you are so clever, I have never seen nor heard of a “spoonerism” before! My life is now complete!

    • clarke16 - Apr 22, 2014 at 5:40 PM

      No–When it comes to tools–I’m afraid that’s a crown nobody will ever be able to wrestle away from you, son…

  5. 2qswing - Apr 22, 2014 at 5:15 PM

    the reporters follow-up question was ” Mike do you still beat your wife”? yes or no.

  6. csilojohnson - Apr 22, 2014 at 5:20 PM

    Sounds like sour grapes coming out of Denver. Still realing from the Worst Loss in the History of sports I guess..

    • imleftcoast - Apr 22, 2014 at 6:02 PM

      Denver is buttsore mecca – a complete embarrassment from the touchback on the first set of downs.

    • spoon9z - Apr 22, 2014 at 9:18 PM

      sour grapes? about a knee on knee

      you’re fn a RIGHT everyone is pissed off

  7. yetidad - Apr 22, 2014 at 5:23 PM

    Who would you rather hang out with, Cookie or Varlamov? Answer: Cooke every day of the year. Why? Because he is not a woman beating jackwagon. All he is is a guy who plays hard and is hated for it. He isn’t accused of committing crimes against women. Kevin Weeks needs to put a sock in his mouth.

    • clarke16 - Apr 22, 2014 at 5:26 PM

      Well said…

    • stakex - Apr 22, 2014 at 5:36 PM

      Varlamov had the charges against him dropped for lack of evidence…. so much for the presumption of innocence I guess.

      There is also a massive difference between playing hard, and being a dirty player. No one hates Cooke for his tough play when he keeps it clean…. they hate him because all too often his tough play isn’t clean, as illustrated by his lengthy suspension history.

      • clarke16 - Apr 22, 2014 at 7:43 PM

        *Charges dropped for lack of evidence* in spousal abuse cases generally means spouse is now refusing to cooperate with investigation. Makes him a dandy dude to you then I suppose, eh?

      • spoon9z - Apr 22, 2014 at 9:20 PM

        Varlamov HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THIS!

        Nice couter-argument….wow.

      • spoon9z - Apr 23, 2014 at 11:56 PM

        wrong, there was no evidence to convict him and she was still trying to keep the charges

        oddly enough, she would get immediate asylum and damage money…hmmm

      • spoon9z - Apr 23, 2014 at 11:56 PM

        but by all means, just keep making things up clarke

  8. drewsylvania - Apr 22, 2014 at 5:31 PM

    It’s a valid question. We know certain coaches have ordered hits before, whether it happened in this case or not.

    • clarke16 - Apr 22, 2014 at 5:44 PM

      Happens all the time–at all levels of organized hockey… It’s part of the game. That’s why I get such a laugh out of some of the typical fans here… In their clueless indignation…

  9. drewsylvania - Apr 22, 2014 at 5:35 PM

    Yeti, that is one of the most ignorant posts I’ve seen yet. You’re convicting Varlamov, when you have no access to evidence, while dismissing Cooke’s thuggish megahistory as “playing hard”.

    Just a laughable combination.

    • ignath - Apr 22, 2014 at 5:41 PM

      As laughable as you insinuating that Yeo had “ordered” the hit, unfortunately…

  10. kopy - Apr 22, 2014 at 5:39 PM

    Adrian Dater is talented, and I respect the guy, but he pulls a ton of annoying stunts and basically comes across as a jerk. The video replay shows that Yeo honestly was looking away when Cooke hit Barrie, but Dater wants to play prosecutor and pin Yeo as some sort of accomplice.

    • spoon9z - Apr 22, 2014 at 9:24 PM

      so he has to actually see it to be a part of it?

      ok

      and I have no clue and have no real opinion on Yeo’s involvement as it’s just not possible to prove even if so and I’d like to say he didn’t

      I put the blame on the trash that did the deed.

      • kopy - Apr 23, 2014 at 10:18 AM

        If you read the full article that’s linked, the columnist essentially calls Yeo a liar when Yeo says he didn’t see the hit. He shouldn’t ask questions if he’s not going to listen to the answers.

      • spoon9z - Apr 23, 2014 at 2:45 PM

        again, who cares?? this isn’t about some f’n reporter in the end or if yeo pays attention during games

  11. 2qswing - Apr 22, 2014 at 5:40 PM

    Saying Matt Cooke is just playing hard is an insult to every player in the league who actually does.

    • strictlythedanks - Apr 22, 2014 at 6:52 PM

      clearly you dont watch him play jabroni

      • 2qswing - Apr 23, 2014 at 11:14 AM

        context of the story jabroni..get a clue. Thousands of nhl players play hard without injuring other players on a regular basis.

      • strictlythedanks - Apr 23, 2014 at 2:41 PM

        2qswing, you don’t watch cooke play clearly. Man works harder than everyone on the ice and he injures someone for the first time in 2 years on an unfortunate incidental knee on knee. Get a clue, blue. Jabroni.

  12. spiciercheez - Apr 22, 2014 at 5:52 PM

    Is Denver flooding right now? It’s unreal how many tears are being spilled. Suspension coming, move on…..

    • spoon9z - Apr 22, 2014 at 9:25 PM

      pathetic comment

      move on like Barrie?

      ok champ

    • spoon9z - Apr 22, 2014 at 9:59 PM

      Brough, be a TOUCH more biased would you?!

      Blech!

      Oh and Yeo calling Cooke cookie…hahahahaha! How sweet! It’s not possible a guy with such a cute nick like that!

      Disgusting.

      • spiciercheez - Apr 23, 2014 at 1:46 PM

        Uhhh, you ok man? I hope you have a paper bag nearby to breathe in.

      • spoon9z - Apr 23, 2014 at 2:47 PM

        it’s all good cookie baby

      • spiciercheez - Apr 23, 2014 at 3:46 PM

        I thought you Colorado people were supposed to be laid back. Did Barrie die? Is this the first injury in hockey history? Pound sand bud.

    • clarke16 - Apr 23, 2014 at 1:04 PM

      God almighty– It’s gotta be the butt-hurt capital of the world… The problem is–so-called hockey fans who really don’t understand the nature of the game…and Minnesota certainly has its fair share, too…

      Back in the day, before all these mass-market casual fans entered the picture–you had fan bases who were a bullet-proof as the team’s themselves–many having played the game. They obviously knew the game and why what was happening–was happening… Now, mass-media has drawn in a much lower caliber fan generally–the type of little twat who screams bloody murder because Matt Cooke extended his knee to at least catch a piece of a player trying to elude a check…or condemning A guy like Mike Rupp as a *goon* who should be forever banished from the league–even though he’s played clean his entire decade plus long career. Quick to judge–slow to understand…and these colorado slapdicks are proving to be a special breed… :)

      • tved12 - Apr 23, 2014 at 1:57 PM

        Clarke, just because you didn’t play the game doesn’t make you a terrible hockey fan. Many never had the opportunity to play. And your comments condemning those who didn’t play are what keep hockey as a niche sport in America. I would welcome all of those who would like to be fans, even if I don’t share their opinions.

        That and there are plenty of people who have played football that do the same thing to NFL players, it’s not just the NHL that we see this. So don’t just blame it on the “casual fan.”

        All of that said, I have grown a true dislike for the Avalanche fan base. Seems like the legalization has slowed down their thinking process quite a bit already.

      • clarke16 - Apr 23, 2014 at 2:35 PM

        Of course not, tved… I’ve never insinuated that not having played the game makes someone a *terrible hockey fan* What I am saying is–and you’ll note I’m always careful to use the qualifier, *generally* that many of those carrying on about Cookie’s hit (and Rupp’s before it) suggest that they don’t fully understand the nature of the game of hockey… They don’t appreciate that the rich history and tradition of hockey was founded on it as being a *self-policing* league, for example. Many will read that and have no idea what I mean by that. Furthermore, they reflect a lack of understanding of the true speed of the game–and how dynamic the conditions are that go into a certain outcome. These idiots pretend to know Cookie’s intent–for example–in trying to take out Barrie’s knee…when his own attempt to elude the check made the friggin’ knee the point of contact. Those who can put that in speed of game context–you hear no whining from. Same thing with Rupp’s hit on Oshie…even more so– Rupp is out there to CHECK. Nothing more. If you’re out there to follow through on your checks and you don’t–you’re DONE. Bam/bam play. Unfortunately, an injury ensued. That happens…and it isn’t always pretty. As I know you know–hockey is a contact sport… Other’s just don’t get it.

      • tved12 - Apr 23, 2014 at 3:18 PM

        I can appreciate what you’re trying to say, but it certainly comes off as, “you didn’t play so you don’t understand.”

        I agree though about the speed of the game, it’s easy for us to sit at home and say a guy should be suspended for a borderline hit, but when you actually time it out, typically contact is made less than 1 second after they’ve gotten rid of the puck. I think the real issue is that every time somebody is injured that fan base is calling for somebody’s head. Like you said, it’s a tough game and injuries are going to happen.

        But in this case I think Cooke had some time to react, I think he could have avoided the contact with his knee. I thought Rupp’s hit was less egregious, he didn’t seem like he was trying to hurt anybody. I thought it was more on Oshie than Rupp.

      • spoon9z - Apr 23, 2014 at 11:53 PM

        and ed, more on oshie than rupp!?

        what exactly does a minny player have to do in order for you to actually blame THEM?

        my God you’re slow and losing your respect is an fn badge of honor…and I HATE THE BLUES MORE THAN THE WILD!!! for now, but that statement isn’t even borderline stupid, it’s outright idiocy

    • clarke16 - Apr 23, 2014 at 1:11 PM

      God almighty– It’s gotta be the butt-hurt capital of the world… The problem is–so-called hockey fans who really don’t understand the nature of the game…and Minnesota certainly has its fair share, too…

      Back in the day, before all these mass-market casual fans entered the picture–you had fan bases who were a bullet-proof as the team’s themselves–many having played the game. They obviously knew the game and why what was happening–was happening… Now, mass-media has drawn in a much lower caliber fan generally–the type of little twat who screams bloody murder because Matt Cooke extended his knee to at least catch a piece of a player trying to elude a check…or condemning A guy like Mike Rupp as a *goon* who should be forever banished from the league–even though he’s played clean his entire decade plus long career. Quick to judge–slow to understand…and these colorado slapd*cks are proving to be a special breed… :)

      • spoon9z - Apr 23, 2014 at 11:49 PM

        If you play clarke, your take on hockey is fn putrid. I do and find it amusing you are using this event as your soapbox to critique other fans. Good stuff.

        Cooke is a pos, period. Defending him tied to old school hockey is nothing short of complete trash on your part. I agree on Rupp and I have yet to see ONE person here, much less anyone who cheers for the Avs attack his character. He’s very similar to Cody Mcleod, plays hard, will go toe to toe with anyone and defends his team and players right. Both have one bad hit in their careers, not 50 like Cooke. His last suspension was something like 27 games, yet this one is 7. Pathetic to say the least.

    • 2qswing - Apr 23, 2014 at 5:24 PM

      strickly
      ok you win Matt Cooke is the hardest working player in the NHL. no one even comes close. What a dick

  13. vstar1us - Apr 22, 2014 at 5:53 PM

    I love making off the cuff statements just to fire up the uncle fester base! This is not world peace, they are only statements to fire up the uncle festers! Thanks for calling me son, I do not have a father figure just maybe you can leave me some will money…..
    Go Wild

    • clarke16 - Apr 23, 2014 at 2:56 PM

      If you were my son, I’d have to have Varley slap your mother…

  14. cutelittleguy02 - Apr 22, 2014 at 5:55 PM

    No need in playoffs guys like him, dirty player. I want to enjoy the game not to vomit.

  15. drewsylvania - Apr 22, 2014 at 6:02 PM

    ignath–I didn’t insinuate anything. “It’s a valid question” means just that. Take it at face value. Hell, I’d rather believe that Cooke acted on his own for 100% of his cheap shots, but we don’t know for sure.

    • tved12 - Apr 23, 2014 at 12:18 PM

      If that’s your logic, why don’t we question every coach who’s ever had a player hurt somebody? I mean, we can’t know they didn’t order it, right?

  16. drewsylvania - Apr 22, 2014 at 6:04 PM

    Hey PHT: Can I become one of your mods? I’d work for free just to keep the growing troll list down…

  17. djshnooks - Apr 22, 2014 at 6:38 PM

    Plain and simple…Matt Cooke is a scumbag and doesn’t belong in the NHL…or anywhere near the sport of hockey, which is much bigger and better than he could ever dream of being.

    Hopefully he gets taken out for good, soon.

    • mp1131211 - Apr 22, 2014 at 7:16 PM

      Wait, so because of what does, he’s a scumbag. So in turn you want what he does done to him? Like calling the kettle black, eh?

  18. yetidad - Apr 22, 2014 at 7:00 PM

    I am starting to feel sorry for some of these posters’ womenfolk….

    • getadealdonealready - Apr 22, 2014 at 7:05 PM

      That’s to say they have them

  19. purpleguy - Apr 22, 2014 at 7:38 PM

    Looks like we finally got a series going here with all the angst. Yeo’s comments were reserved and honest, despite Dater’s baiting. I didn’t even mind Dater’s column this morning other than the needless jab at Yeo. The Avs still hold the cards, and I hope the teams can just play hard nosed hockey from here on out without too much more baloney.

  20. hardkor07mn - Apr 22, 2014 at 9:35 PM

    I thought it took years of smoking the green stuff to make you brain dead. Man was I wrong!

  21. jazz11001 - Apr 22, 2014 at 10:10 PM

    Whatever. Johnson was punching Parise in the back of his head as he was cross checking him to the ice. He must’ve punched him 3-5 times INTENTIONALLY. You drew first blood, you drew first blood……

    • slickvb82 - Apr 22, 2014 at 11:33 PM

      Isn’t it funny how no Avs fans will recognize that?! I was just talking to a buddy of mine about that exact play. Johnson was beating the back of his head, for no reason. If you mention it to Avs fans though they get their panties in a bunch. I’m really starting to dislike everything about the Avs….except Roy, he’s pretty awesome!

    • drdoomkaiser - Apr 23, 2014 at 4:30 PM

      I don’t know but I heard before Johnson did that Parise crashed into Varlamov

    • spoon9z - Apr 23, 2014 at 11:43 PM

      not even close to the same fn thing…first blood my ass

      parise ran the Varly and he got the norm when you do that…and those two are old friends. it’s an unwritten rule, a good one and the refs called that one right. only an idiot and fool who never played the game would fail to see that and try to even consider tying these two things together

  22. harpdog - Apr 23, 2014 at 11:45 AM

    Targeting is a myth. The game is too fast, especially in the playoffs. No one wants to take them selves out of position or risk getting a penalty for doing something stupid. The only ones doing stupid things and doing the targeting is ignorant reporters and fans who have never played the game before and do not understand the workings inside the game on the ice. If you have a reporter that does both of these things, then you have that Post reporter.

    • clarke16 - Apr 23, 2014 at 1:22 PM

      You just couldn’t be more wrong and should try to resist commenting on that which you obviously have no insight. To varying degrees depending upon the game circumstances and the nature of the coach–it happens all the time…

      When you see a coach leaning down in a players ear–guess what they are whispering some of the time? You don’t think it could be something like, * I think #10 could use a tap on the ankle* do you? LOL.

      Learn the game if you are going to pretend to know it.

  23. cmmorgan32 - Apr 23, 2014 at 3:01 PM

    For anyone that cares, Adrian Dater wasn’t the columnist who tried bating Yeo. It was Mark Kiszla. He included it in his most recent article. http://www.denverpost.com/kiszla

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