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Niederreiter to replace Cooke on Wild’s shutdown line

Apr 23, 2014, 3:22 PM EDT

Colorado Avalanche v Minnesota Wild - Game Three Getty Images

Winger Nino Niederreiter is expected to replace the soon-to-be-suspended-and-probably-for-a-while Matt Cooke on the left side of the Minnesota Wild’s shutdown line. The plan is for the 21-year-old to skate alongside fellow youngsters Erik Haula and Justin Fontaine in Thursday’s Game 4 versus Colorado.

Wild coach Mike Yeo spoke today about the all-important line that helped shut out the Avalanche’s top guns on Monday.

“Adding a guy who can be strong on the puck, who’s responsible defensively and can play a strong two-way game and that was important to us,” Yeo said, per the StarTribune. “Obviously a good challenge for three young kids.”

On Niederreiter, who was traded to Minnesota from the Islanders in June, Yeo added: “What I really appreciate about him is we’ve been able to insert him into different roles. We’ve put him in a scoring role, we’ve put him in a checking role and he’s always sort of adapted. To me, that’s the sign of a good player.”

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

  1. cubbie81 - Apr 23, 2014 at 3:47 PM

    He should be suspended as well for the slash in Game 3!! EJ got a two game suspension for a slash against the Islanders right before the Olympic break.

    • tved12 - Apr 23, 2014 at 3:57 PM

      Ya because we all want the playoffs being called that soft.

    • strictlythedanks - Apr 23, 2014 at 4:15 PM

      If that were the case Eric Johnson should have been suspened for the rest of the year for punching the back of parises head into the ice. Oftly Bertuzzi-esque……That is the real cheap shot of the series, not the unfortunate incidental knee on knee that injured Barrie.

      • jovocop2112 - Apr 23, 2014 at 6:08 PM

        “Unfortunate incidental”? You’ve GOT to be kidding me. And speaking of Bertuzzi, Matt Cooke share’s a fair share of the blame for that debacle for refusing to fight Moore in the first place

      • strictlythedanks - Apr 23, 2014 at 6:45 PM

        So robocop, to you cooke had more intent to injure barrie than EJ did to injure parise by punching the back of his head into the ice repeatably?????

        if thats the case you sir are a fool.

      • avscup - Apr 23, 2014 at 6:53 PM

        Bertuzzi-esque! Not even close. That was merely a series of love taps!

      • strictlythedanks - Apr 23, 2014 at 7:00 PM

        avscup: while i appreciate the sarcasm, EJ’s play was in fact FAR dirtier, and obviously you can prove he intended to hurt Parise more than you can prove cooke intended to hurt barrie

    • clarke16 - Apr 23, 2014 at 5:12 PM

      I’ve never seen a fan base comprised of more girly-boys. Isn’t it time for your wax? :)

  2. nicofthenorthstar - Apr 23, 2014 at 3:58 PM

    Shut up crybaby.

  3. nicofthenorthstar - Apr 23, 2014 at 4:01 PM

    Losing Cooke will hurt, but this young line is going to be interesting to watch. While being presented as a checking line, I wouldn’t be surprised if they generate some serious offense.

  4. lbeezyse - Apr 23, 2014 at 4:10 PM

    I look forward to what the youngsters will do as a “shutdown” line. These three have some great speed & can put the puck in the net. Nino hits just as much as Cooke does while maybe hitting a little harder. Hopefully they can bring the heat to shutdown that great Avs top line.

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

      I like Nino on this line, he is a little less defensively sound than Cooke, but a harder hitter. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Roy Juggle his top line as they seem to be the only line that is able to generate offense and without Barrie I would imagine they need to try to find a way to get 2 lines to generate offense.

  5. strictlythedanks - Apr 23, 2014 at 4:11 PM

    This will be an exciting line no doubt, Haula’s speed is great to have against Mackinnon and El Ninos a beast out there.

    • strictlythedanks - Apr 23, 2014 at 4:13 PM

      and of course Fontaine’s speed and all around game.

  6. blue21c - Apr 23, 2014 at 4:14 PM

    Matt Cooke is a scumbag!!!!Proven once again!!!!

    • getadealdonealready - Apr 23, 2014 at 4:34 PM

      I can’t disagree, as Wild fan I not crazy about him being in the NHL, let alone on my favorite team. It’s unfortunate that the hit lead to an injury, but if you watch the NHL video on knee to knee contact I’m not sure this hit fits under a suspendable offense, the only reason there will be a suspension is because it was cooke involved. Time to move on and focus on game 4.

      • guitarhunterdude - Apr 23, 2014 at 5:17 PM

        I can’t agree that it’s not suspendable. Barrie tried to avoid the hit, which contributed, but the onus is still on Cooke to attempt to avoid a hit that’s going to be iffy at best, rather than doubling down to try and get a piece of him with his leg like he did. It should be two or three games (which I also thought Bickell should’ve gotten for his knee on Sobotka,) but I have a feeling they’re going to throw the book at him.

      • lbeezyse - Apr 23, 2014 at 5:21 PM

        I agree guitar. These knee to knee hits happen at least 1 time per game in the NHL. Most of the time it goes without injury. By Barrie trying to avoid the check from Cooke, he put his knee in a very vulnerable position. Not say what Cooke did was ok, but this hit was less of a knee on knee than Brown’s on Hertle. Brown didn’t even get a penalty I don’t think. It’s easy to vilify Cooke due to his past, but the guy hasn’t had a major for awhile now and has avegerage 60 pm per season or less the last 3-4 years. Hockey is a fast game and S*** happens when you play at the speed and intensity these guys play at. In conclusion it was a “cheap” hit as all knee to knee hits are, but I doubt 100% that it was intentional.

      • clarke16 - Apr 23, 2014 at 6:05 PM

        They’ll throw the book at him–but primarily for political reasons…and no, guitar–that’s incorrect. There is no *onus* on Cooke to AVOID contact on that play whatsoever. Quite the opposite. It’s called *finishing a check* If that had been Parise doing exactly what Cooke did–we wouldn’t even be talking about this. Cooke would get his ass chewed in film review if he bails on his follow-through… That’s why he’s out there.

        It was an unfortunate outcome on a follow-through that is routine in hockey and partially created by the other guy trying to avoid contact. It happens. Why is this so hard for some to process?

      • guitarhunterdude - Apr 23, 2014 at 6:24 PM

        There’s a difference between finishing a check and sticking out an arm/leg to try and salvage a hit that’s already whiffed, Clarke. If Cooke actually had a chance at taking the body there, I’d be all for it. But Barrie was far enough out of the way that Cooke should have accepted that it wasn’t going to happen, cut back around the other way and started backchecking. That’s a bad decision on his part, and it’s one that should have him sitting a couple games.

        You’re right that the only reason he’ll get the book thrown at him is because of his reputation, yeah, but I can’t say I’m unhappy about that.

      • getadealdonealready - Apr 23, 2014 at 8:44 PM

        guitar, if you actually watch the NHL video it says nothing about having to avoid the hit, and further more it says that incidental Knee to Knee contact can happen and not be penalized, that players with a low posture make contact with someone trying to avoid the hit this contact will not be penalized with a suspension. After the mishaps in the neutral zone in Game 2 I would anticipate that no one on the wild would avoid contact in the NZ in Game 3, or any other game in this series for that matter.

  7. guitarhunterdude - Apr 23, 2014 at 5:20 PM

    It’ll be nice to see how Nino does with actual hockey players for linemates. As has been said already, this line has the speed and skill to generate some nice offense rather than being just a pure shutdown line. That fourth line is going to really be ugly now, though.

    • tved12 - Apr 23, 2014 at 5:26 PM

      Who do you think they bring back on the 4th line? My initial thought was it’s obviously Brodziak, but I’m wondering, would they dream of putting Rupp in the lineup?

      • strictlythedanks - Apr 23, 2014 at 5:30 PM

        I like Veilluxs game personally, he gives it his all like Cooke. Rupp will not see the ice all playoffs.

      • tved12 - Apr 23, 2014 at 5:36 PM

        Ya, I just thought it was interesting when I remembered that Rupp’s suspension just ended. I like Veillux as well, forgot about him though. I would like Brodziak, but that turnover in game 1 made me want to bench him at that moment.

      • guitarhunterdude - Apr 23, 2014 at 5:38 PM

        I’m thinking it’ll be Veilleux-Brodziak-McCormick. Brodziak is fine (despite his rough season; a couple turnovers and shooting half as well as he usually does have people villifying him more than is necessary), but McCormick and Veilleux are pretty much useless, moreso McCormick.

        Mike Rupp should never see NHL ice again. He’s essentially Dany Heatley, but with far worse hands and twice as slow. If Yeo pencils him in, that’s not good. It either means someone’s hurt or Yeo’s an idiot.

      • tved12 - Apr 23, 2014 at 5:40 PM

        Lol, that’s a pretty good comparison.

        I actually like McCormick so far in the playoffs. He’s looked faster than I would have expected and he’s played a solid defensive game. Lots of big exciting hits!

      • clarke16 - Apr 23, 2014 at 6:16 PM

        Brodziak has hopefully seen his last game in a Wild sweater…but choices run thin at the moment. Veilleux and McCormick have been pleasant surprises and playing the 4th line role very nicely…

  8. tved12 - Apr 23, 2014 at 5:27 PM

    Avs fan;

    “The above picture just proves the Wild are dirty, look at Niederreiter trying to headbutt his fist!”

    • avscup - Apr 23, 2014 at 7:19 PM

      A little push in the face and you are whining like ur vagina hurts. What about Niedereiter’s slew foot on Benoit? Really a macho play by the rookie. He’ll get his though. Count on it. Then you can come back and whine some more.

      • tved12 - Apr 24, 2014 at 1:33 PM

        Lol, right because Wild fans have been the ones whining the whole series. On top of that, did you really think I was serious? You need some help with perspective, clearly this was satire.

        Take a good look in the mirror chump, all I’ve seen on here is Avs fans crying about game 3. If my team was up 2-1 in the series I would feel much more comfortable, but you Avs fans just can’t stop crying.

  9. homegrowntalentmn - Apr 23, 2014 at 5:30 PM

    Haula is solid. Should get more top 6 minutes.

    • tved12 - Apr 23, 2014 at 5:38 PM

      I like Haula, but who would you put him ahead of? Koivu or Granlund?

      Personally, I think he’s the type of 3rd line center you win titles with. Great speed and a great all around game, wouldn’t be surprised if he scored 4 or 5 times if they went on a deep run.

  10. zraskovich - Apr 23, 2014 at 6:04 PM

    Brodziak is coming back, but he’s a turnover machine these last few months…and I’m sure the Avs are salivating. I love the way Nino plays…he’s the best option to fill the Cooke void. Go Wild!

  11. 19cbd87 - Apr 23, 2014 at 6:15 PM

    Credit Yeo and the other coaches for the way they have brought these guys along throughout the year, and the way they handled being moved around the lineup. Each has played a significant role at different times this season and now they get a chance to play a key role in this series. Excited to see them play together as this could be the third line next season also.

  12. mnwildfan15 - Apr 23, 2014 at 6:30 PM

    So Cooke might be suspended but yet Johnson gets away with punching ZP 10 times in the back of his head, in front of the ref. yea the nhl doesn’t want the Avs to win at all. The officiating in this series is lopsided and garbage.

    • strictlythedanks - Apr 23, 2014 at 6:35 PM

      yup and the wild fanbase wasnt even overreacting to those BLATANT cheapshots to the head until the avs fans overreact to the cookie monsters unfortunate incidental knee on knee.

    • avscup - Apr 23, 2014 at 7:06 PM

      10 times? You are clueless. Hardly punches but I realize how sensitive you are about your $98MM Nancy. Cooke tried to knee him. It’s very obvious if you watch video from behind Barrie.

      • tved12 - Apr 24, 2014 at 1:49 PM

        I find this ironic. First of all, Parise has missed 14 games in his entire career. Your boy Barrie is in his first season and he’s already missing games. I think you need to reevaluate who the Nancy is here.

  13. rgledz - Apr 23, 2014 at 6:52 PM

    Jovocop……..are you seriously trying to rationalize what Bertuzzi did to Moore AND blame part of it on Cooke!? I think that somebody needs to take a look in the mirror in the losing of the mind department. I hope you’re not serious…….but you probably are. Sad.

  14. luvmnsports2012 - Apr 23, 2014 at 7:39 PM

    avscup, I hope the Wild prove you wrong! Punches to the head, knee to knee, who cares! Get over it, move on. We got game four comin up tomorrow fellas!! GO WILD!!!

  15. zraskovich - Apr 23, 2014 at 8:22 PM

    Gotta love these Avs fans whining about everything. Jesus H…I was in Row 2 on the glass for game 3 and anyone else who saw the game as close as we did knows that Talbot is a total Nancy (you could actually see tears…), Cooke was a monster aside from that terrible hit, and the incessant whining from the Avs players and staff between whistles to the zebras was a freaking embarrassment for all the hockey fans in attendance.

  16. getadealdonealready - Apr 23, 2014 at 9:05 PM

    7 games so hopefully now the Avs fans can stop their whining

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