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Suspension over, Cooke ready ‘to get back out there’

May 7, 2014, 1:19 PM EDT

Minnesota forward Matt Cooke has finished serving his seven-game suspension for kneeing Colorado’s Tyson Barrie in the opening playoff round, and is eligible to return to the Wild lineup for Game 4 of their series against Chicago.

It’ll be very interesting to see if Wild head coach Mike Yeo opts to insert Cooke for Game 4, as the move would alter a lineup that yielded Minnesota’s best performance of the series (and its lone win.)

While Cooke’s been out, the Wild have rotated in spare forwards — Justin Fontaine and Stephane Veilleux, mostly — and in Game 3, Yeo seemed to find a nice fit on the third line with Eric Haula centering Fontaine and Matt Moulson. The trio combined to score the game-winner (Haula, on assists from Fontaine and Moulson) while racking up four shots on goal.

Here’s more on the Cooke situation, from various reporters embedded in Minnesota:

From the Chicago perspective, ‘Hawks players didn’t seem overly concerned about the possibility of Cooke drawing back in. Patrick Kane told the Sun-Times that Cooke “probably knows better now” about throwing dangerous and dirty hits.

Related

Cooke: I didn’t intend to collide knee-on-knee with Barrie

NHL suspends Matt Cooke for seven games

Poll: Did the NHL get the Cooke suspension right?

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