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Wild to ensure Cooke’s ‘head’s in the right place’ for Game 4 return

May 9, 2014, 10:46 AM EST

Cooke

Matt Cooke will draw play in tonight’s game against Chicago, his first since serving a seven-game suspension for kneeing Avs defenseman Tyson Barrie during the opening playoff round.

But not before a quick chat with head coach Mike Yeo.

“We’ll have a talk with him to make sure that his head’s in the right place as far as how he has to play the game,” Yeo said, per the Minnesota Star-Tribune. “He’s going to add, definitely, some speed. He’s going to add some physicality.”

Cooke will replace the injured Matt Moulson on Minnesota’s third line, alongside Erik Haula and Justin Fontaine. It’ll be interesting to see how the unit reacts to the change as, even with Moulson hobbled, it still performed well in a big Game 3 win — Moulson and Fontaine assisted on Haula’s game-winning goal in the third.

As for the team facing Cooke… well, the Blackhawks don’t seem all that concerned.

“I don’t think so,” Patrick Kane said about looking over his shoulder, per the Chicago Sun-Times. “He probably knows better now, where he can’t make any more hits that are going to affect himself or the team. When a player like that comes back in the lineup, [if] you worry about that player too much, it only affects yourself in a negative way.

“He can be an effective player, though.”

  1. clarke16 - May 9, 2014 at 10:57 AM

    Yeo is concerned that Cookie could be prone to playing more passively than he is there to do…and want to make sure the guy continues to ride the edge in being disruptive and finishing his checks.

  2. terrier92 - May 9, 2014 at 11:01 AM

    F Matt Cooke

    • blackcompanystandard - May 9, 2014 at 3:07 PM

      Seconded. The “right place” for his head is in a puddle of blood.

  3. comeonnowguys - May 9, 2014 at 11:04 AM

    I don’t care where his head’s at. Where are his knees and elbows? :)

    • purpleguy - May 9, 2014 at 11:37 AM

      I suspect Bollig or Seabrook will try to make sure his head is in the right place every chance they get.

      • clarke16 - May 9, 2014 at 2:25 PM

        Undoubtedly… They’ll be trying constantly to goad him into a penalty. He’s prime pickin’s right now to either take a lot of unretaliated abuse or retaliation penalties–as the officials will have a bulls-eye on his back. Either way–good for the Hawks… This is why Yeo is going to have a chat with him… That and to make sure he knows to wait until the second period to take Kane out. Can’t make it too obvious, ya know… ;)

  4. montrealbbr - May 9, 2014 at 11:14 AM

    Hopefully Keith introduces him to his stick!

    • lbeezyse - May 9, 2014 at 11:24 AM

      And that puts Keith on Cooke’s level, but that’s ok right?

      • avscup - May 9, 2014 at 2:24 PM

        Wrong! Keith is a great player, Cooke is nearly a good player. No matter what Cooke does, he will never be in Keith’s league and vise versa. Keith couldn’t possibly knee as many players in his career as cooke has.

        But I hope Keith knocks out a few of Cooke’s chicklets.

      • comeonnowguys - May 9, 2014 at 4:56 PM

        I don’t think that was the level to which ib was referring.

  5. patthehockeyfan - May 9, 2014 at 11:28 AM

    Matt Cooke comments aside (everyone else will say it better than I), the link above to Yeo’s comments, per the Minnesota Star-Tribune, included a quote by Bryz. Having read it, and having listened to his post-game presser, the man has been sounding positively normal lately. For someone who was pretty much written off as a flake with no future in hockey, it’s good to read that he’s doing, and apparently feeling and thinking, better. Here’s his quote:

    “It’s a unique atmosphere and a unique team here,” Bryzgalov said. “It’s so enjoyable. Every day you come here, you just enjoy the hockey and understand how great it is. It’s tough to describe, but it’s the group of guys, the group of people. People are incredibly nice and kind. It’s enjoyable to be around.”

    • purpleguy - May 9, 2014 at 11:39 AM

      MN fans have been doing their best to keep all the bears in the universe away from him.

      • tved12 - May 9, 2014 at 1:29 PM

        Right, that’s why there are hundreds of comments on these boards alone from MN fans bringing it up. And when you listen to kfan everybody is bringing it up. If that’s doing our best then we suck at it!

    • hockey412 - May 9, 2014 at 12:01 PM

      A lot of it was the Philadelphia media, and Bryz didn’t do himself a lot of favors there. It’s good that he got the chance to ‘welcome’ with a club again.

    • clarke16 - May 9, 2014 at 2:16 PM

      Anybody ever lived in Philly? Try it once–then move to Minneapolis. Different planet.

    • clarke16 - May 9, 2014 at 2:18 PM

      Sheeples… They’re everywhere…

    • clarke16 - May 9, 2014 at 2:41 PM

      This is a goaltender who would like it to be known that he’d very much like to receive an extension offer…

      • patthehockeyfan - May 9, 2014 at 2:49 PM

        Maybe. Maybe not.

        http://prohockeytalk.nbcsports.com/2014/04/06/is-this-it-for-ilya-bryzgalov/

  6. sabatimus - May 9, 2014 at 11:40 AM

    A pillory.

  7. drewsylvania - May 9, 2014 at 12:17 PM

    His head belongs on a plate at Marc Savard’s dinner table.

  8. kingcobraman - May 9, 2014 at 1:04 PM

    Yeo says take out either Toews,Kane,Keith or Crawford….hahaha wink wink…. that’s the only way the wild have a chance… hopeful a Blackhawk takes him out ….

  9. muckleflugga - May 9, 2014 at 2:01 PM

    i see that picture of cooke, i hear a banjo being tuned

    • avscup - May 9, 2014 at 2:25 PM

      …you sure have purty mouth!

  10. topshelf37 - May 9, 2014 at 3:12 PM

    I’m sure he’s a changed man yet again and a 2015 Masterton nominee after this latest incident. I do not wish ill will upon any professional athletes, however there is an exception to every rule, and every time this scumbag takes to the ice I hope he suffers a career ending injury. Fingers crossed tonight is the night!

  11. guitarisgood4u - May 9, 2014 at 4:05 PM

    Wow, so much anonymous internet hatred.

    • clarke16 - May 9, 2014 at 6:37 PM

      They’re the first one’s to sanctimoniously whine about what someone else does and hypocritically feel that the very same thing is AOK for them… The quality of people in this country started swirling the bowl a long time ago…

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