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.
Cooke: I’m thankful for the success of my teammates. I await the opportunity to get back out there with them. #mnwild
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:
Cooke didn’t want to talk specifics about the incident. Said that he reached out to Tyson Barrie.
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.
It’s been getting that spotlight since the Columbus Blue Jackets faced off against the Pittsburgh Penguins in a brisk playoff series, though it wouldn’t be surprising if the bad blood stemmed to Dubinsky’s days with New York.
To some, Dubinsky’s cross-check on Crosby will resonate far more than the end result of this game:
The bottom line is that he’ll get the last laugh, at least for now. (In-game, that moment merely drew a minor penalty.)
That’s because Dubinsky set up the overtime game-winner, and the cherry on the top of that spite sundae came with Crosby being on the ice when it happened:
They’re not just rubbing the Penguins the wrong way.
Cheap shot on a superstar, a little uncalled goalie interference and presto – Blue Jackets win!
The Buffalo Sabres probably deserved better during at least some chunks of their six-game skid, yet Jack Eichel swooped in on Friday to remind fans that there’s a light shining at the end of the tunnel.
You can watch his goal from tonight’s eventual 4-1 win against the Carolina Hurricanes in the video above.
That’s not necessarily the absolute height of his on-ice magic, yet it clearly gave his team a lift:
Coach Bylsma: Feel like after Jack's goal, the game changed for us. #gamechanger