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.”