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


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.”

Sabres place Lehner on IR; Recall Lieuwen

Connor Brown, Robin Lehner
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They’re just one game into their regular season, but the Buffalo Sabres have already had to shift things around in their crease.

The Sabres announced that they have placed starting goaltender Robin Lehner on injured reserve after he was knocked out of Thursday’s game with a lower-body injury.

In a corresponding move, the club has recalled Nathan Lieuwen from their AHL affiliate in Rochester.

The 24-year-old didn’t play in the NHL last season, but he did have a 1-4-0 record with a 2.98 goals-against-average and a .906 save percentage in seven games during the 2013-14 season.

Lieuwen was Buffalo’s sixth round pick, 167th overall, in the 2011 draft.

The Sabres also announced that they have loaned defenseman Jake McCabe and goaltender Linus Ullmark to the Rochester Americans (AHL).

McCabe was a healthy scratch in Thursday’s game against Ottawa, while Ullmark is being activated off I.R. after having double hip surgery during the off-season.



Chara ‘doubtful’ for game against rival Canadiens

Brad Marchand, Zdeno Chara
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It looks like the Boston Bruins will be without their captain again on Saturday night.

Head coach Claude Julien told members of the media that Zdeno Chara is considered doubtful for tonight’s game against the Montreal Canadiens.

Chara suffered an upper-body injury during the preseason and he’s already been forced to miss Boston’s season opening loss to the Jets.

Per CSN, Chara says he’s improving but he won’t return to the lineup until he’s as close to 100 percent as possible.

“Every area of the injury is improving,” said Chara. “Hopefully it’s not long before I’m free of any kind of discomfort. That’s what we’re doing right now…we’re being patient. For sure you don’t want to come back, and be half of what you are…and basically hurting yourself and the team. And you’re putting yourself in a position where you could be missing more time. At this time of the season, I think it’s important to be as close as you can be to 100 percent.”

Based on the number of defensive mistakes they committed on Thursday, the Bruins need Chara back as soon as possible: