Minnesota will be without one of its most tested playoff veterans for its series opener versus St. Louis.
Matt Cooke, who missed extensive time this year to a sports hernia, will be held out of Game 1 due to soreness from that same injury, the Wild announced.
Cooke, who missed 31 game to the hernia, returned late in the season and played in Minnesota’s final two games, scoring two points. The 36-year-old was looked upon as a welcome addition with the postseason on the horizon; Cooke is a known playoff performer with over 100 games of experience, capturing a Stanley Cup with Pittsburgh in 2009.
Cooke’s, ahem, noted brand of physicality was also thought to be important against a heavy Blues team that likes to take the body. While he’s (rightly) earned the reputation as one of the NHL’s dirtiest hitters, Cooke can be very effective in his role when he’s not crossing the line.