NHL

Wild's Cooke ready to return from suspension for Game 4

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TSN.ca Staff
5/7/2014 3:39:10 PM
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Matt Cooke is set to return from his suspension against the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 4 on Friday.

Cooke was suspended seven games for his knee-on-knee hit that knocked Colorado Avalanche defenceman Tyson Barrie out of the playoffs in their first-round series.

But the Wild forward is not prepared to change his game in light of this latest incident, which resulted in the sixth suspension of his career.

"I've got to go back to the work I put in to this point, video-wise, game-wise, mentally-wise, to put myself in a position for success," Cooke told reporters on Wednesday. "Although this one situation happened, I still believe and know that I'm in a good spot as far as the way I approach the game to go out and play a physical style without being riskful.

"Obviously there's the one situation that's going to be in my head that it happened, but I'm a firm believer in the work that I've put in to change the style, to change my approach to the game, to allow me to go out and have success."

As for the perception of his style of play among players and fans, that isn't a concern for Cooke, who reached out to Barrie after the hit.

"It's not my job to go out and change people's opinions," said Cooke. "It's my job to go out and play the way that I can to be successful and helping my teammates win. That's my job."

Cooke doesn't expect his role to change when he returns to the lineup, adding that he has plenty to offer off the ice.

"I think the biggest thing I can give is my experience and my communication," said Cooke.

The Wild trail the series 2-1.

Matt Cooke (Photo: Paul Bereswill/Getty Images)

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(Photo: Paul Bereswill/Getty Images)
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