ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The momentum of this first-round playoff series has shifted to Minnesota.
For the Wild to keep their edge, or for the Colorado Avalanche to recapture their advantage, they'll have to come up with a counter for the loss of an important player.
Wild left wing Matt Cooke was summoned for a hearing at the NHL office in New York regarding his kneeing penalty that injured Avalanche defenseman Tyson Barrie on Monday night in Game 3.The league said Cooke's meeting will be Wednesday. Guys don't travel cross country to defend themselves against simple fines, so Cooke is bound to get a multigame ban.
"Obviously things you don't want to have happen. I think we all want to play good, physical, intense hockey," Wild coach Mike Yeo said. "At the same time, I know that they want to do the same to us. Neither side wants to see anyone get hurt."
Barrie will need four to six weeks to recover from a torn medial collateral ligament in his left knee. Avalanche coach Patrick Roy maintained Tuesday his stance from the night before, that the knee-on-knee incident in the open ice during the second period was the most important moment in Minnesota's 1-0 overtime win. Roy said Cooke should have received a major penalty (he got two minutes in the box) that could have taken the Wild out of their rhythm.
The Wild outshot the Avalanche 46-22 and won on Mikael Granlund's diving goal. Game 4 is set for Thursday, when the Avalanche will be without their top-scoring defenseman.
"Tyson, he's very good on the power play, but more than that he's always in the rush," Roy said. "He's like a fourth forward for us, and you need players like this. He was playing so well for us, and losing him certainly is going to hurt us. But listen: This is what we've been doing all year, finding a way to win when we lose important player."
Barrie, who had 13 goals and 25 assists during the regular season, will be replaced in the lineup by Ryan Wilson, who has one goal in his last 99 games. He won't be asked to replace Barrie's offense, obviously, but rather bring a physical presence to the corners and around the crease as the games only increase in intensity and roughness.