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Wild have put brakes on Blackhawks' high-flying offence, now get Cooke back for more toughness

Wednesday, 05.07.2014 / 2:55 PM / News

The Canadian Press

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Wild have put brakes on Blackhawks' high-flying offence, now get Cooke back for more toughness

ST. PAUL, Minn. - The Minnesota Wild have done a good job of putting the brakes on Chicago's high-flying offence through the first three games of the Western Conference semifinals.

The Wild trail 2-1 in the series, but they have not allowed the Blackhawks to get more than 22 shots on net in a game yet. Now they get tough guy Matt Cooke back to help keep the defensive pressure going.

Cooke will play on Friday night in Game 4 after serving a seven-game suspension for a knee-to-knee hit on Colorado's Tyson Barrie in the first round. The hit renewed criticism of Cooke as a dirty player.

Cooke struck an almost defiant tone on Wednesday, saying people "are entitled to their opinions." He says it's not his job to try to change those opinions.

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I was surprised. I knew I got it. It's tough. You never know how hard it is until it registers on the gun. I got pretty much all I could into and you just hope for the best.

— Nashville Predators defenseman Shea Weber after winning the AMP NHL Hardest Shot event at the 2015 Honda NHL All-Star Skills Competition