Matt Moulson will likely sit with an injury and Matt Cooke will return from his seven-game suspension as the Chicago Blackhawks face the Minnesota Wild in Game 4 of their second-round series Friday night.
Cooke's suspension — which was dealt following a knee-on-knee hit to Colorado's Tyson Barrie in their opening-round series — marked the sixth of his NHL career. Those suspensions have earned Cooke a reputation around the league, but he's confident he'll be able to play a physical game without being a risk on the ice from now on.
"It’s playoffs and emotions are high and the crowd’s going to be great," Cooke told Minnesota reporters. "We’ve got to go out and create energy for our team. I think that’s something that I can help out with."
The Blackhawks said earlier in the week that they'll be mindful of Cooke's return, but they don't intend to change their game plan because of it.
Cooke plans to be a physical force on the ice when the situation calls for it, but believes his game won't lead to another serious injury or suspension.
"Obviously, I don’t want to see anyone get hurt and neither does anyone else, but you also don’t want this to be a figure-skating contest out there," he said. "It’s something I’ve tried to pride myself on, especially here over the last three years that you can play physical without being at risk."