Cooke and Yeo Unrepentant About Barrie Hit


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writer Mike Chambers and Minnesota Wild beat writer Michael Russo exchanged quotes about the upcoming game. Naturally, all of the hullballoo is about the fact that Minnesota forward Matt Cooke took Barrie out with a knee-on-knee hit. The resultant injury left Barrie hobbled for six weeks — and he didn’t play again in the playoffs.

Presumably Chambers sent them the following quote from Tyson Barrie:

"“What happened last year was — you can’t forget about it completely — but I’m maybe 5-10, 195 pounds, so I’m not going to go out there and cause too much trouble.”"

Cooke, a repeat offender with a rap sheet as long as Patrick Bordaleau’s arm (He’s a tall guy — long arms), was suspended for seven games by the league. He played again in the playoffs, against the Chicago Blackhawks.

As Chambers pointed out, losing their best offensive defenseman with their best offensive forward, Matt Duchene, still injured, seemed to turn the tide for the Avalanche. They lost Game 3, and managed only one more win in the rest of the series.

Russo spoke to Cooke himself. He pointed out that he’s been in this situation before . Cooke acknowledges he’s back on the repeat offender list —  he’s been in that situation before, too. He states his plan:

"“I’ve got to go out and play hard. That’s what I’ll do.”"

This is clearly Minnesota head coach Mike Yeo’s expectation, too:

"“This is a guy who has made a career out of playing a hard game. We talked a lot about how he has changed his game. He was doing a great job.”"

Yeo admitts that Cooke’s been in the situation before of having to face a team to which he’d done damage:

"“He was able to come back and play a hard game and a strong game but at the same time, walk the line and make sure not to go over it.”"

To be fair, he usually doesn’t step over the line with that team exactly — whomever the Wild play in week 2 probably have more to worry about than the Avalanche do.

In any case, along with Cooke’s cliche that he has to “move on” from the incident, Yeo and Cooke pretty much have to try and point out that the latter is making attempts at being reformed. Why they think pointing out more than once he’s been in this situation before helps their case, I’m not sure. It certainly is true, though.

When speaking of the incident, though, Cooke says:

"“This was an incident that came from a little bit of playoff intensity and a little bit of bad luck.”"

Yeo concurs with the last part of the statement:

"“Obviously what happened last year was unfortunate.”"

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  • Yes, it was “unfortunate” that Cooke took several strides across open ice and angled his knee toward Barrie’s. However, as Yeo and Cooke maintain, apparently it was an accident.

    Cooke is pleased with one thing, “I got to play again last year, which was important.”

    Yes, he did. I could point out that while Barrie was hobbling around on crutches, and the Avalanche were getting over early elimination, Cooke got to go back and play some playoff hockey. However, the ultimate joke was on the Wild. In the Game 6 overtime loss to the Chicago Blackhawks, it was Matt Cooke himself who allowed scoring phenomenon Patrick Kane to waltz into the Wild’s zone, accept a rebound and snipe the game-winner. Showtime!

    Barrie, clearly the biggest man of all three in terms of maturity (despite being the youngest) appreciates that kind of revenge:

    "“The way I’d like to get back at them is to beat them, beat them good, at home, and then come back here and beat them again and kind of set the tone for our year.”"

    That’s exactly what the Avalanche are looking to do tonight.

    Of course, that doesn’t mean we, the Avs Nation, can’t focus our hate on the Minnesota Wild.