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Cooke to face in-person suspension hearing Wednesday afternoon

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Much of the focus after Monday's Game 3 win for the Minnesota Wild was on the hit from the Wild's Matt Cooke that injured Colorado defender Tyson Barrie.

Cooke will have an in-person hearing with league officials on Wednesday afternoon and faces a likely suspension for the knee-to-knee hit.

The hit has elevated Cooke to public enemy number one in the eyes of many Avalanche fans.

Colorado coach Patrick Roy called the hit the "play of the game."

"Losing our best offensive defenseman, we thought that could have been a five-minute major and certainly could have broken their momentum," Roy said.

Both coaches, Minnesota's Mike Yeo and Roy discussed the situation during separate press conferences on Tuesday afternoon.

Yeo said, "I think we all want to play good, physical, intense hockey. At the same time, I know that they want to do the same to us. Neither side wants to see anybody get hurt. On our part, we don't want to see one of our players get suspended. Obviously, not going to be sitting here saying we're in a great mood about any of it."

Yeo said it's a hard-hitting game. He noted that players are aware when certain opponents are on the ice.

“I want our players, when someone’s in front of them, to finish their check,” Yeo said. “That’s hockey.”

FOX Sports Net reports the Wild are preparing to be without Cooke. Yeo wasn't sure how he planned to replace Cooke in the lineup.

Cooke's history could play a factor into any suspension from the league office. He has been suspended multiple times over his career, but hadn't been suspended since 2011.

2011/04/27 Missed the last 10 games of the regular season and 7 playoff games (suspension).
2011/03/21 Suspended by the NHL for the remainder of the season and first round of playoffs

2011/02/20 Missed four games (suspension).
2011/02/09 Suspended by the NHL for four games

2009/12/04 Missed two games (suspension).
2009/11/29 Suspended by NHL for two games.

2009/01/31 Missed two games (suspension)
2009/01/27 Suspended by NHL for two games

2004/02/21 Suspended by NHL for two games

Roy said it was not the time for the Avalanche to respond to Cooke's hit.

"The league will do its part, the referees will do their part, out on the ice," Roy said. "We are just going to go out there and play our game."

He said losing Barrie would hurt, but added that they have been overcoming injuries and winning games all year.

Hockey Wilderness predicts Cooke will see between a five and 10 game suspension.

The fact that Barrie was hurt on the play will help make Stéphane Quintal's job a lot easier. Also, everyone is going to be watching Quintal to see how he responds to this incident.

Game 4 between the Wild and Avalanche is Thursday at the Xcel Energy Center.

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