Good Afternoon Wilderness… I was going to write a column about college hockey, but since the college hockey season has not started yet, I thought I would talk about one of the newest members of the Minnesota Wild, Matt Cooke.
First off, I am going to give credit, where credit is due. No one is ever going to accuse me of being a Matt Cook fan, but I thought he was very good in his debut with the Minnesota Wild.
During the off season, the Minnesota Wild front office brought in Cooke to play a role, and that role is to be hard to play against, and get the opposition off of their game. The much maligned winger might have given Wild fans a glimpse of things to come when he scored a goal off of a rebound, going hard to the Kings net.
So, how good was Minnesota forward Matt Cooke in his Wild debut? The newly acquired forward played 14:50 minutes, he was a plus one, and didn't take a single penalty. That's right, not a single minor penalty.
I think most of us can live with that.
Let's take a look at the goal in question, Cooke scored the Minnesota Wild's first goal of the season at 1:04 mark of the first period, when he redirected a Kyle Brodziak shot into the net off of his right skate. This goal could have been ruled no goal, but it wasn't.
At first look, I thought that the goal was going to be waved off. I honestly couldn't believe it was called a good goal, but the officials reviewed that the goal in question, and put it on the board. Yeah, I do think there's a few of us that were shocked by that. According to Michael Russo, the league reviewed the goal and said that the speed of the puck propelled it into the net off of the redirection for a good goal.
Wild coach Mike Yeo also had praise for Cooke in his debut: "He did a great job on the penalty kill tonight and scoring that first goal. That's what we are hoping for out of him.
In conclusion, while most of us aren't happy with the way the game ended on Thursday night, I still think there were many positives to take from this game. The play of Matt Cooke, Kyle Brodziak and Mikael Granlund in the first game was a positive, because the Wild desperately need a solid third line that contributes on the score sheet. It will be interesting to see if Mike Yeo keeps this combination of players together.