Settled in at the United Center for practice today. Mike Russo and I will be filing blog posts, stories and videos.
First thought of the day: Even if you buy that Matt Cooke's hit on Tyson Barrie was unintentional, it's one of the big reasons the Wild is still alive.
With Barrie out, the Wild dominated puck possession by keeping the puck in the offensive zone and fiercely forechecking the Avalanche defense, which did not handle the pressure well.
Cooke's hit not only hurt the Avs, it wound up unintentionally helping the Wild. Cooke's seven-game suspension opened the way for Kyle Brodziak to return to the lineup, and Brodziak wound up playing a major role, especially in Game 7.
Cooke is eligible to return in Game 4 of this series. Wild coach Mike Yeo said he's looking forward to Cooke returning to the ilneup, because of Cooke's ability to check and defend.
In reality, Cooke has already done the Wild a favor, even if you think, like I do, that the suspension was just.
I'll be on 1500ESPN at 12:15 with Mackey and Judd.