Wild to be without Koivu for at least a few weeks
ST. PAUL, Minn. — The Minnesota Wild will likely be without captain Mikko Koivu for at least two weeks, if not more.
They haven't fared well without their first-line center, newly minted All-Star and emotional leader over the years, and they're about to get a lot more practice.
Coach Mike Yeo said Monday that Koivu has an upper-body injury, declining to specify, but Koivu appeared to take a blow to his left shoulder in Saturday's game at St. Louis after a hit from Blues left wing Vladimir Sobotka.
Yeo said Koivu's status will be evaluated on a week-to-week basis, adding that he'll probably be out until after the All-Star break. The good news for the Wild is that they only have four games over the next 14 days, but if Koivu has to miss a month of action that means 10 games without their best all-around player.
"We just want to see how he feels in a week. If he's not ready for that week, then we'll see how he feels the week after that," Yeo said. "So we're not tip-toeing. We don't know right now."
Koivu leads the team in total points (33), assists (24) and plus-minus rating (plus-9).
"It's frustrating, especially at this time of the year, too," Koivu said. "We play a lot of games and we're right in the middle of it, but there's nothing you can do about it, and you just got to move on and try and get better as quick as you can."
Koivu missed four games last month with an unspecified lower-body injury, and the Wild were 0-3-1 during that stretch. He sat out of 11 games last season because of a broken finger, and the Wild were just 4-5-2 in that span.
"As a group you just have to kind of come together and rally around the fact that he's a huge part of the game for us," said Matt Cullen, who will likely take Koivu's place on the first line. "We've got to find a way to win."
Particularly given the Wild's recent fade. After surging to the best record in the NHL in mid-December, they're only 2-9-4 since then.
"This is one of those moments, for sure, how we handle this," Yeo said, adding: "We'd like to be in a much better place when Mikko comes back."
Koivu was placed on injured reserve Monday, and Carson McMillan was recalled from Houston, the Wild's AHL affiliate.
The Wild are already missing two other top-six forwards, Pierre-Marc Bouchard and Guillaume Latendresse, both to concussions. Yeo said both players have begun to feel better, raising hope that all three players can be back on the ice when the playoff chase truly intensifies.
"We don't have another Mikko Koivu around, so it would be foolish of us to try to get anybody to be him and it wouldn't be very effective for any of our players to try to be him," Yeo said. "It's a big challenge for us, and we have to view it as such and get excited about the opportunity to rise to it. A lot of people are probably writing us off right now, and we've got a lot of guys out, but the one thing that I know is this is a team that has a lot of character, and we need a lot of that right now."
Koivu said he knew immediately after the hit that he suffered a significant injury but added that he's relieved his condition wasn't worse.
"I was ready for the hit. I was steady, kind of hitting back a little bit, and I took the hit like I always do," Koivu said. "So, there's nothing I could've done differently. He just got me in the right spot."
He's able to skate and stay in shape, which should help him return sooner than if he were relegated to riding a stationary bike, as with some injuries. Recently picked to play in his first All-Star game, Koivu said he's not ready to determine whether he'll have to miss the contest.
The Wild's performance during his absence is of greater concern.
"Sooner or later we'll get those wins and get the confidence back where it was," Koivu said.
surgery for Caps' Green, out 4-6 weeks
Washington Capitals defenseman Mike Green will have abdominal surgery and is expected to be sidelined another 4-6 weeks.
Green has played in only 10 games this season. He was sidelined early in the season with a sprained right ankle, then injured his groin in early November.
He returned to play two games this month, but the groin tightened up in the second period against the San Jose Sharks on Jan. 7. The Capitals announced the surgery on Monday.
The Capitals recently placed Green on long-term injured reserve.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Steelers offensive line targeting injury-free performance as key
- Westmoreland used car dealers indicted in fraud
- Struggling Pirates SS Mercer finding himself out on infield’s left side
- Developer hopes to make Allegheny Center a tech hub
- DOJ program goal: Increased trust between law enforcement, community
- Plum witnesses seen entering grand jury building in Dormont
- Authority, municipal officials envision reinvigorated Allegheny County Airport
- Starkey: Patriots’ legacy forever stained
- Suspect in killings of wealthy D.C. family arrested
- Police confiscate heroin, phones, cash in North Versailles bust
- Natrona Heights native helped bring ‘American Ninja Warrior’ to Pittsburgh