Welcome back captain.
Mikko Koivu is expected to return to game action tomorrow as the Wild hosts the Calgary Flames at Xcel Energy Center. He will center a line with Dany Heatley and Devin Setoguchi.
The Wild captain has missed 15-straight games since re-aggravating an upper body injury on Feb. 16. The injury has caused him to miss 23 of the past 27 contests.
Koivu said that he was both excited and nervous about coming back, not about the injury or contact, but because anytime you sit out for an extended period of time nerves will play a role. When asked about shutting it down for the rest of the season, Koivu said that he’s a competitor and playing the game is what he is here to do. He wants to be out on that ice competing and helping his team win games. Those are the exact types of things you like to hear from your leader and it will be a welcome sight to see the red number 9 out on the ice tomorrow.
Wild TV has video of Koivu holding court after practice, here.
Obviously, he is a game changer and a difference maker. The loss of Koivu has been felt throughout the lineup during the past two and a half months, and you can directly correlate the team’s tumble in the standings to his absence. Head Coach Mike Yeo spoke about how difficult the loss of Koivu has been this season and what having him back in the lineup means to the rest of the team. He added that the Wild is ready to battle for the remaining 10 games of the season and having Koivu leading the way will ease the burden on players playing above their roles.
Check out the Wild TV video of Yeo addressing the media, here.
As for other injured players, Justin Falk has been skating with Strength and Conditioning Coach Kirk Olson, but don’t expect to see him in any action this weekend.
Mike Lundin has been shut down for the season after having surgery on a sports hernia. It’s been a tough homecoming for the Burnsville native. After missing the start of the season with a back injury, Lundin skated in 17 games before suffering this most recent injury.