Mikko Koivu’s absence from the Minnesota Wild lineup has been noticeable and it’s a sight Wild fans are going to have to get used to now.
Michael Russo of the Star Tribune reports that Koivu is being shut down without contact for the next two weeks to rest his injured left shoulder. Koivu re-aggravated the injury recently and now Wild GM Chuck Fletcher wants him to let it fully heal before getting back to action.
As Russo finds out from Fletcher, it’s an injury that Koivu tried to tough it out and play through just the same when he was re-injured in mid-February.
“His initial injury, he came back very quickly. It was a very aggressive return to play. He deserves a ton of credit. The team is obviously struggling, trying to survive, and he wanted to help.”
Yes, hockey players are tougher than you and I. With Koivu shut down now for the next two weeks and then having to rehab and get into game shape after that, the rest of Koivu’s season is in doubt. The Wild are still hanging on in the Western playoff race five points out of eighth, but without Koivu they’re in rough shape.
One win, even in the frosty outdoors for the NHL 100 Classic, only means so much.
Still, the Ottawa Senators probably experienced some ice-cold relief on Saturday, beating the Montreal Canadiens 3-0 during a tightly defended outdoor bout.
It was 0-0 for much of the game until Jean-Gabriel Pageau tipped an Erik Karlsson shot for the first goal with about five minutes remaining in the second period. Bobby Ryan then capitalized on a rough Jonathan Drouin turnover to make it 2-0, while an empty-netter iced the icy evening for Ottawa.
For a night, it was a fun time, and Karlsson reminded us what all the fuss is about, as he logged a ridiculous 32:55 of ice time. And he seemed to be having a good time doing it.
This night laid the “Canadian” on thick, with Bryan Adams performing during the event, and Gary Bettman posing for photos with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau?
Carey Price generated some nice saves of his own, but couldn’t will Montreal to win in his 10th consecutive start. The Habs rarely got things going against the Senators, seen most easily in Ottawa’s 38-28 advantage in shots on goal.
Nights like these make a bigger impact on fans’ memories and bottom lines, but this marks consecutive wins for the Senators either way. Considering the fact that the Senators hadn’t put back-to-back wins together since they faced the Avalanche in two contests in Sweden, it might not be a big deal, yet it’s far better than the nothing they’ve been coming up with far too often lately.
In other news from the event, Mario Lemieux’s “five goals, five different ways” was named as the NHL’s greatest moment, voted by fans:
Let’s be honest, virtually any time a team gets its players to embrace a holiday theme, it’s in the name of goofiness. And bless NHL teams for this.
When it comes to Movember, you get the fantastic combination of mustaches and charitable contributions.
The holidays are rapidly approaching (hey, I see that Amazon tab open), so we’ll start to see various New Year’s/Christmas/Festivus/etc.-themed fun. Even with that in mind, the Washington Capitals will be tough to top with their collection of Christmas tunes.
Question: which performance stood out to you the most? While Braden Holtby was fantastic (with a Tomas Plekanec-level turtleneck game), the simple entertainment of watching Alex Ovechkin sing is tough to top.