Wild: Koivu calling for cool heads
- Article by: Michael Russo
- November 20, 2007 - 8:03 PM
Standing with the aid of crutches, Mikko Koivu is ticked off and in pain after having his left fibula broken by a vicious two-handed slash from Vancouver Canucks defenseman Mattias Ohlund on Friday night.
But the Wild center hopes his teammates don't look to avenge his injury during tonight's rematch.
"Of course, when something cheap like that happens, I know we have to look after each other," Koivu said. "But still, it is a hockey game and we want to win the games and let them know we're here to play hard, to play to win. I'd rather get the two points."
The Wild said Sunday that Koivu would miss about a week, but it looks like he will be out longer. He said it's improving but added, "As soon as my leg moves sideways, it's very painful."
Ohlund, who was suspended four games, said he "overreacted" and slashed Koivu because "he tried to take my head off" with an elbow, something Koivu denies. Koivu said he was trying to fend off Ohlund with his left arm as they skated.
"If you hit a guy with an elbow, he'll go down," Koivu said. "I didn't see that. I'd rather not talk about him. As long as you play hard, you play fair, I have no problem with that. That's the way it should be.
"During games, there's a lot of things that happen. But when it crosses the line, it doesn't belong in the game. We're talking about the respect for other players. When it crosses that line, there's something wrong."
Coach Jacques Lemaire had not yet decided whether veteran defenseman Sean Hill would make his Wild debut. "He might get in. I'm looking where I can fit him," Lemaire said. "If he comes in, someone has to come out, and that is mostly my problem. Because I'm pretty satisfied with all of our defensemen."
Left winger Pavol Demitra (groin), who will miss his seventh consecutive game tonight, will try to practice Thursday.
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