Player profile: Mikko Koivu

  • Updated: April 10, 2007 - 5:31 PM

In order to make a playoff run, every team needs somebody unexpected to catch fire. In 1996, Dave Lowry scored 10 goals to lead the Florida Panthers to the Stanley Cup Finals. Last season, Edmonton's Fernando Pisani led all playoff scorers with 14 goals as the Oilers went to the Stanley Cup Finals.

Mikko Koivu, who is used by coach Jacques Lemaire to stabilize any struggling Wild line, could be the guy ready to break out for the Wild. The top two lines will be tightly checked by Anaheim, which could leave some offensive chances for the third line.

Koivu, who hit the 20-goal, 50-point mark in only his second season, finished with 13 points in his past 14 games. His 33-point increase over last season was second best in the NHL.

"When he first came here, everybody talked about how he was Saku's little brother," Finnish legend Esa Tikkanen said, referring to Mikko's older brother, Montreal Canadiens captain Saku Koivu. "It was 'Saku this, Saku that.' That was hard for him. Nobody thinks like that anymore. He's Mikko Koivu."

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