Koivu's back, and so is his line's production

  • Article by: MICHAEL RUSSO , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 15, 2011 - 1:44 AM
hide

Wild captain Mikko Koivu

Photo: Ann Heisenfelt, Associated Press

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA - Maybe the two most excited Wild players to see Mikko Koivu back in the lineup Monday night against the Vancouver Canucks were Andrew Brunette and Antti Miettinen.

Koivu's linemates have been lost souls since Koivu broke his left index finger on Feb. 18.

"When we lost Mikko, we lost Mikko, but I think we lost half of the other players, too," coach Todd Richards said, referring to how he had to experiment with different centers between slumping Brunette and Miettinen.

"You're trying different guys out to get the same output from those other two, and it just wasn't the right match for whatever reason. So now getting Mikko back, hopefully it elevates the play of the other two."

That's exactly what happened Monday, when Brunette scored late in the second period off a pass from Koivu. Then early in the third, Brunette fed Koivu for a goal that cut the Canucks' lead to 3-2.

During Koivu's 11-game absence, Brunette recorded one goal and two assists. Miettinen had no goals and three assists, with the three assists coming in one game in Anaheim.

"You patchwork it for a while and it exposes you a bit," Brunette said. "We've played with each other the last three years, so there's a comfort level there. When you take one out, especially the center, it hurts a lot.

"We haven't played in [the opponent's] end enough. It's hard to score and create when you don't have the puck down low, and that's where Mikko's so strong. The thing is, I really felt the last month or so [before Koivu was hurt] was our best hockey of the year as a line.''

Clutterbuck back, too

After a frustrating past few weeks, Cal Clutterbuck also gave it a try and returned after missing the past four games because of a concussion.

"You get to a point where you don't know yourself how you're feeling," Clutterbuck said. "You try to tune in to what you're feeling. And it's not the easiest thing to do. Like, normally you get headaches anyway, right? Well, we've had a lot of travel, different time zones, the [daylight savings], the early practice. So you don't even know what's attributed to what. That's why I've been trying to stay hydrated and be well-rested.

"The longer you're out, the more difficult it is to actually remember what it feels like to feel normal."

Clutterbuck said he passed his neurological baseline test a week ago.

Defenseman Clayton Stoner, who missed three games because of a lower-body injury, returned, too. Defenseman Marco Scandella was reassigned to Houston of the AHL. Right winger Brad Staubitz was scratched.

Etc.

• Goalie Josh Harding, who has missed all season following reconstructive knee surgery, dropped into his "butterfly" and took shots for the first time from teammates late in Monday's morning skate.

"Those days alone are over now, which is really nice," Harding said. "I know I'm not skating fully, but going on feels great."

He said he "had to talk myself into" landing on his right knee, but "no setback as of now. It feels strong. We'll see if it swells up, but hopefully it stays under control and we're good. But I woke up with a smile on my face."

• The Wild signed Massachusetts-Lowell forward Scott Campbell to an AHL amateur tryout with the Aeros. It could be a precursor to eventually signing Campbell to an NHL deal.

• Guillaume Latendresse (lower body) had an MRI on Monday. The results were not disclosed.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

San Francisco - M. Bumgarner 7:07 PM
Kansas City - J. Shields
San Diego 10/23/14 7:25 PM
Denver
Detroit 10/26/14 8:30 AM
Atlanta
Buffalo 10/26/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
St. Louis 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
Houston 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
Minnesota 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Seattle 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Baltimore 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Miami 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Chicago 10/26/14 12:00 PM
New England
Philadelphia 10/26/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Oakland 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Cleveland
Indianapolis 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Pittsburgh
Green Bay 10/26/14 7:30 PM
New Orleans
Washington 10/27/14 7:30 PM
Dallas
Houston 7:00 PM
Miami
Indiana 7:00 PM
Minnesota
Utah 7:00 PM
Oklahoma City
Portland 8:00 PM
Denver
Phoenix 9:00 PM
LA Lakers
LA Clippers 9:30 PM
Golden State
San Jose 6:00 PM
Boston
NY Rangers 6:00 PM
New Jersey
Toronto 6:00 PM
NY Islanders
Detroit 6:30 PM
Montreal
Arizona 7:00 PM
Nashville
Carolina 7:00 PM
Winnipeg
Philadelphia 7:30 PM
Chicago
Vancouver 7:30 PM
Dallas
Florida 8:00 PM
Colorado
Tampa Bay 8:00 PM
Calgary
Arkansas State 7:00 PM
Louisiana
Connecticut 10/23/14 6:00 PM
(18) East Carolina
Miami-Florida 10/23/14 7:00 PM
Virginia Tech
So Florida 10/24/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Troy 10/24/14 6:30 PM
South Alabama
BYU 10/24/14 8:00 PM
Boise State
(6) Oregon 10/24/14 9:00 PM
California
North Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Rice
UAB 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Arkansas
Rutgers 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(16) Nebraska
Maryland 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Wisconsin
Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(11) Kansas State
Minnesota 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
Memphis 10/25/14 11:00 AM
SMU
North Carolina 10/25/14 11:30 AM
Virginia
San Jose St 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Navy
Northern Ill 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
(25) UCLA 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Colorado
Akron 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Ball State
Massachusetts 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Toledo
Ohio U 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Western Mich
Ga Southern 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Kent State 10/25/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Oregon State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Stanford
Fla Atlantic 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(23) Marshall
Louisiana Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Southern Miss
(1) Miss State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Georgia Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Pittsburgh
(22) West Virginia 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Texas Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(10) TCU
Michigan 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Boston College 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Central Mich 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Vanderbilt 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Missouri
Old Dominion 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Western Ky
UNLV 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Utah State
Temple 10/25/14 4:00 PM
UCF
(15) Arizona 10/25/14 5:00 PM
Washington St
Texas-El Paso 10/25/14 6:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Wyoming 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Colorado State
Syracuse 10/25/14 6:00 PM
(21) Clemson
Texas State 10/25/14 6:00 PM
ULM
(3) Ole Miss 10/25/14 6:15 PM
(24) LSU
(4) Alabama 10/25/14 6:30 PM
Tennessee
So Carolina 10/25/14 6:30 PM
(5) Auburn
(13) Ohio State 10/25/14 7:00 PM
Penn State
(20) USC 10/25/14 9:00 PM
(19) Utah
(14) Arizona State 10/25/14 9:45 PM
Washington
Nevada 10/25/14 10:59 PM
Hawaii
Montreal 10/24/14 5:30 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 10/24/14 8:30 PM
Calgary
Hamilton 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Toronto
Brt Columbia 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Winnipeg
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Who is your favorite Wild player?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close