Wild will lack Koivu; Ohlund hit reviewed

  • Article by: KENT YOUNGBLOOD , Star Tribune
  • Updated: November 18, 2007 - 8:24 AM

Vancouver's Mattias Ohlund earned the Wild's ire for his two-handed slash on Mikko Koivu.

Minnesota Vancouver Hockey
hide

Mikko Koivu was slashed later in this game Friday night and suffered a cracked bone in his leg.

Photo: Richard Lam, Associated Press

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

Mattias Ohlund's two-handed slash on Mikko Koivu on Friday has knocked the Wild center out for at least one week, possibly more. How much playing time it will cost Ohlund should be known today.

The diagnosis on Koivu is a cracked fibula. Because the bone is not displaced, he will not need to wear a cast, according to Wild President and General Manager Doug Risebrough. Koivu's recovery time will depend on how quickly the crack fills in.

But know this: One day after an ugly 6-2 loss in Vancouver, few with the Wild appear to have gotten over Ohlund's actions.

"I just don't understand," Risebrough said Saturday afternoon. "I'm confused why players -- even if there is an infraction -- I don't know why someone swings their stick like a baseball bat from the shoulders down and hits someone on the back of the leg."

The infraction Risebrough was talking about was the elbowing minor Koivu was assessed during the incident.

The NHL will likely decide on a suspension for Ohlund by today, as the Canucks play Calgary tonight. Colin Campbell, the NHL's senior vice president and director of hockey operations, confirmed to the Star Tribune that the league would look into the incident. Risebrough said the league had called him and asked for an injury report on Koivu.

Risebrough wouldn't guess on what the league might do with Ohlund, or whether the length of a possible suspension would be mitigated by Koivu's elbowing penalty. But the Canucks are scheduled to play the Wild in Xcel Energy Center on Wednesday, and it's likely the league -- wanting to avoid any possible problems -- would like to avoid having Ohlund play in that game. For that to happen, he would have to be suspended for three games.

Ohlund's swinging stick was the low spot in a game filled with chippy action that resulted in a lot of talk out of both dressing rooms afterward. In no particular order:

• Wild winger Marian Gaborik and Vancouver's Ryan Kesler battled much of the night, with Gaborik ultimately being called for elbowing. The Canucks cried foul, the Wild wondered why Kesler was able to take runs at the Wild star all evening.

• At the end of the game, the Canucks howled that the Wild's Stephane Veilleux had shot the puck at Vancouver's Mike Weaver as time expired, a charge Veilleux denied.

But most of the reaction surrounded Ohlund's swinging stick. After the game, Ohlund said he had overreacted. The Wild, meanwhile, was furious then and still irritated Saturday.

"That was awful, just a straight-up, home run he was trying to hit with his ankle there," winger Mark Parrish said. "It was pretty brutal. I'd be pretty surprised if he was playing [Wednesday]."

Said Brian Rolston: "One of our best players getting two-handed like that? There will be some carryover effects from that for sure. ... It was a two-hander. There's no room for that. I think he'll get suspended, for sure. We'll move on, but I just hope we don't lose Mikko for any extended period."

The Wild will lose him for a while, and at an inopportune time. The Wild is coming off a 1-3 road trip and has won only three times in its past 11 games. Glass half full: The Wild is still only one point behind division-leading Colorado, which is in town tonight. Half empty: The Wild is also one point away from being out of the playoff picture after a strong start to the season.

Koivu is second on the team in scoring and second among forwards in ice time. He leads the team with a plus-5 rating. And his absence puts the Wild in a bind at center. Risebrough said he would not call up a player from Houston of the AHL for tonight's game, but he wouldn't rule out a future move.

But Koivu's injury, coupled with Wes Walz still being away from the team, has left the Wild with only three healthy centers for tonight in Eric Belanger, James Sheppard and Dominic Moore. The good news is that Parrish, who left Friday's game because of a strained back, practiced Sunday and is listed as probable for today.

But who will fill the gap at center? Coach Jacques Lemaire said it could be either Pierre-Marc Bouchard or Rolston in the short term.

And then, after tonight, what about Wednesday? Whether Ohlund plays or not, the possibility of retribution will surround that game.

After Friday's loss, Wild enforcer Derek Boogaard talked about Wednesday's rematch. "Their so-called agitators were taking liberties," said Boogaard, who missed Saturday's practice having a laceration on his elbow tended to. "As soon as I stepped on the ice [all game], they just sort of spread out and scatter in their holes almost. They don't want to come near me and talk to me. But they think they can slash and stick and punch our skill guys. I'm not going to stand for it."

  • related content

  • Wild Insider: Two for the money

    Sunday November 18, 2007

    A couple of important Wild veterans are headed toward free-agency next summer. Wise spending is the goal.

  • Suspension served, Hill now eager to join team

    Sunday November 18, 2007

    Wild defenseman Sean Hill has seen enough of assistant coaches Mario Tremblay and Mike Ramsey and strength coach Kirk Olson...

  • Gameday: Wild vs. Colorado

    Saturday November 17, 2007

    Preview: Both teams are coming off a Friday night thumping -- Colorado at the hands of Dallas -- so both...

  • WILD VS> COLORADO 5 p.m. today • Xcel Energy Center • TV: FSN (830-AM)
  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

New England 2/1/15 5:30 PM
Seattle
Detroit 16 2nd Qtr
Philadelphia 28
Portland 21 1st Qtr 0:01
Cleveland 31
Sacramento 6:30 PM
Toronto
Boston 7:00 PM
Minnesota
Dallas 7:00 PM
Houston
Denver 7:00 PM
New Orleans
Brooklyn 7:00 PM
Atlanta
Oklahoma City 7:00 PM
New York
Charlotte 7:30 PM
San Antonio
LA Clippers 8:00 PM
Utah
Washington 9:30 PM
Phoenix
Toronto 6:30 PM
New Jersey
Pittsburgh 7:00 PM
Washington
Chicago 9:30 PM
Los Angeles
Temple 25 1st Half 5:38
UCF 14
Winthrop 23 1st Half 6:03
Coastal Carolina 24
Lafayette 16 1st Half 6:35
Colgate 21
Northeastern 12 1st Half 7:20
Drexel 11
Wake Forest 21 1st Half 7:48
Florida State 12
Rhode Island 19 1st Half 6:55
Fordham 24
Delaware 29 1st Half 6:27
James Madison 21
South Carolina 19 1st Half 7:21
LSU 20
New Hampshire 19 1st Half 6:59
Maine 6
Seton Hall 28 1st Half 3:07
Marquette 25
Binghamton 20 1st Half 8:27
UMBC 10
American Univ 24 1st Half 6:51
Navy 22
Elon 12 1st Half 7:00
UNC-Wilmington 27
Wright State 28 1st Half 5:57
Oakland 19
Minnesota 20 1st Half 5:04
Penn State 28
Duquesne 15 1st Half 6:40
Richmond 35
SMU 15 1st Half 6:36
South Florida 18
Hartford 18 1st Half 6:17
Stony Brook 14
Albany 15 1st Half 4:11
Vermont 11
Hofstra 15 1st Half 6:17
William & Mary 42
UNC-Asheville 22 1st Half 5:53
Longwood 17
Radford 6:30 PM
Char Southern
Holy Cross 0 Postponed
Loyola-Maryland 0
Duke 0 1st Half 20:00
Notre Dame 0
Texas Tech 2 1st Half 19:15
Oklahoma 0
Oregon State 7:00 PM
Arizona State
Morehead State 7:00 PM
Austin Peay
Drake 7:00 PM
Bradley
Lehigh 7:00 PM
Bucknell
Rice 7:00 PM
Houston
Missouri State 7:00 PM
Illinois State
Loyola-Chicago 7:00 PM
Wichita State
Nebraska Omaha 7:00 PM
South Dakota St
Northern Iowa 7:05 PM
Southern Ill
Louisville 8:00 PM
Boston College
St Johns 8:00 PM
Creighton
East Carolina 8:00 PM
Memphis
Georgia Tech 8:00 PM
Miami-Florida
Miss State 8:00 PM
Ole Miss
Clemson 8:00 PM
NC State
Indiana 8:00 PM
Purdue
Kansas 8:00 PM
TCU
Oregon 9:00 PM
Arizona
Air Force 9:00 PM
San Jose St
Stanford 10:00 PM
Washington
Rider 56 FINAL
Siena 49
Dayton 76 FINAL
Richmond 62
Eastern Kentucky 53 FINAL
Jacksonville St 73
Saint Josephs 0 Postponed
Saint Louis 0
UMBC 26 1st Half 7:39
Binghamton 15
Akron 17 1st Half 5:26
Ohio U 32
Ball State 26 1st Half 6:14
Miami-Ohio 13
Memphis 16 1st Half 6:06
Cincinnati 14
East Carolina 8 1st Half 10:55
(2) Connecticut 29
Murray State 21 1st Half 3:40
Eastern Illinois 28
Kent State 24 1st Half 6:33
Central Michigan 24
UT Martin 34 1st Half 3:49
Tennessee St 24
Eastern Michigan 18 1st Half 9:58
Western Mich 23
Bucknell 18 1st Half 7:21
Lehigh 20
Indiana 12 1st Half 7:39
Michigan State 21
Colgate 29 1st Half 6:29
Lafayette 15
Fordham 21 1st Half 5:53
Davidson 17
Duquesne 19 1st Half 6:39
St Bonaventure 15
George Mason 22 1st Half 5:18
VA Commonwealth 27
Detroit 14 1st Half 4:51
Youngstown St 25
Army 0 Postponed
Boston U 0
Loyola-Maryland 0 Postponed
Holy Cross 0
SMU 7:00 PM
Tulsa
Oklahoma St 7:00 PM
Kansas State
West Virginia 7:00 PM
Texas Tech
Denver 7:00 PM
South Dakota
Northwestern St 7:00 PM
Central Arkansas
Austin Peay 7:00 PM
SIU-Edwardsville
Kansas 7:00 PM
Iowa State
Bowling Green 7:00 PM
Northern Ill
Penn State 7:00 PM
Minnesota
San Jose St 8:00 PM
Air Force
Boise State 8:00 PM
Colorado State
Utah State 8:00 PM
Wyoming
San Diego State 9:00 PM
Fresno State
Nevada 9:00 PM
UNLV
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: What chance does the Wild have of making the playoffs?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close
Minnesota Vancouver Hockey