Koivu 'tirade' never happened

  • Article by: MICHAEL RUSSO , Star Tribune
  • Updated: November 23, 2011 - 10:32 PM

Mikko Koivu didn't tear the paint off the wall during a fiery first-intermission speech, but the captain stood up, talked up and backed it up by leading the Wild to a comeback victory over the St. Louis Blues on Saturday.

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Wild center Mikko Koivu

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Mikko Koivu didn't tear the paint off the wall during a fiery first-intermission speech, but the captain stood up, talked up and backed it up by leading the Wild to a comeback victory over the St. Louis Blues on Saturday.

"He didn't come in here and give an Al Pacino 'Any Given Sunday' speech," teammate Cal Clutterbuck said. "He just said, 'Let's go. We are better than the first period, we know we're better than the first period. Let's show it.'"

A few minutes later, Koivu scored the first of his three goals, including one in the shootout. Watching Koivu back up the talk gave the bench a jolt, Clutterbuck said.

"Especially because the guy is working hard all year and people have been on him about his play," Clutterbuck said. "He leads us every night. There's no question he's a more lead-by-example kind of guy. He speaks because he's the captain and he has to sometimes, but he's not a speaker. He's a go-getter.

"We follow his lead all the time, and [Saturday] was just an example how good he is at leading by example."

Baby steps

Defenseman Mike Lundin practiced with the Wild for a second consecutive day after his two-game conditioning stint with Houston. He hasn't played this season because of a back injury.

"Little bit awkward," Lundin said of his first game Friday since the Eastern Conference Finals in May. "The head and the feet and the hands weren't all on the same page. I felt a little sloppy."

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