Focus remains for Wild's Koivu

  • Article by: MICHAEL RUSSO , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 13, 2012 - 11:56 AM

Sidelined for nearly a month with a shoulder injury, Mikko Koivu is determined to get back on the ice.

hide

Mikko Koivu

Photo: John Ulan, Associated Press

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

Mikko Koivu is the Wild's go-to guy in every situation. He's supposed to be captaining this ship.

Yet, for a second consecutive season, the Wild is sinking down the stretch, and Koivu's been in the press box as the team drowns.

Last year it was a broken finger. This year it's a shoulder injury. And if you know how much Koivu despises losing, you can guess how useless he's feeling.

"Of course it's frustrating," said Koivu, who turned 29 Monday and talked for the first time since the Wild pulled him from the lineup Feb. 18.

Koivu was initially injured Jan. 14 in St. Louis on a check from Vladimir Sobotka. He missed eight games, but on Feb. 11, two games after returning, Koivu aggravated the left shoulder when tackled by then-Columbus Blue Jackets forward Jeff Carter.

He played two more games with soreness before the Wild sat him. Tuesday, when the Wild plays host to the Dallas Stars, Koivu will miss his 13th consecutive game and 21st in the past 25. This season's downfall began in mid-December when Koivu missed four games because of a knee injury.

"I'm not going to lie about it or make up any stories, but it is [frustrating]," Koivu said. "I just have to go forward. I can't really think about what's behind me. You've got to learn about it, and I did. I'm going to take that lesson with me for the future."

Koivu seemed to be referring to the fact he rushed back ahead of schedule because he felt pressure to help the struggling Wild at the time. He then got hurt again. Asked if that's what he meant, Koivu said, "I don't want to go into details."

Surgery a possibility

Koivu returned to practice Saturday. Doctors will examine him in the next couple days with the hope that he is cleared for contact. Koivu says he "definitely" plans to play again this season.

With the playoffs a pipe dream, though, one wonders if it would be smarter for Koivu to just shut things down for good, get his shoulder healthy and get ready for next season. After all, Koivu said he's not even sure yet if he'll need postseason surgery.

But Koivu says he wants to end on a good note.

"Individually you always want to try to do your best. I hate to say that. I think that's a cliché sometimes," Koivu said. "But I think I'm going to give everything that I have. I'm proud to be part of this team, part of this organization and that's the way it's going to be the rest of my career here.

"I don't care where we're at in the standings right now. It's a matter of pride and what you bring to the table. I don't care if it's practice or games, you've got to prepare and show everything that you have. That's what I'm here to do."

Despite being captain, Koivu has pretty much kept his distance from the team during his absence.

"You always want to be around the guys, but at the end you don't want to bother them," Koivu said. "Everybody prepares their own way, and when you're not playing, I don't want to bother the guys. I try to do everything I can to get back as soon as I can and help that way.

"You want to let the guys do their thing and give them the right to prepare their own way and trust that they do the job. Obviously if they need me, I'll try to help them, especially the younger guys. But I think at the end, you want to leave them the space to prepare for each and every game."

Thoughts strictly on Wild

Koivu wouldn't address whether he'll play in the world championships. He captained Finland to gold last year, and MTV-3 in Finland reported GM Jari Kurri plans to travel to Minnesota this weekend in an attempt to lure him back.

If he were to play, the optics might not be good with Wild fans.

"I don't want to talk about that stuff right now," Koivu said. "It's a matter of us getting better here as a team. That's where my thoughts are right now. We have a lot of games here to go.

"When you look at the standings, the frustration is there. That's obvious when you're not winning. You just have to climb out of it and turn this thing around. I believe there's a lot of things we can do right now and not wait, and show that we do battle every single day. At the end it's about getting better here."

  • related content

  • Chart: With and without Koivu

    Tuesday March 13, 2012

    A look at the Wild's record the past two seasons when Mikko Koivu is in the lineup and when he is not:

  • Unhappy Yeo sends players a message

    Tuesday March 13, 2012

    After a 4-3 loss to Calgary on Sunday it was back to basics for the Wild on Monday. There were passing drills, battle drills, wall play and puck support drills...

  • Wild-Dallas game preview

    Tuesday March 13, 2012

    Preview: The Wild is coming off a 4-3 loss to Calgary and has six regulation victories in its past 39 games, two in its past 18. It has lost three...

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

NY Mets - LP: B. Colon 2 FINAL
Washington - WP: T. Roark 4
Baltimore - WP: U. Jimenez 5 FINAL
NY Yankees - LP: B. McCarthy 4
Kansas City - WP: Y. Ventura 7 FINAL
Cleveland - LP: D. Salazar 1
Seattle - LP: F. Hernandez 2 FINAL
Toronto - WP: R. Dickey 10
Chicago WSox - LP: J. Petricka 3 FINAL
Detroit - WP: J. Nathan 4
Philadelphia - LP: C. Hamels 0 FINAL
Miami - WP: H. Alvarez 2
Pittsburgh - WP: G. Cole 3 FINAL
Atlanta - LP: A. Wood 2
Milwaukee - LP: M. Fiers 1 FINAL
Cincinnati - WP: J. Cueto 3
Tampa Bay - WP: A. Cobb 6 FINAL
Boston - LP: C. Buchholz 2
Houston - LP: B. Oberholtzer 1 FINAL
Texas - WP: N. Martinez 2
St. Louis - LP: P. Neshek 3 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - WP: Z. Rosscup 4
Arizona - LP: A. Chafin 3 FINAL
Minnesota - WP: K. Gibson 6
LA Angels - WP: W. LeBlanc 2 FINAL
Oakland - LP: S. Gray 0
San Francisco - LP: M. Bumgarner 2 FINAL
Los Angeles - WP: Z. Greinke 4
Colorado - WP: J. Nicasio 3 FINAL
San Diego - LP: D. Thayer 2
NY Giants 9/25/14 7:25 PM
Washington
Buffalo 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Houston
Green Bay 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Chicago
Tennessee 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Indianapolis
Carolina 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore
Detroit 9/28/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
Tampa Bay 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Miami 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Oakland
Jacksonville 9/28/14 3:05 PM
San Diego
Atlanta 9/28/14 3:25 PM
Minnesota
Philadelphia 9/28/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
New Orleans 9/28/14 7:30 PM
Dallas
New England 9/29/14 7:30 PM
Kansas City
Carolina 0 FINAL
Buffalo 2
Pittsburgh 0 FINAL
Columbus 2
Boston 2 FINAL
Montreal 3
Nashville 2 FINAL
Tampa Bay 4
Philadelphia 0 FINAL
Toronto 4
Detroit 1 FINAL
Chicago 2
San Jose 2 FINAL
Vancouver 4
Arizona 4 FINAL
Anaheim 0
Vancouver 2 FINAL
San Jose 5
Texas Tech 9/25/14 6:30 PM
(24) Oklahoma State
Appalachian St 9/25/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
(11) UCLA 9/25/14 9:00 PM
(15) Arizona State
Middle Tennessee 9/26/14 7:00 PM
Old Dominion
Fresno State 9/26/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico
Texas-El Paso 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(25) Kansas State
Tennessee 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(12) Georgia
Vanderbilt 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Kentucky
Wyoming 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(9) Michigan State
Northwestern 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
TCU 9/27/14 11:00 AM
SMU
Iowa 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
Tulane 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Rutgers
So Florida 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(19) Wisconsin
Colorado State 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Boston College
Western Mich 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Virginia Tech
Maryland 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Indiana
Akron 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Pittsburgh
Bowling Green 9/27/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
Arkansas 9/27/14 2:30 PM
(6) Texas A&M
Kent State 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Virginia
Western Ky 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Navy
Minnesota 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Wake Forest 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Louisville
FIU 9/27/14 2:30 PM
UAB
(1) Florida State 9/27/14 2:30 PM
NC State
Miami-Ohio 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Colorado 9/27/14 3:00 PM
California
Louisiana Tech 9/27/14 3:00 PM
(5) Auburn
Texas 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Kansas
Temple 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Connecticut
(16) Stanford 9/27/14 3:15 PM
Washington
TX-San Antonio 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Fla Atlantic
South Alabama 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Idaho
Cincinnati 9/27/14 5:00 PM
(22) Ohio State
Rice 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
Missouri 9/27/14 6:00 PM
(13) So Carolina
Boise State 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Air Force
North Carolina 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Clemson
Central Mich 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Toledo
Troy 9/27/14 6:00 PM
ULM
New Mexico St 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(17) LSU
Memphis 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(10) Ole Miss
Duke 9/27/14 6:30 PM
Miami-Florida
Texas State 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Tulsa
Washington St 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Utah
(8) Notre Dame 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Syracuse
(7) Baylor 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Iowa State
UNLV 9/27/14 7:00 PM
San Diego St
Illinois 9/27/14 8:00 PM
(21) Nebraska
Oregon State 9/27/14 9:30 PM
(18) USC
Nevada 9/27/14 9:30 PM
San Jose St
Montreal 9/26/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 9/26/14 9:00 PM
Edmonton
Hamilton 9/27/14 5:30 PM
Winnipeg
Brt Columbia 9/27/14 8:30 PM
Calgary
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: Which local pro team are you most excited about?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close