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Continued: Recovery by Wild's Koivu puts him back in command

  • Article by: MICHAEL RUSSO , Star Tribune
  • Last update: April 2, 2014 - 9:36 AM

“That’s unfair,” coach Mike Yeo said. “They don’t see all the little things he does night in and night out to give you a chance to win. That’s what you ask for in a leader. This is a guy that’s never going to cheat, he’s always going to do it the right way to give his team the best chance to win.

“Winning is his priority. He wants to bring a championship to Minnesota, and that’s how he plays the game.”

Superiority down the stretch

Parise rolls his eyes at the criticism Koivu receives.

“People have their opinions on different people,” Parise said. “All I’ll tell you is he’s so important. We need him playing well and to be a great player for us to be a good team, and he’s played really well as of late.

“It’s hard coming back from an injury. It’s tough because of where everyone else is at in their season — 65, 70 games. You miss two months like Mikko, you’re way behind. Everyone is fresh and flying, so it’s tough to get back into a rhythm. But he’s back playing great for us.”

Koivu is excited and nervous, all at the same time, by the tight playoff race.

“Somebody tells you they’re not thinking about the standings and where you are, I think they’re lying,” Koivu said, smiling. “But this is what you want, where every single game matters. I think you really saw that [Saturday] in Phoenix.

“That was intensity, and it’s not about who scores the goal or who makes the big play. The big picture is how we played the game, and that was a good first step. Now we have to keep building our game.”

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    Wild-Card playoff pushWestern conferenceTeam Games left Points7. Wild 6 898. Dallas 7 859. Phoenix 6 8510. Vancouver 5 79Tuesday’s GamesDallas 5, Washington 0Winnipeg 2, Phoenix 1 (SO)N.Y. Rangers 3, Vancouver...

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