Chuck Fletcher, scouting the world junior championships, set his alarm so he could watch Tuesday’s Wild game at Columbus. The puck drop was 2:10 a.m. Helsinki time.
The Wild general manager opened his eyes at 2:20, looked at his phone and saw a text message from team massage therapist Travis Green that captain Mikko Koivu had been taken to the hospital.
Koivu was spitting up blood, so doctors and trainers wanted to make sure he had no issues with his internal organs.
“It was actually pretty quick before everything really started to check out OK,” Fletcher said.
Other than feeling sore from a violent collision with the end boards 48 hours earlier, Koivu was able to play Thursday night against the Philadelphia Flyers.
“I think you just want to know that everything is good and you’re healthy and that there’s no emergency,” said Koivu.
“It’s always scary when you don’t really have control and you go into the boards at top speed,” Koivu said. “I probably got lucky in a way that nothing more happened.”
Goalie Darcy Kuemper, who has missed six games because of a concussion, took part in Thursday’s morning skate.
“Now it’s just a matter of him getting the workload and getting back,” coach Mike Yeo said. “Busy stretch coming up. Pretty tough on [Devan Dubnyk] what he did last weekend, pretty impressive what he did, but it’s not ideal to have to throw a goalie in there four games in six nights all the time.”
Koivu, who captained Finland to gold at the 2011 world championships, was excited his country won gold at the world junior championships Tuesday.
“They were able to get the whole country behind them basically,” Koivu said. “It’s not always easy — especially at their age — to handle the pressure of playing at home. You want to win so bad, but I think they handled that very well.
“They had some tough moments in the tournament almost every game basically. But I think they were able to beat that. They got stronger and stronger and their confidence was high – you could see that. It was great to see.”
• Right wing Ryan Carter (hand) returned against the Flyers, but defenseman Nate Prosser (hand) missed his second game in a row. That meant Tyson Strachan made his home Wild debut. Winger Justin Fontaine was scratched.
• Iowa Wild defenseman Gustav Olofsson was named to the AHL All-Star Game.
• Yeo was excited Dubnyk was named to his first All-Star Game but felt bad for Koivu, Ryan Suter and Zach Parise. “In a normal year, we’d probably have two, maybe three guys,” Yeo said. “Suter, Mikko, Zach, all three of those guys are having great years.”