Sounds like Koivu will play this evening when his Minnesota Wild host the Colorado Avalanche. According to the team’s official Twitter account, head coach Mike Yeo expected his captain to return after missing the past four games. Make sure to slot him into your lineup tonight.
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UPDATE 12/16/11: According to Michael Russo of The Star Tribune, Mikko Koivu will miss tomorrow’s game against the New York Islanders. Wild GM Chuck Fletcher is hopeful his star center can return prior to Christmas, meaning Koivu could miss up to the next four games. The captain did not skate today and is expected to concede his place in the lineup to Matt Cullen.
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Last night, in the Minnesota Wild’s 4-3 SO loss to the Chicago Blackhawks, many people questioned why Mikko Koivu did not take his customary turn during the shootout. As the team’s captain and top-line center, he is expected to get the call during the skills competition but instead watched Matt Cullen and Dany Heatley miss their respective opportunities.
Following the game, Michael Russo of The Star Tribune watched the tape and determined that the captain may have been reeling from a play in his final shift of overtime. After doing his due dilligence, Russo reported that Koivu was indeed confirmed as hurt and would be reevaluated by team doctors today. The injury is supposedly not too serious but it would be a big loss for the Wild.
Not only is Koivu their top line center and captain but he is the catalyst of the team’s offense. With Devin Setoguchi, Guillaume Latendresse and Pierre-Marc Bouchard all wounded, it will be increasingly difficult for coach Mike Yeo to find the necessary offense to win games.
Expect a further update on Koivu’s status. If injured, expect the Wild to play a tight, checking style in order to get a W which is good for Niklas Backstrom and Josh Harding and pretty much no one else in terms of fantasy hockey value.