Wild 3, Oilers 0; Koivu out with a knee injury

Posted on March 22nd, 2009 – 12:43 PM
By Brian Stensaas

 I keep a running log of game notes on my computer when I’m here at Xcel Energy Center. I typed exactly this when a member of the Wild PR staff came around to say Mikko Koivu was out with a knee injury:

“9 out with knee inj. Ut oh.”

This is not a “lower body” injury as the Wild loves to use when it wants to get none too specific about an injury to a player. This is an all-out “knee” injury. And you have to wonder that because the team was so quick to reveal just that, how damaging it is.

We asked to speak with assistant GM Tom Lynn today (he generally deals with media on injury stuff) and were told only that the info on Koivu is that he will be reevaluated Monday.

Just the Wild’s luck. It gets Marian Gaborik back, crawls to within one point of a playoff spot with a nice, solid shutout victory over the Oil and now this.

I think the biggest clue that this is something serious for Koivu came from coach Jacques Lemaire. He said of Koivu that “losing him, it’s a huge loss for our team.”

Does that sound like a coach that expects a 62-point scorer to return anytime soon?

The danger in all this speculation is that it’s purely guessing right now. So perhaps I’ll stop there.

As I said, good complete win for the Wild. After the first period, anyway. Pierre-Marc Bouchard’s little backhand shot on Dwayne Roloson with 1:01 left in the first period was just Minnesota’s second shot on goal in the period. I know this was a weekend matinee, but it sure looked like the Wild was stuck in rush hour traffic at the start of this one.

What else? Dan Fritsche and James Sheppard both played great games, assisting on Owen Nolan’s two goals. Fritsche was right there with Nolan in front of the net for the first goal. And how pretty was that pass from Sheppard on Nolan’s second?

How vital will these guys’ play be if indeed Koivu is out? Wait – no more speculation. Got it.

A night after Vancouver scored on its own goal, today Edmonton did it when Tom Gilbert’s attempt at clearing the zone instead clicked off San Gagner’s skate and right on by Roloson. Hopefully this sort of thing is done making its way through the Northwest Division, eh?

OK – enough from me. Until tomorrow, that is. I will be back here at 11am for practice, where we should all get an update on Koivu. Russo is then with you for the four-game road trip back to New Yawk before zooming West.

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OK – let’s get a game thread going.

Marian Gaborik – as expected – is in for this afternoon’s game. So is Derek Boogaard.

Colton Gillies, Craig Weller, Brent Burns, Peter Olvecky and Marek Zidlicky are out.

No real reaction from the fans when No. 10 took the ice for warm-ups. But then again, there’s a good bit of heavy metal music blaring through the speakers. So we’ll wait and see how the reaction REALLY is when he takes the ice for his first shift.

UPDATE: Gaborik will start, playing on a line with Mikko Koivu and Antti Miettinen

Big game for the Wild – to say the least. Puck drops just after 2pm.

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