Koivu sustained a broken ankle during a game Saturday against the Washington Capitals, though he did finish the game. This injury puts his ability to play for Finland in the 2014 Sochi Olympics in jeopardy. Koivu was a favorite to be named captain for his country.
It is also a huge blow for the reeling Wild, who have stumbled since a 13-4-4 start. Part of the issue has been the team's declining possession numbers, and another problem has been injuries, most recently an illness keeping surprising star goaltender Josh Harding out of the lineup.
Koivu leads the Wild with 35 points (eight goals) in 44 games this season. Minnesota began Monday tied with the Phoenix Coyotes for the final wild card spot in the Western Conference, but the Coyotes have three games in hand.
Life's about opportunity and how you respond to that opportunity, and obviously he must have some swagger about him, some confidence about him, because he was solid. He made some good saves. He was 6-foot-3 on every shot, which is a good thing for a goalie. He played well. We got a win.
— Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock on rookie goaltender Garret Sparks, who made 24 saves in his first NHL start, a 3-0 win vs. Oilers
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