ST. PAUL, Minn. - Minnesota Wild centre Mikael Granlund likely will return to action for the playoffs, after a hit to the head kept him out for the last six games of the regular season.
Coach Mike Yeo said after practice Tuesday that Granlund "looks good and feels good" after missing the last two weeks. The Wild play at Colorado on Thursday in Game 1 of their first-round series.
Granlund would return to the second line, between Matt Moulson and Jason Pominville. The 22-year-old had a breakout season with eight goals and 33 assists in 63 games.
Goalie Darcy Kuemper practiced with the team Tuesday for the first time since he suffered an upper-body injury in the pregame skate March 31 at Los Angeles, the same day Granlund was hurt. Kuemper would back up Ilya Bryzgalov.
For six months, it's a really good accomplishment. But as soon as April [11, the end of the regular season] comes around, no one thinks about the regular season anymore. For six months, it's a real battle to get into the playoffs in the NHL these days. There are a lot of good teams, and it takes consistency over a long time.
— Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau on clinching a playoff berth after a win against the Islanders on Saturday