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Wild's Koivu staying optimistic despite slow start

by Dan Rosen

NEW YORK -- Minnesota Wild captain Mikko Koivu is trying to remain calm, confident and somewhat optimistic even though he has one goal and no assists through seven games this season.

He had 54 points on 11 goals and 43 assists in 65 games last season.

"Individually I feel good. As a line we've been playing good," Koivu said Monday prior to the Wild's 5-4 loss to the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden where he and his linemates, Charlie Coyle and Thomas Vanek, were shut out again.

Koivu's line has combined for three goals and six assists in seven games. Coyle has two goals and four points. Vanek has four assists, but he's still trying to score his first goal in a Wild uniform. Koivu has one goal on 16 shots.

The Wild play Tuesday at TD Garden against the Boston Bruins (7 p.m. ET, NBCSN).

"We've been creating a lot, having chances, but it just hasn't gone in," Koivu said. "With experience and the years that I have up to this point, if we didn't create or if we didn't have chances I'd be worried, but as long as we're doing that you can't get frustrated [seven] games into the season. Do I want to score more? Of course, but you can't change the way you play. It's going to bring you success."

Koivu, Vanek and Coyle had several quality scoring chances early in the game Monday before the wheels fell off and the Wild allowed five goals in the third period. The problem is they only generated four shots on goal and five total shot attempts.

Koivu played 8:46 on the power play and had one shot on goal. The Wild's power play is 0-for-24 this season, which is a major contributing factor to Koivu's miniscule stat line.

"Of course you think about it, but [against the Tampa Bay Lightning] I had a goal that shouldn't have gone in and it went in. I've had better chances than that," Koivu said. "It's a tricky thing, but as long as you feel good and as long as you're playing good hockey as a team, as a line, individually sooner or later it's going to go in. That's what I believe."


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