Minnesota Wild captain Mikko Koivu was forced out of Tuesday’s game against the Columbus Blue Jackets, but he could be sidelined longer following a scary collision with the boards.
Little more than a minute into Tuesday’s game, Koivu chipped the puck behind the Blue Jackets defense and gave chase into the Columbus zone. Koivu managed to get the puck past Blue Jackets defenseman David Savard, but once Koivu caught up to the puck and fired it toward the net, he was given a shove by Savard. The shove forced Koivu to go sliding into the boards back first and he looked to have been shaken up:
Though Koivu was slow to get up, he returned the Minnesota bench under his own power. Koivu didn’t take another shift in the game, however, and exited to the Wild’s dressing room. Before the second period began, the Wild announced via their Twitter account that Koivu had been taken to a local hospital.
There’s no update quite yet as to what exactly Koivu injured, but the Wild said they will provide more information as that becomes available.
If Koivu, 32, is sidelined for a significant period of time, it’ll be an incredible shame as the veteran was having one of the best season’s of his career. Through 38 games, he has 10 goals and 32 points and is on pace for a 22-goal, 69-point season. That would be his best campaign since 2009-10 when he scored 22 goals and 71 points.
UPDATE: The Wild announced post-game that Koivu was sent to a Columbus hospital for precautionary reasons, but the team has still not announced what Koivu was sent to hospital for. Following the Wild's victory over the Blue Jackets, the Minneapolis Star Tribune's Michael Russo reported that Minnesota coach Mike Yeo said he was "very hopeful" Koivu would be able to return to the lineup soon and that the injury wouldn't keep him out long-term. Yeo didn't offer an update on Koivu's ailment.