At 38, Saku Koivu is past his prime and on the final slope of an exemplary NHL career.
Or is he? The veteran Ducks center is doing a fine job of turning back the clock.
Koivu's torrid start with four goals and nine assists puts him right behind fellow aged one Teemu Selanne for the team scoring lead and his overall two-way play has arguably made him the Ducks' best forward since opening night.
"I don't know but I hope he doesn't stop," Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said. "It's good. We need that."
Boudreau said Koivu's production might be surprising but "not his play." Koivu embraced the coach's move to put him on the third line with Andrew Cogliano and Dan Winnik instead of viewing it as a slight.
"I think you try to prove to everybody every time you play," Koivu said. "It's a little bit of a different situation. Before the first game, our line wasn't expected to play as much as with Bobby (Ryan) and Teemu (Selanne). It's obvious that these guys have to bring some offense for our team.
"So in that sense, it was kind of a new situation and a challenge in a way. But I think we took it in a positive way instead of a negative way. We said if we work together as a unit, for sure some good is going to happen. So far, it's going well."
Boudreau isn't surprised by how Koivu responded to the change.
"He's just a hard-working, very intelligent player," he said. "And he started off from the very first day. Him and Cogs and Danny got along. I think it really helped the first two games to get off to that really good start and he's been keeping it going ever since."
Being able to slot Koivu in on the third line has deepened their lineup as the Ducks filled the gaping No. 2 center hole by moving Ryan to the middle.
Koivu takes positive approach
Orange County Register | Feb 13