It took 20 games, but Mikko Koivu finally had his coming-out party. With Wild fans waiting patiently for the Wild captain to begin filling the net, with the media beginning to scrutinize and with Wild coach Mike Yeo doing everything in his power to alleviate the pressure by telling everyone he "cares" and "is working hard" and "helping us win," Koivu finally scored Saturday night. Not once. Not twice. But three times, the last being the unofficial hat trick by scoring in the shootout, to will the Wild to a 3-2 come-from-behind victory over the St. Louis Blues. "I mean, he was so good," said center Matt Cullen, who scored the deciding goal and improved to 4-for-4 in shootouts. "He really stepped up and took charge of the game and basically took over." "What more can you ask from your captain?" added defenseman Justin Falk. Koivu scored a dazzling shorthanded goal that tied the score in the second period, then forced overtime by scoring a power-play goal with 1 minute, 38 seconds left in the third to help the Wild win for a fifth successive time at home. "It's not about one guy or one line. It takes us all," Koivu said. "We've been winning lately, and that's a great feeling." Because both Philadelphia and Chicago lost on Saturday, the 12-5-3 Wild went to sleep Saturday on top of the NHL for the first time since Oct. 14, 2006, and on top of the Western Conference for the first time since Oct. 25, 2007. Saturday morning, Blues coach Ken Hitchcock went on and on about the Wild, saying the team never breaks, that it always hangs around.
Koivu and Wild are rewarded with shootout victory
Minneapolis Star Tribune | Nov 20