Wild Tuesday: Koivu likely to play Thursday

TUESDAY’S STORY LINE: The flu bug that has been running through the Wild locker room hit captain Mikko Koivu on Tuesday.

The top line center missed practice, but Mike Yeo expects Koivu to travel with the team to Edmonton on Wednesday. The bug caused Justin Falk, Pierre-Marc Bouchard and goalie Niklas Backstrom to miss Sunday’s game against the Red Wings. 

Koivu battled Sunday, getting 20:51 of ice time and adding as assist in the game while he was already sick. Falk, Bouchard and Backstrom returned to practice Tuesday. With Koivu not at practice, Yeo was forced to mix up his lines. Mikael Granlund centered the top line with Zach Parise and Dany Heatley, and Yeo said his lineup for Thursday is in flux because of all the ill players.  

“We are going to go into tomorrow and see who is healthy,” Yeo said. “I don’t really want to talk about the lineup because, again, we’ve got guys that are sick right now. This was what we did for today.”

No matter who plays Thursday, the Wild will need to be prepared for a talented, fast and young Edmonton team.

“That is a very skilled team over there,” Yeo said. “Our total mindset for how we play the game, we have to make sure we are on the same page as far as what we are going to do without the puck, the physicality we want to bring, the way we take time and space, the way we play within our structure. We have to be committed to playing the game a certain way with the puck, too, and making sure it is a hard night for them.” 

BOUCHARD WELCOMES BABY: Pierre-Marc Bouchard and his wife welcomed their first child Monday night, a baby girl named Amelia.

SETOGUCHI FINED: Forward Devin Setoguchi was fined $8,108.11 for his high stick on Detroit’s Kyle Quincey on Sunday. 

HE SAID IT: “I am not here to talk excuses. I got a pass. I had my back turned, so I turned around to chip the puck. I knew he was coming. So I tried to counteract the hit and protect myself and hit back, and obviously I get my hands up and my stick up pretty high. By no means did I mean to hit him in the face. If you look at it in the replay, as soon as I make contact with his face I pull my elbows back and realize that. I never meant to cross-check him. You never want to hurt someone. That is not how I play or how I am. The fine is a fine, and that is what it is, but obviously it was incidental.” – Setoguchi on his fine and the play that led to it