Until Tuesday night, Mikko Koivu hadn’t scored a goal in 19 straight* regular season games dating back to last season. He did have 5 assists (2 on the power play) before the 59-minute mark of the 3rd period in Detroit when he tipped a Justin Falk shot from the point to tie the game at 1 and send it into OVERTIME!!! Free hockey! YESSS!
*If you want to be technical, it was 19 games, 66 minutes and 46 seconds. Mikko’s last goal was on March 20th in an 8-1 shellacking at the X! His goal made it 7 to ONE at the 12:14 mark of the 3rd period. NO SHUTOUT FOR YOU, Mr. Price! (It was actually Alex Auld in goal but Mr. Auld sounded dumb to me.) I was at that game with my friend who likes the Habs. BAH! It was beyond ugly!
Once the monkey was off his back, Mikko Koivu went into beast mode! Maybe this was due to receiving a big hit from Johan Franzen in the 3rd period but something woke up Kaptain Koivu. Mikko gets more aggressive when he gets mad! It’s really a beautiful thing to watch.
After the 3rd interference penalty, and the second goaltender interference penalty, from Detroit, the Wild went on their 8th power play of the game and this didn’t appear to be a good thing as the previous 7 attempts lacked power and play. The Wild were 5-40 on the season and in a 2-27 power play slump before the night began.
With the Wild on a 4-on-3 power play in overtime, Mikko Koivu gets his shot from the top of the right circle gets blocked to the half-wall. Koivu lays out Niklas Kronwall in a physical battle for the puck, takes it to the slot, passes it back to Setoguchi on the right side of the net who takes a quick shot, gets a quick rebound and throws it into the net for the game-winner! You could say Mikko used the legendary “exploding shoulder!”
Detroit fans unleash the boos wanting a penalty for Koivu “Kronwalling” Niklas Kronwall or were they saying ‘GUUUUUUUUUU-chi? Or maybe it was Koi-vuuuuuuuuuuuuuu? NO PENALTY! Just a great play by the captain and leader of the Minnesota Wild! Niklas Kronwall got Mikko Koivued!
Obviously the funny (or best) thing about the hit is that Niklas Kronwall does this to other players all the time, thus the term, Kronwalled. So to see & hear Detroit fans boo when it happens to their guy is kind of ironic and kind of hypocritical.
Could this send Mikko Koivu on a tear?
Now this was probably the biggest play of the game because it was the game-winning play but Josh Harding stole the show and has now beaten Detroit in 2 straight games making his record 2-0-1 (W-L-OTL) against them this season with a 1.30 GAA (4 goals against in 3 games (all starts) and 185 minutes) and .965 save percentage (110 saves on 114 shots against) including one shutout. His career numbers against Detroit before this season are a 2-4-1 (W-L-OTL) with a 3.59 GAA (24 goals against in 8 games (7 starts) and 401 minutes) and a .901 save percentage (218 saves on 242 shots against.)
That’s quite a turnaround but Detroit isn’t playing that well right now and the Wild are getting Mike Yeo’s system down and playing well defensively. Also, it’s strange to play the Detroit Red Wings 3 times in the first 12 games of a season. It may be strange but it’s nice to see Harding have some success after the tough season he had last year.
The Wild get the Canucks tonight! Harding will be ‘tending the net again! He is on fire right now. It will be interesting to see how the Wild come to play against Vancouver.
Fraser: Analyzing Mikko Koivu’s Hit on Niklas Kronwall – (TSN.ca – Kerry Fraser) – 11/2/2011
Koivu Hits, Setoguchi Scores – (Kukla’s Korner – Paul) – 11/2/2011
Mikko Koivu Kronwalling Niklas Kronwall – (FirstRoundBust.com – Nate W.) – 11/2/2011
Rulebook: Mikko Koivu’s Hit on Niklas Kronwall - (thehosers.com – Colin Bruckel) – 11/2/2011
Let’s Go WILD!
BRING THE CLUTTER!
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