Jan 23, 2014, 10:37 AM EDT
Out since early January after undergoing ankle surgery, Minnesota captain Mikko Koivu is confident he’ll be ready to represent Finland at the Winter Olympics — even if he doesn’t play any games for the Wild prior to.
“It always matters (to play ahead of time), but if not so be it,” Koivu said, per the Pioneer Press. “I think in my situation being off right now, not playing any games, it’s going to be good for me to play some games and practice with the team first off.
“To play in high-level hockey (in the Olympics) is going to be good for me after the tournament even if I don’t play any games here. I think it’s good for all of us.”
Koivu, who underwent the surgery after blocking a shot on Jan. 4, was expected to be out at least a month but is reportedly progressing faster than expected. He was walking without the aid of crutches just 10 days after the procedure and hopes to join Wild practices next week.
Minnesota has seven games remaining until the Olympic break, so it’s possible Koivu could draw in for the final two — Feb. 4 versus Tampa Bay, and Feb. 6 versus Nashville.
Koivu is still Minnesota’s leading scorer on this season with 35 points — this despite missing the last eight games — and is projected to be a candidate for Finland’s captaincy at the Winter Games.
- WATCH LIVE: Ducks at Blackhawks, Western Conference Final Game 6 1
- As Bolts deal with illness, extra day of rest could prove beneficial 8
- Sounds like it’s Rundblad, not TVR, in for Chicago on defense 15
- On Kreider, and trying ‘to turn the other cheek’ 39
- Report: Sharks to name DeBoer head coach 17
- Video: Lundqvist helps lead Rangers back to New York for Game 7 6
- Lightning get taken to ‘school of hard knocks’ in third-period collapse 11
- A storm brewing: Rangers rally to force Game 7 with Lightning (Video) 11
- Video: Lundqvist stones Stamkos with left-pad save 0
- Bob Clarke really doesn’t care for tanking 38
- Kesler on wearing down Chicago: ‘No human can withstand that many hits’ (75)
- What’s wrong with Lundqvist? (70)
- From healthy scratch to hero: Vermette scores OT winner for Blackhawks (66)
- Fetisov wants to restrict young Russians from playing in the NHL (53)
- Babcock wants to ‘put Canada’s team back on the map’ (49)