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Mikko Koivu ready to return after nearly two month absence

Mar 3, 2014, 12:22 PM EDT

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The Minnesota Wild still need every point they can get as they fight to hold onto one of the two Western Conference Wild Card spots, but help is on the way.

After missing nearly two months due to an ankle injury, Wild captain Mikko Koivu is ready to play tonight against the Calgary Flames.

“I’m very excited,” Koivu said, per the Wild’s Twitter account. “It’s been a long time. It’s been very frustrating.”

Although Minnesota has managed to get by without him, there’s no question that Koivu is critical to the franchise’s success. In addition to being the Wild’s leader in the locker room, he’s one of their best players offensively and on the draw. He also, as coach Mike Yeo put it, has a lot of intangible qualities that make the Wild a better team when he’s on the ice.

In the long run, Koivu is likely to center the top line, but for now he’s projected to play alongside Dany Heatley and Charlie Coyle.

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