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Wild's Koivu out at least 1 week after taking stick hit to leg

11/19/2007 - NHL Mikko Koivu Minnesota Wild + more

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Minnesota Wild center Mikko Koivu will
miss about a week with a cracked bone in his left leg, the result
of a vicious, stick-swinging hit by Vancouver's Mattias Ohlund.

Koivu was injured in the third period Friday night after getting
whistled for an elbowing penalty. Ohlund responded by swinging his
stick and slashing Koivu on the left leg, an action that could earn
Ohlund a suspension from the NHL, which has been cracking down on
hits deemed unnecessary or dirty.

The Wild were furious at the attack on Koivu, who has been
arguably the team's best player so far this season with stars
Marian Gaborik and Pavol Demitra struggling with groin injuries.
Koivu leads the team with 11 assists and 16 points and has shown
signs of evolving into a dominant center.

Wild enforcer Derek Boogaard said he wasn't "going to stand for
it," and looked forward to a rematch against the Canucks in St.
Paul on Wednesday night.

"It was a two-handed baseball swing. Obviously a slash like
that, you expect to see at least a five-game suspension," Boogaard
said.

Losing Koivu is a big blow for the center-starved Wild, who
already are without Wes Walz. The gritty veteran was granted a
leave of absence from the team for unspecified reasons and is
thought to be contemplating retirement.

That leaves them with three healthy centers -- Eric Belanger,
James Sheppard and Dominic Moore.