When Erik Haula, Nino Niederreiter, and Jason Pominville hop over the boards for shifts together, they communicate in English. It's none of their first-language, but a common denominator for the three forwards.
Well that, and since the line was formed nine games ago, it can't stop scoring, and can't stop doing things to help the Minnesota Wild win.
"I feel like we talk a lot on the bench to support each other and try to get better as a line," Niederreiter said after the line scored four times on Tuesday to help the Minnesota Wild defeat the Colorado Avalanche, 6-3. "Tonight we talked beforehand of what we had to do, our game plan, and we stuck with it the whole game."
Koivu has previously played in 13 international tournaments for Finland. He captained his country in both the 2011 and 2012 IIHF World Championships. Koivu led the team in scoring in 2012, and Finland captured gold in 2011, defeating Sweden 6-1 in the tournament's championship game.
A participant in the last World Cup of Hockey, Koivu won a silver medal with Finland in 2004, and also earned silver medals at the 2006 Olympics, and the 2007 World Championships.
As David Jones watched and waited on Monday to see if the Calgary Flames would trade the 31-year-old forward, time was winding down.
As the 3 p.m. ET deadline approached, Jones had yet to be moved, while the Flames had already shipped defenseman Kris Russell and forward Jiri Hudler in separate moves.
"My family and I were just hoping I would get a chance to go to a team that's going to make a run for it," Jones said, holding court in Saint Paul on Tuesday for the first time. "Three o'clock came and went, and I got a call a little bit afterwards that I got moved."
With the second wild card spot into the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs up for grabs, the Minnesota Wild will host the Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday in Saint Paul, but still be without two key pieces in its lineup.
Defenseman Jonas Brodin, who sustained a broken foot on Feb. 4, and has missed the past 12 games, was activated off Injured Reserve on Monday, but will not play on Tuesday in the key Central Division showdown.
Forward Jason Zucker, who has missed the past three games with a concussion, is also getting closer to a return, but remains on Injured Reserve, and will also be out.
In the 2012-13 season, Niklas Backstrom led all NHL goalies with 24 wins. He started 42 games over a 98-day stretch, and helped lead the Wild into the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Backstrom holds just about every record there is for the Wild when it comes to goaltenders, but his workload in that shortened season three years ago still sticks out to General Manager Chuck Fletcher.
"He honestly almost played every game for us that year, and single-handedly got us in the playoffs," Fletcher said. "Zach and Ryan were great, Mikko was great, but this guy played every night. It was a truncated schedule a short season, we had a lot of back-to-backs, a lot of three-in-fours, and he won a lot of games for us."
The Wild made three moves on Monday prior to the 3 p.m. ET trade deadline, acquiring forward David Jones from the Calgary Flames in exchange for goalie Niklas Backstrom.
Minnesota also added minor league forward Scott Sabourin from the Los Angeles Kings, and minor league defenseman Conor Allen from the Ottawa Senators, sending forwards Brett Sutter and Michael Kernanen the other way.
General Manager Chuck Fletcher said the Wild's play over the past three weeks, which he feels has improved, coupled with Minnesota getting healthier impacted his approach to the deadline.
It's game number 64 on the schedule, but the Minnesota Wild knows its Tuesday showdown with the Colorado Avalanche will feel like game number 83, and go a long way in determining if there is one.
"That’s a playoff game," Devan Dubnyk said, after making 17 saves on Sunday to draw the Wild two points closer to Colorado. "That’s going to be a lot of fun. It’s going to be an opportunity for us to get back in a playoff spot. You don’t have to say much more than that. We’re going into a game against a team that we’ve had some pretty good battles against."
A quick glance at the standings will support Dubnyk's analysis, and also call to attention the importance of the Wild and Avalanche's latest tilt in Saint Paul.
It's been a season of milestones for Minnesota Wild captain Mikko Koivu, and on Sunday against the Florida Panthers, Koivu's name will again jump to the top of the Wild's record books.
Koivu enters Sunday tied with Nick Schultz atop Minnesota's all-time games played list. A mainstay in the Wild's lineup, Koivu is in his 11th season in the State of Hockey, will become Minnesota's true iron man during the Wild's Sunday matinee.
Earlier this season, the Wild honored Schultz — now a member of the Philadelphia Flyers — for approaching his 1,000th career game. Schultz accomplished the milestone two games after his return to Saint Paul in January.
EDINA -- The Minnesota Wild returned to the State of Hockey with a full complement of skaters at practice on Saturday at Braemar Arena.
The State of Hockey is definitely represented in the City of Brotherly Love.
Megan Shay is from Mahtomedi, Minn., but now lives in Philadelphia after attending Villanova, and is currently nearing a Masters of Physician Assistant degree from University of Sciences.