Q & A With Mikko Koivu
Wild captain Mikko Koivu became the franchise’s all-time leading scorer on March 18 against the New York Islanders. With a three-assist effort, he passed Marian Gaborik as the club’s all-time point leader. In nine seasons, Koivu has amassed 127 goals 311 assists for 437 points, and counting. He spoke to Wild.com Managing Editor Mike Doyle about setting the record.
Well first off, congratulations on becoming the Wild’s all-time leading scorer. What does it mean to you?
It means a lot. Obviously, I’ve played with a lot of great players, who have helped since I’ve gotten here. Hopefully I’ve helped them too. It’s a great honor.
As you were getting closer, were you aware that you were creeping up on the mark? You were two points behind Gaborik’s total for a couple of games…
No, I didn’t know that actually. I knew that going into the season, someone mentioned that I might be close. Then (I) got injured and I didn’t really think about that. But right after, on the bench someone mentioned that it did happen, so I was a little surprised.
Breaking the record in a win with the team battling for playoff positioning had make it a little more special…
Oh, for sure. That wins makes it possible to enjoy it a little bit, too. It would’ve been even better to be able to do it in front of the home fans, but we got the win and help contribute to it. Overall, the game was a great team effort.
It was kind of weird how it happened, on the Fontaine goal. (The refs) had to view the replay and, at first, they didn’t even credit an assist. What was that like, did you even know it was a goal?
I didn’t know it went into the net; I didn’t even think to ask for a replay to be honest with you. It happened so fast and I was sure it was the crossbar. We even talked about it on the bench, what a great shot, post and post. Then they announced it went in and at that point I didn’t know about the record. But what a great feeling once I did and a great moment.
The assist that tied it was a very Mikko Koivu-like play. You’re on the penalty kill, steal the puck, and then head man it to Clayton Stoner coming out of the box. What was going through your mind when you saw Stoner go in and score that goal?
It was great, great move by him. But right after, I wanted to make sure he was all right after going into the boards. But it was a great finish by him. It’s not easy when you have a guy on you, and defensemen are not usually in a breakaway situation, but he handled it very well and I was happy for him.
Throughout the course of your career, what sticks out the most?
There are always moments that you really enjoy, but there are down moments as well. It’s part of hockey, the game and it’s part of life. There are moments, like goals, or the first game or first playoff game, and things like that. But the biggest thing is always, for a hockey player, is winning and being part of a winning team.