Minnesota Wild captain, Mikko Koivu left the ice in the third period after taking the brunt of contact from Mark Giordano’s late hit through his knee.
The game between the Minnesota Wild and Calgary Flames seemed to devolve in the third period, what with this knee hit to Mikko Koivu and then Matt Dumba’s big hit later on, that saw him singled out by Ryan Lomberg immediately after.
The check from the Calgary Flames captain certainly appeared to have dangerous intent, given that Mikko Koivu appeared to have made it past him before he decided to stick out his leg. That leg made direct contact with the Minnesota Wild captain’s knee and sent him crashing to the ice.
It’d seem we’re not the only ones that saw it that way. The Minnesota Wild head coach, Bruce Boudreau certainly seems to think it was a blatant move.
Wild fans might recall a similar knee-on-knee contact between Matt Cooke and Tyson Barrie of the Colorado Avalanche in 2014. That saw Cooke suspended for seven games, despite there appearing to be far less intent than in this example.
Mark Giordano blatantly extends his leg with the intention of making contact. Cooke simply didn’t move out-of-the-way in time.
Now, I’m not necessarily saying that the Calgary Flames should lose their captain for seven games, nor should an example that is now four years old have too much bearing on this particular incident, but the rules are the rules. If you’ve judged a similar hit that way in the past, really you should be judging it the same way now.
On the play, Mikko Koivu left the ice after 6:17 of the third period whilst Giordano was sent to the box for tripping. The fact he got punished in game-time would make a better case for the Department of Player Safety to lay down the law further.
Especially if Mikko Koivu happens to be injured enough not to appear for the Minnesota Wild for a few games.
If that’s the case, I think the fair suspension is however many games that Koivu misses. An eye for an eye, right? Hopefully he’s back against Edmonton on Friday night, but I’m not hedging my bets.