The Canadiens are in Minnesota tonight to take on the Wild. Saku Koivu returning from the flu and a groin injury will start after missing the last 5 games. His return is just in time to play against his younger brother Mikko for the first time ever. The younger Koivu has been impressive so far with Minnesota. He is a much different Koivu than we are familiar with, 6’2 and 200 lbs more of a straigh up power forward compared to his shifty play-making sibling.
Assuming Koivu is 100%, we are 1 game away from welcoming Alex Kovalev back to the lineup meaning our real team will be assembled again for the first time in 13 games. Yes, Radek Bonk is still missing but he never brought anything to the team anyway.
Cristobal Huet may get his first Montreal Canadiens career start as Jose Theodore is still suffering from pain and swelling on his bruised knee after taking a shot during the 5-3 loss to Edmonton.
Taking on his brother, Koivu should have something to prove and be on his game tonight – and when he is it usually elevates everyone else’s game a little higher.
If Garth Murray and the 4th line keep making good use of their limited ice time, they may see it increase while underachieving Mike Ribeiro warms the pine.