Originally posted on Fox Sports North  |  Last updated 3/22/12
THURSDAY'S STORY LINE: The Wild will get a big boost Thursday night against Calgary with the return of captain Mikko Koivu, and his teammates know that better than anyone. "It is huge," center Kyle Brodziak said. "Everybody knows how valuable to the team he is on the ice, but what people don't see is his value off the ice. He is a leader on our team. In between periods, practice days. It is great having him back, and everybody is going to be happy." The Wild are already happy after their 2-0 victory over Vancouver on Monday and believe it is something they can build on. "That was a big game for us," forward Darroll Powe said. "We got back to playing the way we were playing at the beginning of the year, which was tight defensively, and made the most of our opportunities." Coach Mike Yeo believes his team put itself in position to win long before the puck dropped Monday. "We spent a lot of time talking about preparation," he said. "And it is not an easy thing when things haven't gone well. Preparation is not just a matter of telling yourself that you want to play really well. It is a matter of concentrating on the things that you have to do in that game and putting those thoughts in your head so you are ready to go out and execute them." They Wild were strong on defense against the high-powered Canucks and will attempt to execute the same game plan Thursday night against the Flames. "We talked about all the little details," Brodziak said. "Playing strong defensively first. Not giving up opportunities and letting our offense come from that. . . . I don't think we really gave too many high-quality chances, and I thought the battle level was really high and we won a lot of battles. It is a key to victory, and we have to do the same tonight." HE SAID IT: "The last game showed we can play any team in this league. Beating Vancouver, 2-0, should give us a lot confidence going forward here. We have 10 more games to go and we have our goals in the room of what we want to do in the last push here. Obviously, not the spot we want to be, but all we can do is play as good as we can as hard as we can the next 10 games and see where we are at after that." Koivu on finishing the season strong
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