Originally posted on Fox Sports North  |  Last updated 2/6/12
MONDAY'S STORY LINE:Darroll Powe summed things up succinctly Monday, noting that he and his Minnesota Wild teammates "have dealt with a lot already this season." The Wild have been through a lot of good and bad in the 2011-12 campaign. The bad, was a lost month from Dec. 14-Jan. 19; in that time, the team lost several key players to injury and put up awoeful2-10-4 record. On Dec. 14,the Wild sat atop the Western Conference. On January 19th, they had 51 points and sat in ninth place in the conference, on the outside looking in at a playoff spot. The stretch wasn't enviable, but the Wild learned from the tough times and the lessons learned can help them down the important stretch run into the playoffs. "No team goes through a season without adversity and when you do hit you have to learn from it," said Powe. "Later in the season when we hit rough patches we can bounce out of it quicker. I think it can only help us down the road," Powe noted. The lessons learned may have helped Minnesota bounce back quick from the heart breaking loss to Nashvillelast Tuesday. Minnesota started to get back on track with two big wins over Colorado and Dallas before the All-Star break. In the first game back after the break, Minnesota hit an immediate bump in the road, blowing a 4-1 lead to Nashville with under four minutes to go in the third period. The loss could have been devastating, but the Wild didn't let it get them down. "There is a lot of character in the room,"said Powe. That character showed in the two games following the Nashville contest. The Wild are 3-1-1 in their last five games and they are executing the system that made them so successful to start the season. "When we are playing our game and executing our systems -- and that has been what we have stuck to the last few games --it has been successful for us," added Powe. Minnesota will look to carry that successful play intoTuesday's game versus Columbus. The Wild are facing the Blue Jackets in two of the next three games. With 34 points, Columbus holds the worstmark in the NHL, but don't expect the Wild to take the faltering Blue Jackets lightly. Every game from here on out is a big one, as the Wild battle for a playoff spot. "We need points in every game here coming down the stretch," said Powe. One player who is getting closer to being ready to go is Mikko Koivu. Koivu, who has 33 points in 41 games this season engaged in contact drills in practice Monday. Koivu said he felt good and traveled with the team to Columbus. While there is still no timetable for his return, Koivu appears to be getting closer. "He had a good practice today; we have to see how he feels through the rest of this day and also into tomorrow," said coach Mike Yeo. HE SAID IT: "I know enough that he is a very intelligent hockey guy and knows the game well. I have always had a lot of respect both when I have worked with him in Pittsburgh and again last year here and now getting a chance to coach against him, I know that team is going to be very well prepared." Yeo on former Wild head coach and current Blue Jackets head coach Todd Richards
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