The big three Wild players participating in the 2008 IIHF World Championship in Canada did us proud. Brent Burns (Canada), Mikko Koivu (Finland) and Niklas Backstrom (Finland) all had stellar tournaments.
Burnsie was named Best Defenseman of the tournament, scoring 3 goals with 6 assists and a tournament best +14. His nine points tied him for third highest defenseman (along with my favorite LA King – Vote for Lubo!).
Looking at the Finns, Mikko Koivu got to play on a line with his big brother Saku and, like Burns, had 9 points (4 goals and 5 assists). His face-off win percentage was almost 60%, about 3% lower than his brother.
Wild goaltender Niklas Backstrom earned a shut-out in the bronze medal game against Sweden and had a 92.2% save percentage and a 2.11 goals against average for the tournament. He also played by far the most minutes of any goalie in the championship – 483:22.
Former Wild player Mattias Weinhandl also had a great tournament. The wiener was a +9 for Sweden, with 13 points (5 goals and 8 assists). Looks like he’s headed for Russia next year too.
Most importantly, no one seems to have been hurt. The future looks good for the Wild…Originally published by DK on May 20, 2008 at 8:00 am