Finland loses Mikko Koivu, Val Filppula for Sochi Olympics
Finland wasn't considered a gold medal favorite coming into the Sochi Games, but the country's history of disciplined team play and outstanding goaltending hinted at a team capable of coming home with some hardware.
Koivu injured his ankle in a Jan. 5 game against the Washington Capitals and underwent surgery the next day in an attempt to make it back on time to represent his homeland. He recently began skating with the Wild, but was not given medical clearance to return to game action.
Filppula's loss might be even more disappointing. The top Finnish scorer in the NHL with 20 goals and 41 points, he suffered a non-displaced fracture in his ankle during a game against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday night.
There's no way to sugarcoat these losses for the Finns. The duo was expected to center the team's top two lines. Now, Team Finland is left with Winnipeg's Olli Jokinen and Minnesota's Mikael Granlund as its best options down the middle. That won't cut it against the top teams in the tournament.naming Jarkko Immonen and Sakari Salminen