Craig Rivet admits to seriously injuring Saku Koivu in 2006 by pushing him at a hotel

Jeff Drouin
April 23, 2022  (12:42)

Everyone remembers that in the early 2000s, captain Saku Koivu and defenseman Craig Rivet were great friends.

Even if they were not unanimous in the locker room, the two Canadiens players brought a lot to the team on the ice, but their friendship could have been detrimental to the team's results.
By the way, on this subject, Jérémie Lussier of Danslescoulisses.com reports a tasty anecdote that Rivet told recently on the Spittin' Chiclets podcast.
During the 2006 playoffs, the Habs were playing the Carolina Hurricanes and the two teammates were in the hotel before Game 2 of the series. Their rooms were facing each other and right in the middle of them was the bathroom. They went to eat their pre-game meal and returned to their room. Rivet explained afterwards that he and Koivu decided to race to the bathroom.
"You know, after a pregame meal, you have to relieve yourself. We're each talking to each other in our doorways, naked, and all of a sudden, I see Saku have an idea in his head, which was the same as mine: go to the bathroom before going to sleep. So he starts sprinting down the hallway and I do my best to keep up with him, but he beats me to the corner of the bathroom and I absolutely took him down. It was one of my best checks of the season, I completely crushed him against the toilet bowl."

Unfortunately, the Habs captain had hurt himself pretty bad
and let's just say that what happened next wasn't very reassuring for the former Canadiens defenseman when Koivu got up.
As soon as he turned around, you couldn't see his butt. His butt was covered in blood. I'm not talking about a little blood. You could see absolutely nothing of his butt because it was completely covered in blood."

Rivet realized that Koivu had a giant cut on his back because a piece of porcelain had sliced him deeply during the accident.
That's when the trainer arrived and went to drive Koivu back to the hospital. A little later, when the team had made the bus trip without their captain, Rivet found his teammate sitting on a table near the infirmary.
"I go up to Saku and ask him, "Hey buddy, how are you?" He tells me he can't bend over, can't touch his toes, and has between 30 and 40 stitches in the injury site. No one knew about this. NO ONE."

Despite the pain, Koivu had played in Game 2 of the series against the Hurricanes, won by the Habs 6-5 in the second overtime period on a goal by Michael Ryder on assists from Chris Higgins and... Saku Koivu.
But in the next game, bad luck struck number 11 again, when he took a stick from Justin Williams directly to his eye and had to forfeit the rest of the series, which the Hurricanes won in six games.
Going back to that rather unusual story, Rivet laughingly admitted that he should never reveal it and that Koivu would probably be furious to hear it.
"Saku is going to kill me. We were supposed to keep this story to ourselves until the grave."

After the 2006 playoffs, Koivu played three more seasons with the Habs, while Rivet was traded less than a year later to the San Jose Sharks in a trade that continues to please Habs fans.
To listen to the episode where the former Canadiens defenseman tells this tasty anecdote, click below.

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Craig Rivet admits to seriously injuring Saku Koivu in 2006 by pushing him at a hotel

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