Michael Russo has covered the National Hockey League since 1995. He has covered the Minnesota Wild for the Star Tribune since 2005, after 10 years of covering the Florida Panthers for the Sun-Sentinel. He uses “Russo’s Rants” to feed a wide-ranging hockey-centric discussion with readers, and can be heard weekly on KFAN (100.3 FM) radio and seen weekly on Fox Sports North.

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Brief Thursday update

Posted by: Michael Russo under Wild practice Updated: December 10, 2009 - 4:22 PM

Good afternoon from Calgary. Got to fly through Minneapolis this morning to finally see how much snow you all received.

Looked like a few flurries.

The Wild, 11-4-3 in its past 18, had an optional practice down at the Dome this afternoon. All the concussed guys are out obviously. Derek Boogaard practiced and, under Jacques Lemaire, would have been a guarantee to play against the Flames.

However, who do you take out? James Sheppard may be your candidate, but he was one of the Wild's best players last night at Colorado in a rebound from a below-average game at Phoenix.

Unless somebody else winds up sick or injured in the morning, it wouldn't surprise me if Boogaard didn't play because coach Todd Richards' M.O. has been not to change a lineup that won the previous game unless he absolutely has to.

One option could be to move Sheppard back to center and take out Nathan Smith, and then you can play the Boogeyman.

Since the lockout, the Wild's 1-13-1 here in Calgary. That's what I wrote about for Friday's paper.

Talk you after the two morning skates Friday.


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