Recent content from Michael Russo
When you are 2-9-1 in the past 12 games and 3-10-1 in March after not so long ago leading the Western Conference, sometimes you have to grasp for positives.
Erik Haula, who has one point in his last 14 games, bit his tongue the best he could after Sunday's loss when asked about his reduced playing time.
A scoreless tie after one period became a 4-0 deficit in the second. The result was the Wild's 10th loss in 13 games in March. But the team did clinch a playoff berth when the Kings lost Saturday night.
Burnsville's Brock Boeser signed his contract with Vancouver after North Dakota lost to Boston University in the NCAA West Regional on Friday. Boeser scored the winning goal for the Canucks.
With a playoff spot in reach, the Wild on Thursday turned pucks over, played sloppy in its own zone, overpassed and didn't convert on scoring chances in a 3-1 loss to the Flyers.
There were no new injuries, no forwards playing defense and no lineup changes from master shuffler Bruce Boudreau at Wednesday's Wild practice.
After the Wild ended its five-game losing streak with a 3-2 victory over San Jose, coach Bruce Boudreau said he still needed more evidence of improvement.."Anybody can do anything once," he said.
In the midst of marring what a month ago looked like a banner-raising season, the Wild needs goalie Devan Dubnyk to return to his earlier-season form.
In front of a season-high crowd at Xcel Energy Center vs. the Rangers, the Wild held a brief lead but could not hang on and now sit five points back of the Blackhawks.
After missing three games and not playing in eight days because of strep throat, Martin Hanzal returned Saturday.
Once a fast, structured team that was at the top of the Western Conference in goals, goals against, victories and points, the Wild's game has deteriorated.
Struggling Carolina shut down a lackluster effort from the Wild, which has now lost six of eight games as the season hits its home stretch.
In the midst of a busy stretch of 20 games in the season's final 35 days, Bruce Boudreau said he thinks the Wild is cracking because of fatigue and lack of practice time.
Fourteen years after being drafted second overall, Eric Staal will become the first member of the loaded 2003 class to play 1,000 games in an NHL uniform.
The Wild on Tuesday lost for the fifth time in seven games, and coupled with Chicago's victory over Montreal fell out of the Western Conference and Central Division lead by one point.
Wild defenseman Ryan Suter set up a behind-the-scenes tour of the U.S. Capitol building for himself, teammates Eric Staal, Jason Pominville and Jared Spurgeon and video coach Jonas Plumb.
Conference leaders hit skids at the same time, fueling game's urgency.
For the first time this season, the No. 1 goalie got an early exit from a hockey game after allowing goals on Chicago's first two shots before an eventual 4-2 loss.
Martin Hanzal became the latest Wild player to be struck by a virus crawling through the team. His status for Tuesday's game in Washington is uncertain.
Beating Chicago would give the Wild a boost toward a division title and potential home ice vs. the Blackhawks.
Some began to mutter that there should be a break-the-plane rule because of the number of close calls on goal reviews.
With psyches fresher than their legs, Wild tops Panthers.
Against Florida, the veteran had an assist, three shots, five hits, 12 faceoff wins and a drawn penalty.
Looking slow and discombobulated, the Wild is suddenly in the midst of something that had become foreign this season: a losing streak.
The lacrosse-style goal that Mikael Granlund scored in the semifinals of the 2011 world championships still lives in infamy in his native Finland.
The Wild, healthy again after mumps outbreak, played playoff-caliber defense in retaking conference, division leads.
During a touching news conference three hours before Sunday's 3-1 win over the San Jose Sharks, the Wild signed 16-year-old Carter Casey of Breckenridge, Minn., to a one-day professional contract in accordance with the collective bargaining agreement.
With Zach Parise and Jason Pominville back from the mumps, Wild coach Bruce Boudreau on Saturday tinkered with the lineup. He's still in search of four consistent lines for the final stretch.
Mikael Granlund, Nino Niederreiter and Jason Zucker show the team's balance.
In the past nine weeks, the Wild has managed to go 21-6-2 despite allowing 2.93 goals per game.
Despite the Wild leading the Western Conference and being 2-0 since its bye, coach Bruce Boudreau is none too pleased with his team's defensive play of late.
Despite being not very good at all — coach Bruce Boudreau's assessment — the Wild took the victory on Jason Zucker's score with 2:10 to play.
In between the games, there were six-hour bus rides to and from Des Moines and Chicago and a last-minute, emergency four-hour car ride from Des Moines to St. Paul.
The Wild's leading scorer skated through three defenders to finish a game the Wild never led until the end -- and won despite a mumps outbreak that sidelined two key players.
For the second time in 2½ years, members of the Wild have been diagnosed with the mumps. Assistant coach Scott Stevens also is showing symptoms.
Wild coach Bruce Boudreau says new acquisition Martin Hanzal is a horse of a shutdown center. He can kill penalties and be a net-front power-play guy.
The Wild sent three draft picks and a minor leaguer to the Coyotes for a pair of forwards and another pick.
The veteran forward continues to work his way back from the shoulder surgery he underwent in October.
If the Wild wants to survive potential injuries and fatigue during the stretch run and chore through what it hopes is four playoff rounds, improving the forward depth may be the team's biggest need.
Few players — especially lately, it seems — get mugged as frequently as Zach Parise does around the opposing net.
Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews, 13 days after scoring twice against the Wild, lit Minnesota up with three goals and two assists in the Wild's last game before a bye week.
It's not often that a team is so secure with its position in the standings that it can enter into a few weeks' worth of experimentation two months before the playoffs.
The Wild won its 39th game, topping last season's 82-game total 24 games sooner.
First-year coach Derek Lalonde took over an Iowa team that had the fewest points in the AHL the past two seasons and now has them over .500
The Wild's Gustav Olofsson went from struggling prospect to steady NHL pro.
With the Wild having not lost two in a row in 2½ months and having lost two in a row in regulation only once, Darcy Kuemper was "by far" the Wild's best player, according to coach Bruce Boudreau.
Dave Strader, battling a rare form of bile duct cancer for 8½ months, will return to the TV booth in Dallas on Saturday to call the first of five straight Dallas Stars games. "I've missed it a ton," he said.
The NHL said the Detroit forward's actions were not accidental or inadvertent.
Despite dominating the contest, the Wild was shut out for the first time in 41 games and suffered its third 1-0 loss of the season, second at home.
Alex Tuch may have played his worst of four NHL games during Tuesday's 1-0 loss to Anaheim.
Last year at this time, the Wild lost for the 13th time in 14 games, held ninth place in the Western Conference, fired coach Mike Yeo and was in danger of missing the playoffs. Now it is one of the glamour teams in the NHL.
Tyler Graovac paid the price for the Wild being unhappy with the play of the fourth line of late. The Wild center was placed on waivers Monday. If Graovac clears at 11 a.m. Tuesday, he'll be assigned to AHL Iowa.
The incident was reminiscent of last April when Chicago's Duncan Keith was suspended five regular-season games and a playoff game for swinging his blade wildly at Charlie Coyle's face
Mikael Granlund, Nino Niederreiter and Zach Parise scored for the Wild with the man advantage on Sunday. But three times Minnesota allowed the Red Wings to answer after taking a two-goal lead.
'It's a team that can win the Stanley Cup,' the former Gophers star says.
When Jason Zucker was growing up in Las Vegas, his entire life was roller hockey. His dad, a general contractor at the time, built what's now the Las Vegas Ice Center — but the facility then was only roller rinks.
Jonathan Toews scored the winning goal with 3:09 into overtime on a 4-on-3 after a Ryan Suter holding penalty.
For the second consecutive second half of a season, Jason Pominville is heating up.
Charlie Coyle's move to center -- and then to wing when the game tightened up -- paid off in the 4-2 victory at Winnipeg.
If all goes according to plan, Charlie Coyle will break the Wild's ironman record of 283 games, set from 2000-03, Wednesday against the Blackhawks.
In addition to excellent goaltending, the Wild has benefited from improvements over its past success -- most notably improved depth and playing the same way at home and on the road.
Wild coach Bruce Boudreau loves the line because he can use it against any opposing top line and fully expect it will get the job done.
The Wild rebounded from its most lopsided loss of the season to top Vancouver
In the first 41 games, Staal led the Wild with 15 goals and 39 points. In nine games leading into Saturday's game at Vancouver, Staal had one goal and one assist.
If Friday's practice was any indication, the Wild's Alex Tuch, 20, will make his NHL debut Saturday in Vancouver as first-line right wing.
The arrival of young star Alex Tuch to the Wild's roster coincides with Charlie Coyle's slump.
The Wild on Wednesday gave up two power-play goals for the first time since Nov. 29 in a 5-1 stinker at Calgary.
Tyler Graovac, who had no points in 17 consecutive games and one in the previous 30, scored three goals in two games before Wednesday.
The Wild's win, coupled with Washington's loss, puts Minnesota at a league-best .724 points percentage and provided the Western Conference leaders with 71 points in 49 games
The Wild arguably has four scoring lines. "I feel that's what makes us really strong," Erik Haula said.
Coach Bruce Boudreau's team lost his All-Star debut badly, but the weekend in Los Angeles gave him a chance to call attention to the Wild's play.
The weekend task of Chris Guertin, a Wild fan and Minneapolis resident who does business with the NHL, was to find things to cheer up his son, Owen, who has been diagnosed with an arteriovenous malformation (AVM), a tangle of abnormal blood vessels connecting arteries and veins in the brain.
He gave up a lot to come to the Wild but gained so much more, with his son following Dad's every move during his latest All-Star season.
Ilya Bryzgalov, the lovable former Wild goalie and quote machine, was a correspondent for Players' Tribune during Saturday's media day during All-Star Weekend.
Devan Dubnyk's parents and siblings rode out the lows of his long pro career, and are in Los Angeles this weekend to join him at NHL All-Star weekend.
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