Staff Directory 10645841

Michael Russo

Reporter | Wild, NHL
Michael Russo has covered the NHL since 1995 and the Minnesota Wild for the Star Tribune since 2005.
Recent content from Michael Russo
In-season goalie gear switch irritates Wild's Dubnyk

In-season goalie gear switch irritates Wild's Dubnyk

On Feb. 4, all NHL goalies will be directed to begin wearing more contoured pants that originally were supposed to be ready at the start of the season. But manufacturing problems, especially by Dubnyk's company, CCM, delayed things.
Furious 3-goal rally ignites Wild over Anaheim

Furious 3-goal rally ignites Wild over Anaheim

Erik Haula, Ryan Suter and Jason Zucker scored three goals in a span of 1 minute, 59 seconds late in the third period to boost the Wild over the Ducks.
Wild's Stewart making the most of ice time

Wild's Stewart making the most of ice time

Chris Stewart entered Saturday's game against his previous team tied for sixth on the Wild with 10 goals despite ranking 16th in total ice time (454 minutes, 56 seconds) and 19th in ice time per game (10:20).
Transplanted Staal boys loving Wild, and Minnesota winter

Transplanted Staal boys loving Wild, and Minnesota winter

Eric Staal's sons have taken a quick liking to their new surroundings after moving from North Carolina.
Wild believes defenseman Reilly will return as 'a different player'

Wild believes defenseman Reilly will return as 'a different player'

The former Gopher didn't play Thursday against the Arizona Coyotes, but he will surely draw into the Wild lineup this weekend.
Wild's Granlund, full time at wing, is taking flight

Wild's Granlund, full time at wing, is taking flight

Moving to wing has given Mikael Granlund the ability to show off his offensive creativity. In 43 games this season, he already has 10 goals and 36 points and is plus-23.
NBC analyst Pierre McGuire sees a Stanley Cup in Wild's future

NBC analyst Pierre McGuire sees a Stanley Cup in Wild's future

"I give them a ton of credit," the well-traveled analyst said. "They've put themselves in a great position to win a Cup. This is the best team they've had in Minnesota ever."
'We threw it away.' Wild loses two-goal lead, game to Devils

'We threw it away.' Wild loses two-goal lead, game to Devils

Devan Dubnyk slammed a door. Bruce Boudreau's face was as red as his tie. The coach his team did 'uncharacteristically dumb things' on each New Jersey goal in the 4-3 loss.
Stewart-Schroeder combo clicking for Wild

Stewart-Schroeder combo clicking for Wild

The Chris Stewart-Jordan Schroeder duo is making things happen on the fourth line, and glib coach Bruce Boudreau will leave it at that.
Boudreau says Kuemper is 'going to have to get better'

Boudreau says Kuemper is 'going to have to get better'

The backup goaltender, who surrendered a 4-0 lead Saturday in Dallas before Jason Zucker's late winning goal bailed him out, has allowed four or more goals five times and three goals two other times in his nine starts.
First-place Wild rallies from two down to beat Chicago

First-place Wild rallies from two down to beat Chicago

Jason Pominville snapped a 19-game goal drought with the third-period game-winner to help the conference- and division-leading Wild take a two-point lead on Chicago while playing four fewer games than the Blackhawks.
Staal's presence with Wild is perfect complement for Koivu

Staal's presence with Wild is perfect complement for Koivu

The addition of Eric Staal has, in Wild coach Bruce Boudreau's words, "taken a little bit of pressure" off team captain Mikko Koivu.
Wild destroys Canadiens, Price with seven-goal outburst

Wild destroys Canadiens, Price with seven-goal outburst

The Wild tied its most lopsided home victory in team history during a 7-1 dismantling of Montreal and its star goalie Carey Price.
Science Museum exhibit lets visitors challenge Haula, other local stars

Science Museum exhibit lets visitors challenge Haula, other local stars

Guests can study the body in motion and see what it takes to hit a basket, swing a racket or score a goal. The exhibit opened Jan. 6.
Owner Craig Leipold thrilled by his new coach and Wild's success so far

Owner Craig Leipold thrilled by his new coach and Wild's success so far

Leipold is thrilled the Wild pounced on Bruce Boudreau the instant the coach was sacked last spring by the Ducks.
Halfway through season, Wild showing it can win the tough games

Halfway through season, Wild showing it can win the tough games

Nearing the halfway point of the season, the Wild continues to show it's a very different team that it has been in recent years.
Boudreau will coach Central Division team in NHL All-Star Game

Boudreau will coach Central Division team in NHL All-Star Game

Because the Wild is assured of the best points percentage in the Central Division through Tuesday's NHL action, Bruce Boudreau will return to Los Angeles to coach the Central during All-Star Weekend from Jan. 27-29.
Wild gives Boudreau a victory in return to Anaheim

Wild gives Boudreau a victory in return to Anaheim

The Wild marked the end of a successful California trip with a comeback victory on the eve of the coach's 62nd birthday.
Wild picks up a point, and Boudreau makes his after OT loss

Wild picks up a point, and Boudreau makes his after OT loss

Wild coach Bruce Boudreau saw plenty to correct after Saturday's matinee, even after his team forced overtime with the Kings.
Wild's junior prospects impress TSN analyst

Wild's junior prospects impress TSN analyst

Ray Ferraro says Wild fans have good reason to be excited about prospects Jordan Greenway, Luke Kunin, Karill Kaprizov and Joel Eriksson Ek.
Parise plays best game of the season after talk with Boudreau

Parise plays best game of the season after talk with Boudreau

In the first half of the season, Zach Parise hasn't produced the way he's accustomed, so Bruce Boudreau reminded Parise of his strengths. In the next game, Parise had three points.
Four-goal third period rallies Wild past San Jose

Four-goal third period rallies Wild past San Jose

Mikko Koivo tied the score and then added the game-winner while Eric Staal also scored twice to beat the Sharks, who twice held two-goal leads.
Struggling Parise gets pep talk from Wild coach Boudreau

Struggling Parise gets pep talk from Wild coach Boudreau

Bruce Boudreau met with Wild winger Zach Parise on Tuesday to discuss his game of late. It seemed to work as Parise looked like the Zach Parise of old against the Sharks.
Goalie, family man Dubnyk has firm grip on what's important

Goalie, family man Dubnyk has firm grip on what's important

Dubnyk leads the NHL in goals-against average, save percentage and shutouts, but he's all about being a dad to his two young sons when he's off the ice.
Wild is moving Schroeder to top line, Pominville to fourth

Wild is moving Schroeder to top line, Pominville to fourth

The Wild coach indicated it's more to find the right mix on the Zach Parise-Eric Staal line rather than to downgrade Pominville, whose 14-game goal drought is the fourth longest of his career.
Scoring is up, and that's bad for Wild's success formula

Scoring is up, and that's bad for Wild's success formula

Recent scoring sprees mark a departure from coach Bruce Boudreau's team-first, disciplined system.
World juniors has been showcase for Wild talent

World juniors has been showcase for Wild talent

Wild prospects Kirill Kaprizov, Jordan Greenway, Luke Kunin and Joel Eriksson Ek have played big roles in this year's world junior championships.
NHL Insider: 2016 turned into 'Wild' and newsy ride

NHL Insider: 2016 turned into 'Wild' and newsy ride

Seven things that happened to the Wild over the calendar year.
Wild must add goalie to keep Devan Dubnyk expansion draft-proof

Wild must add goalie to keep Devan Dubnyk expansion draft-proof

The Wild doesn't want to risk losing Devan Dubnyk to the Las Vegas expansion draft.
Columbus ends Wild's 12-game winning streak with 4-2 victory

Columbus ends Wild's 12-game winning streak with 4-2 victory

The Wild's winning streak reached its end, while the Blue Jackets' run is at 15 and counting.
A look back at the Wild's 12-game winning streak

A look back at the Wild's 12-game winning streak

Some key players and key moments from the franchise-best win streak.
Wild, Columbus to put double-digit winning streaks on the line

Wild, Columbus to put double-digit winning streaks on the line

The Wild and Columbus Blue Jackets, expansion cousins from 16 years ago, have taken the NHL by storm with concurrent winning streaks of at least 12 games for the first time in NHL history
Niederreiter still has a soft spot for the Islanders

Niederreiter still has a soft spot for the Islanders

"You always remember the team that drafted you and you played your first NHL game with," the Wild's Nino Niederreiter said of the Islanders.
Wild wins 12th straight, sets up historic New Year's Eve battle with Columbus

Wild wins 12th straight, sets up historic New Year's Eve battle with Columbus

The Wild extended its franchise-record streak to 12 games Thursday night by beating the Islanders 6-4, and will play the Blue Jackets, who have won 14 in a row.
Staal points the way as Wild aims for 12th straight win

Staal points the way as Wild aims for 12th straight win

At 32, Eric Staal is riding an eight-game point streak, his longest since an 11-game string in 2013, and has the Wild believing a run to the Central Division title is possible.
Parise returns to Wild lineup after latest bout with strep throat

Parise returns to Wild lineup after latest bout with strep throat

Parise says he has had strep throat four times since right before the World Cup, three times in the past month. His last bout caused him to miss back-to-back games last week.
Wild wins 11th in row by beating Nashville 3-2 in overtime

Wild wins 11th in row by beating Nashville 3-2 in overtime

Jared Spurgeon scored the game-winning goal 2 minutes, 14 seconds into overtime to extend the franchise-record streak.
Shutdown line for Wild is bringing the scoring, too

Shutdown line for Wild is bringing the scoring, too

Koivu centering Granlund and Zucker ranks among the league's top trios.
Winning comes from Wild and Boudreau figuring out each other

Winning comes from Wild and Boudreau figuring out each other

Bruce Boudreau is used to star-laden, big, physical teams. The Wild doesn't have players who will contend in the scoring race, and it's a small and quick group.
Ten in a row: Wild sets winning-streak record by blowing out Rangers

Ten in a row: Wild sets winning-streak record by blowing out Rangers

Winning has become that business as usual for a confident team that would gladly move on to the next challenge now rather than letting the NHL's three-day holiday hiatus interrupt all this fun.
Wild's Eric Staal calls matchup with former team gratifying

Wild's Eric Staal calls matchup with former team gratifying

After a disappointing 20 regular-season games plus a scoreless five-game postseason with the Rangers after being traded from the Carolina Hurricanes, the Wild center faced his old team for the first time at Madison Square Garden while leading his new team in scoring.
Dubnyk outduels Price as Wild wins ninth in a row

Dubnyk outduels Price as Wild wins ninth in a row

Eric Staal scored the go-ahead shorthanded goal in the third period and the Wild matched its franchise record winning streak.

Recap: Wild at Montreal

A quick look at Thursday night's game.
Wild coach Boudreau says Spurgeon proving him "100 percent wrong"

Wild coach Boudreau says Spurgeon proving him "100 percent wrong"

Bruce Boudreau had his doubts about his diminutive defenseman, but now the Wild coach says Jared Spurgeon "plays so much bigger than his size."
Wild, Dubnyk keep rolling with shutout over Avs

Wild, Dubnyk keep rolling with shutout over Avs

The Wild picked up points for the 13th time in 14 games (10-1-3) and won for a seventh consecutive game at home.
Wild GM will address contracts for Niederreiter, Granlund after season

Wild GM will address contracts for Niederreiter, Granlund after season

Chuck Fletcher said from a salary-cap standpoint, if the Wild wants to keep both players, it'll find a way to afford both.
Cannone's NHL debut with Wild will be one for the aged

Cannone's NHL debut with Wild will be one for the aged

There were more reporters covering the Wild's practice Monday than 30-year-old Pat Cannone has seen at most practices in six years in the minors and four seasons of college hockey.
Wild's Graovac hearing his name called more

Wild's Graovac hearing his name called more

Tyler Graovac knew he was starting to earn Bruce Boudreau's respect when the Wild's veteran coach began calling the young center by his nickname
Centers step up after Haula injury

Centers step up after Haula injury

Erik Haula was injured two minutes into the game, so the Wild had to go with three centers playing on four lines the rest of the day. That meant Mikko Koivu, Eric Staal and Tyler Graovac played with literally every winger in the lineup.
Wild extends win streak to seven with 4-1 win over Coyotes

Wild extends win streak to seven with 4-1 win over Coyotes

The 18-8-4 Wild, which has outscored its past four opponents 17-5, improved to 9-1-3 in its past 13 games (21 out of a possible 26 points) and improved to 9-1-2 in its past 12 meetings with Arizona, including a nine-game point streak.
Wild's Gabriel: 'When I get into a fight, I'm trying to hurt them'

Wild's Gabriel: 'When I get into a fight, I'm trying to hurt them'

Coach Bruce Boudreau said he won't ask Gabriel to change "because it's obviously been successful for the team." In seven games this season, he's been in four fights.
Wild continues its hot streak with 5-2 win over Nashville

Wild continues its hot streak with 5-2 win over Nashville

Behind another sizzling start from Devan Dubnyk, the Wild won for the sixth straight game and improved to 8-1-3 in its last 12 games.
Boudreau seeing that streaking Wild starting to get his system

Boudreau seeing that streaking Wild starting to get his system

Since before training camp, coach Bruce Boudreau has believed it would take until Christmas for the Wild to start to play up to the level he expected.
Wild crushes Panthers for fifth consecutive victory

Wild crushes Panthers for fifth consecutive victory

In improving to 7-1-3 in its past 11 games, the Wild got goals from its top three lines.
Former Gophers Bjugstad, Rau reminisce in return to the X

Former Gophers Bjugstad, Rau reminisce in return to the X

Tuesday's game against the Wild was the fourth NHL game at Xcel Energy Center for Nick Bjugstad, the 2010 Minnesota Mr. Hockey from Blaine, and the second for Kyle Rau, the 2011 Mr. Hockey from Eden Prairie.
Injury outbreak gives minor league referees a shot at the NHL

Injury outbreak gives minor league referees a shot at the NHL

Because of injuries to four referees and three linesmen, more up-and-coming officials have gotten a taste of the NHL. The call-ups include a Detroit Lakes native who played college hockey in Mankato.
Training camp disappointment Graovac a different player with Wild

Training camp disappointment Graovac a different player with Wild

Nineteen games since being called up, Wild coach Bruce Boudreau sees "a 100 percent different player" in the Tyler Graovac who failed to impress to start the season.
Wild wins fourth game in a row, 3-1 over St. Louis

Wild wins fourth game in a row, 3-1 over St. Louis

After getting second-period goals from Matt Dumba and Nino Niederreiter, the Wild surrendered only four third-period shots until St. Louis pulled its goalie.
Former Wild coach Mike Yeo enjoys trip back 'home'

Former Wild coach Mike Yeo enjoys trip back 'home'

Now a Blues assistant, Yeo is spending an extra day with his family in Woodbury.
Wild contains Edmonton's star, relies on its own for shootout win

Wild contains Edmonton's star, relies on its own for shootout win

The Wild contained Oilers' phenom Connor McDavid, while Devan Dubnyk and Eric Staal came up big.
Wild's Folin cleared to return, but Boudreau holds him out

Wild's Folin cleared to return, but Boudreau holds him out

Two weeks after finding out he could miss up to a month with a sprained medial collateral ligament in his left knee, defenseman Christian Folin has been cleared to return to the Wild lineup.
Wild's Gabriel after milestone in Toronto: 'Best night of my life'

Wild's Gabriel after milestone in Toronto: 'Best night of my life'

Kurtis Gabriel on Wednesday night recorded his first NHL point in front of his mom, brother and stepdad against his hometown Maple Leafs
Wild finishes 'long grind' of a road trip with gritty win in Toronto

Wild finishes 'long grind' of a road trip with gritty win in Toronto

Thanks to Devan Dubnyk's continued stellar play - he made 17 of 35 saves in the third period - the Wild tiptoed to victory over the Maple Leafs to end a grueling trip.
Wild notes: Advanced stats reflect well on Niederreiter

Wild notes: Advanced stats reflect well on Niederreiter

For much of his four seasons with the Wild, Nino Niederreiter has been an analytics darling. Just don't ask him to explain how.
Insisting he's healthy, Wild's Parise battles scoring drought

Insisting he's healthy, Wild's Parise battles scoring drought

Zach Parise, who entered this season with 105 goals in 259 games with the Wild, has four goals and five assists in 17 games this season.
Wild beats Oilers 2-1 on Koivu's fifth career OT goal

Wild beats Oilers 2-1 on Koivu's fifth career OT goal

The captain scored on a pretty deke and backhander after Charlie Coyle set him up to tie Brent Burns with a team-record fifth career overtime goal.
Wild's Devan Dubnyk compiles Carey Price-like stats

Wild's Devan Dubnyk compiles Carey Price-like stats

Devan Dubnyk loves that his statistics have been mentioned in the same breath as NHL standard-bearer Carey Price, but the Wild goalie stops anybody short who wants to compare the two any further.

Preview: Wild at Edmonton

The Wild is still looking for its first victory in a five-game road trip, but the team has had success in Edmonton.
Oilers captain Connor McDavid's mind as quick as his legs

Oilers captain Connor McDavid's mind as quick as his legs

Connor McDavid is already among the league's elite at age 19.

Game recap: Calgary 3, Wild 2 (SO)

A quick look at Friday's game.
Wild rallies to tie before losing to Flames in shootout

Wild rallies to tie before losing to Flames in shootout

Boudreau gets point but seeks more from stars.
Wild focuses on bringing life back to penalty kill

Wild focuses on bringing life back to penalty kill

Wild's penalty-kill unit had a meeting Thursday to "reset" before hitting the Saddledome ice with the intention of patching up the leaks.
'Ridiculous' play leads to extra Wild practice at rundown arena

'Ridiculous' play leads to extra Wild practice at rundown arena

Before practice, the coaching staff showed several video clips of the Canucks loss. Coach Bruce Boudreau admitted the Zach Parise-Eric Staal-Charlie Coyle line starred in the film, and not in a good way.
Angry Boudreau unloads after Wild's 5-4 loss to Vancouver

Angry Boudreau unloads after Wild's 5-4 loss to Vancouver

The Wild gave up a two-goal lead Tuesday night, rallied, then lost on a late goal. The coach was unhappy with the team's defense, penalty killing efforts and Zach Parise's line.
Family feud: Granlunds battle tonight when Wild plays Vancouver

Family feud: Granlunds battle tonight when Wild plays Vancouver

The Wild is 3-0 in Granlund vs. Granlund showdowns, but this will be their first meeting since Markus was traded from Calgary to Vancouver in February.
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