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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
Blues end Wild's season with series-clinching overtime goal

Blues end Wild's season with series-clinching overtime goal

The Wild didn't go quietly Saturday afternoon, but few will remember the Wild's franchise-best regular season now that the team couldn't even get past Game 5 of the first round.
Wild, Blues are resigned to low-scoring series

Wild, Blues are resigned to low-scoring series

Minnesota and St. Louis players are surprising even themselves with tenacity in limiting goals.
Cheating on the faceoff dot is delaying Wild-Blues games

Cheating on the faceoff dot is delaying Wild-Blues games

Game 4 was slowed as centers, often the Wild's, drew calls.
Wild's Charlie Coyle steps up his game in playoffs

Wild's Charlie Coyle steps up his game in playoffs

Wild's tough, talented winger ditched slump to be playoff force.
Hanzal's 'been good,' says Wild coach Boudreau

Hanzal's 'been good,' says Wild coach Boudreau

Because of the Wild's 4-10-2 March and playoff lack of success, some still feel the arrival of Martin Hanzal and Ryan White messed up the Wild's chemistry. Coach Bruce Boudreau disputes that claim.
Wild's frustration can be measured in big numbers, raw emotions

Wild's frustration can be measured in big numbers, raw emotions

Statistical advantages are no comfort in a 3-0 hole.
'It's just not working.' Wild drops another close game to St. Louis

'It's just not working.' Wild drops another close game to St. Louis

After a franchise-record 106 points, the Wild is three games into this postseason and has yet to figure out how to win a game against the St. Louis Blues or light up their stingy goalie.
Wild at a loss about lack of goals

Wild at a loss about lack of goals

The Wild, the second-highest-scoring team in the NHL during the regular season, a team that scored four or more goals 34 times and five or more 22 times, has scored three goals in three games and nearly 10 periods in the Western Conference quarterfinals with the St. Louis Blues.
Notes: Matching up with Blues' Tarasenko more difficult in St. Louis

Notes: Matching up with Blues' Tarasenko more difficult in St. Louis

With Games 3 and 4 at home, Mike Yeo will have last line change and the opportunity to get Vladimir Tarasenko away from Wild coach Bruce Boudreau's desired matchup.
Wild faces tough hill to climb down 2-0 to the Blues

Wild faces tough hill to climb down 2-0 to the Blues

Down 2-0 to the Blues, it won't be easy to come back. According to Elias Sports Bureau, only 18 teams in NHL history have rallied to win a best-of-seven series after losing the first two at home.
Ex-Devils Scott Stevens, Martin Brodeur do battle with Wild, Blues

Ex-Devils Scott Stevens, Martin Brodeur do battle with Wild, Blues

Hall of Fame defenseman Scott Stevens is Bruce Boudreau's chief lieutenant and Hall of Fame goalie Martin Brodeur, one of St. Louis' assistant GMs, is the Blues' interim goalie coach.
Shooting gallery: Tiebreaker a heartbreaker for Wild in overtime loss

Shooting gallery: Tiebreaker a heartbreaker for Wild in overtime loss

Zach Parise's goal with 23 seconds left in regulation of Game 1 capped a frantic flurry of offense by the Wild. But the Blues' scored the game-winner just after midnight, following more than 17 minutes of overtime and 52 shots by the losers.
Vikings' Rudolph, Wild's Zucker bond over helping kids

Vikings' Rudolph, Wild's Zucker bond over helping kids

Kyle Rudolph and his wife, Jordan, have grown close with Jason Zucker and his wife, Carly, through the University of Minnesota's Masonic Children's Hospital.
Wild's Haula could be key at wing against Blues

Wild's Haula could be key at wing against Blues

If the Wild plans on knocking off the St. Louis Blues in the first round of the playoffs, trying to figure out a way to shut down superstar Vladimir Tarasenko would be a start. Haula might be an option.
Yeo vs. Wild is juicy subplot, but St. Louis coach focuses on Blues

Yeo vs. Wild is juicy subplot, but St. Louis coach focuses on Blues

Mike Yeo swears he's no longer sentimental and certainly not sheepish about stepping foot inside Xcel Energy Center.
Yeo's Blues show few flaws heading into series with Wild

Yeo's Blues show few flaws heading into series with Wild

After Mike Yeo, assumed the head-coaching duties nine weeks ago, the Blues allowed a league-low 1.88 goals per game and a league-best plus-33 goal differential.
Boudreau: Proof of success comes in the Stanley Cup playoffs

Boudreau: Proof of success comes in the Stanley Cup playoffs

Wild coach Bruce Boudreau knows nothing short of a Stanley Cup — or a Game 7 win or two — will change the opinion of him embedded into the minds of some people.
Wild enters playoffs at home and on a roll

Wild enters playoffs at home and on a roll

A poor March seems to be behind the Wild, which finished its regular season Saturday night with a victory over Arizona. Next up: Mike Yeo and the St. Louis Blues.
Wild reaches franchise record for wins, points in regular-season finale

Wild reaches franchise record for wins, points in regular-season finale

Pulled in two of his previous three starts, Darcy Kuemper earned his first victory since Feb. 16.
Granlund's streak of games played ends at 199

Granlund's streak of games played ends at 199

Instead of resting one of his older forwards, Wild coach Bruce Boudreau gave Mikael Granlund the night off during Saturday's regular-season finale at Arizona.
Kuemper hopes to find bright spot in rough season with Wild

Kuemper hopes to find bright spot in rough season with Wild

Once upon a time, goalie Darcy Kuemper came through so often for the Wild, fans nicknamed him "The Kuemperor." Now he's trying to hang on to his job with the Wild.
Wild survives weird ending, ties team record by beating Colorado

Wild survives weird ending, ties team record by beating Colorado

A waved-off Avalanche goal was overturned twice late in the third period of the 4-3 Wild victory that tied a team record for most points in a season.
Wild players in line for league honors

Wild players in line for league honors

The Wild could at have contenders for the Norris, Vezina, Selke and Jack Adams awards. Ballots were sent Thursday.
Wild considers resting veterans before playoffs

Wild considers resting veterans before playoffs

With home ice for the first round secured, coach Bruce Boudreau is weighing the balance between possibly resting a couple of veteran bodies vs. not taking the proverbial foot off the gas.
Wild wraps home schedule with a win, and a guarantee to return soon

Wild wraps home schedule with a win, and a guarantee to return soon

Nino Neiderreiter scored twice for the back-to-life Wild. Tuesday night's victory, coupled with St. Louis' loss to Winnipeg, gives the Wild home-ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs.
Wild's Staal honored for 1,000th NHL game

Wild's Staal honored for 1,000th NHL game

The Wild held off the ceremony to honor Eric Staal for playing his 1,000th game until Tuesday so it could come before the team played Carolina, the franchise he captained and drafted him in 2003.
Wild's Haula impresses after a rough stretch

Wild's Haula impresses after a rough stretch

Erik Haula was motivated to perform well Sunday when he saw he was on the left side of Mikko Koivu and Mikael Granlund. He responded with the game-winning goal.
Winning streak, scoring again prove to be elusive for Wild in loss to Predators

Winning streak, scoring again prove to be elusive for Wild in loss to Predators

The Wild's solid play of late vanished in a shutout loss.
Stalock, Eriksson Ek provide spark for much-needed Wild victory

Stalock, Eriksson Ek provide spark for much-needed Wild victory

Any time the Wild falls into an abyss, it seems some sort of external move needs to happen for the team to climb back out. Two new players were key to the team's 5-1 victory over Ottawa.
Alex Stalock's start the result of a Wild goalie dilemma

Alex Stalock's start the result of a Wild goalie dilemma

With Devan Dubnyk needing a rest, the Wild didn't think it was fair to push Darcy Kuemper in when he hasn't had many practices lately.
A new No. 2: Wild calls up goalie Alex Stalock from Iowa

A new No. 2: Wild calls up goalie Alex Stalock from Iowa

Stalock, 29, a South St. Paul native and former UMD standout, hasn't started an NHL game since Feb. 2016 after a tough season in the San Jose and Toronto organizations. He'll start tonight against Ottawa.
Wild loses again after Ovechkin's unusual hat trick, Oshie's OT game-winner

Wild loses again after Ovechkin's unusual hat trick, Oshie's OT game-winner

T.J. Oshie's second goal of the game 1:52 into the extra session handed Minnesota its 12th loss out of 15 games this month.
Wild brings Joel Eriksson Ek back to provide 'shot in the arm'

Wild brings Joel Eriksson Ek back to provide 'shot in the arm'

The team is hoping the young forward can supply a boost during its final six regular-season games and playoffs.
Best to bumbling: Wild, Washington on different paths since last meeting

Best to bumbling: Wild, Washington on different paths since last meeting

Exactly two weeks ago, the Wild waltzed into Washington as the top team in the Western Conference for a best-on-best battle against the East-leading Capitals.
Wild loses again, but Boudreau sees some promising signs

Wild loses again, but Boudreau sees some promising signs

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.
Wild's Haula sees ice time dwindling

Wild's Haula sees ice time dwindling

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.
Wild stumbles into playoff berth despite 'embarrassing' loss to Vancouver

Wild stumbles into playoff berth despite 'embarrassing' loss to Vancouver

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.
'Dream come true' for Boeser in NHL debut against Wild

'Dream come true' for Boeser in NHL debut against Wild

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.
Wild falls back into bad habits, misses chance to clinch playoffs

Wild falls back into bad habits, misses chance to clinch playoffs

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.
Losing streak ends -- and sense of normalcy returns to Wild

Losing streak ends -- and sense of normalcy returns to Wild

There were no new injuries, no forwards playing defense and no lineup changes from master shuffler Bruce Boudreau at Wednesday's Wild practice.
Wild snaps losing streak but Boudreau still wary of what's ahead

Wild snaps losing streak but Boudreau still wary of what's ahead

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.
With team 'leaking oil,' Wild's struggles show in Dubnyk's numbers

With team 'leaking oil,' Wild's struggles show in Dubnyk's numbers

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.
Free-fall continues as Wild drops fourth straight

Free-fall continues as Wild drops fourth straight

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.
Wild notes: Assimilation continues as Hanzal returns to lineup

Wild notes: Assimilation continues as Hanzal returns to lineup

After missing three games and not playing in eight days because of strep throat, Martin Hanzal returned Saturday.
Bottom has fallen out for the Wild in March

Bottom has fallen out for the Wild in March

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.
Wild slouches home after 3-1 loss to Hurricanes ends rough trip

Wild slouches home after 3-1 loss to Hurricanes ends rough trip

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.
Wild, Boudreau battling fatigue factor

Wild, Boudreau battling fatigue factor

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.
In a flash, Wild's Staal to play in 1,000th NHL game Sunday

In a flash, Wild's Staal to play in 1,000th NHL game Sunday

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.
'Passive' Wild loses grip on conference, division leads after loss to Capitals

'Passive' Wild loses grip on conference, division leads after loss to Capitals

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's Suter sets up memorable D.C. tour for Wild

Wild's Suter sets up memorable D.C. tour for Wild

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.
Wild, Capitals in danger of losing footing in conference standings

Wild, Capitals in danger of losing footing in conference standings

Conference leaders hit skids at the same time, fueling game's urgency.
Wake-up call comes too late for Dubnyk in Wild's loss to Chicago

Wake-up call comes too late for Dubnyk in Wild's loss to Chicago

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.
Wild's desired matchups don't happen because of Hanzal's illness

Wild's desired matchups don't happen because of Hanzal's illness

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.
Wild has more to gain than pride with a defeat of Blackhawks

Wild has more to gain than pride with a defeat of Blackhawks

Beating Chicago would give the Wild a boost toward a division title and potential home ice vs. the Blackhawks.
NHL Insider: Fletcher weighs in on offside calls debate

NHL Insider: Fletcher weighs in on offside calls debate

Some began to mutter that there should be a break-the-plane rule because of the number of close calls on goal reviews.
Wild rallies for 7-4 victory over Florida to end two-game skid

Wild rallies for 7-4 victory over Florida to end two-game skid

With psyches fresher than their legs, Wild tops Panthers.
Martin Hanzal's solid game pleases Wild coach Bruce Boudreau

Martin Hanzal's solid game pleases Wild coach Bruce Boudreau

Against Florida, the veteran had an assist, three shots, five hits, 12 faceoff wins and a drawn penalty.
Boudreau says he's 'concerned' after Wild's ugly loss to Tampa Bay

Boudreau says he's 'concerned' after Wild's ugly loss to Tampa Bay

Looking slow and discombobulated, the Wild is suddenly in the midst of something that had become foreign this season: a losing streak.
Granlund's Finland fame captured on a stamp - and emoji-style

Granlund's Finland fame captured on a stamp - and emoji-style

The lacrosse-style goal that Mikael Granlund scored in the semifinals of the 2011 world championships still lives in infamy in his native Finland.
Staal scores twice as Wild holds off Sharks

Staal scores twice as Wild holds off Sharks

The Wild, healthy again after mumps outbreak, played playoff-caliber defense in retaking conference, division leads.
Cancer-stricken teen gets honorary contract from Wild

Cancer-stricken teen gets honorary contract from Wild

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.
Boudreau unveils new lines with full Wild squad back on the ice

Boudreau unveils new lines with full Wild squad back on the ice

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.
Wild teammates 'pushing each other' for goal-scoring lead

Wild teammates 'pushing each other' for goal-scoring lead

Mikael Granlund, Nino Niederreiter and Jason Zucker show the team's balance.
Wild coaches try tightening defense using off-ice video

Wild coaches try tightening defense using off-ice video

In the past nine weeks, the Wild has managed to go 21-6-2 despite allowing 2.93 goals per game.
Wild stands pat at deadline, turns focus to shoring up defense

Wild stands pat at deadline, turns focus to shoring up defense

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.
'Lucky' Wild blows three-goal lead, escapes Winnipeg with 6-5 win

'Lucky' Wild blows three-goal lead, escapes Winnipeg with 6-5 win

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.
Four games in four days for Wild's Graovac

Four games in four days for Wild's Graovac

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.
Granlund scores 12 seconds into overtime, lifts Wild over Kings

Granlund scores 12 seconds into overtime, lifts Wild over Kings

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.
Wild's Parise, Pominville diagnosed with mumps

Wild's Parise, Pominville diagnosed with mumps

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.
New Wild teammates welcome arrival of Hanzal

New Wild teammates welcome arrival of Hanzal

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.
Wild acquires Hanzal, White from Coyotes with eye on Stanley Cup

Wild acquires Hanzal, White from Coyotes with eye on Stanley Cup

The Wild sent three draft picks and a minor leaguer to the Coyotes for a pair of forwards and another pick.
Wild signs Ryan Carter to two-way contract

Wild signs Ryan Carter to two-way contract

The veteran forward continues to work his way back from the shoulder surgery he underwent in October.
Wild ponders options as NHL trade deadline nears

Wild ponders options as NHL trade deadline nears

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.
Fair play? Parise questions double standard of penalty calls at net

Fair play? Parise questions double standard of penalty calls at net

Few players — especially lately, it seems — get mugged as frequently as Zach Parise does around the opposing net.
One line does all the damage as Chicago powers past Wild

One line does all the damage as Chicago powers past Wild

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.
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