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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
'Strange' stretch eats at Wild's Dubnyk

'Strange' stretch eats at Wild's Dubnyk

Dubnyk gave up 12 goals in his previous three starts, but he had given up nine goals in the five starts before that. All were losses as Dubnyk saw his once 18-11-4 record become 18-18-5.
After another loss, Wild's Suter says: 'Everything about this stinks'

After another loss, Wild's Suter says: 'Everything about this stinks'

The NHL-leading Washington Capitals won their 40th game, while the Wild lost its seventh in a row overall, seventh in a row at home and 12th game out of the past 13.
How secure is Mike Yeo's job with the struggling Wild?

How secure is Mike Yeo's job with the struggling Wild?

During a day that started with Yeo being criticized by a former player on Twitter, sources indicated Wednesday that the Wild coach's job is not as secure as general manager Chuck Fletcher indicated last weekend.
Overtime hex holds as Wild loses to Dallas again

Overtime hex holds as Wild loses to Dallas again

Quiet early, restless in the middle and electric late, the fans' reaction mirrored the roller coaster of a game that ended with another Wild loss.
Wild draft pick Tuch comes up big in the Beanpot

Wild draft pick Tuch comes up big in the Beanpot

The most excitement Wild fans have gotten in weeks came Monday night when one of the team's prized prospects scored in overtime to give Boston College a victory for the Beanpot championship.
As losses pile up, trade options are few for struggling Wild

As losses pile up, trade options are few for struggling Wild

Stressed-out-looking GM Chuck Fletcher said 13 times in an eight-minute interview that the current cast of Wild players must start playing "the right way."
Wild notes: Injuries to Brodin, Spurgeon another concern

Wild notes: Injuries to Brodin, Spurgeon another concern

The Wild, a team that has been relatively healthy the past month, sustained two blows to its blue line Saturday.
Wild's free fall continues after blowing two-goal lead to Rangers

Wild's free fall continues after blowing two-goal lead to Rangers

The Wild jumped out to a two-goal lead, then crumbled into pieces as the Rangers stormed back to take a 4-2 victory to hand the Wild arguably its toughest of nine losses in 10 games.
In-house solutions remain the target for struggling Wild

In-house solutions remain the target for struggling Wild

Zach Parise says players can't just wait for a trade or a coaching change.
Yeo prefers keeping Wild's Granlund line together

Yeo prefers keeping Wild's Granlund line together

"Not a lot of other options, I guess," Wild coach Mike Yeo said of keeping his struggling-to-score line together.
Parise: Wild's struggles are 'beyond frustrating at times'

Parise: Wild's struggles are 'beyond frustrating at times'

After two previous seasons of the Wild being forced to battle through and overcome midseason swoons, leading scorer Zach Parise said this one feels different.
Alligator intrudes on Wild players' All-Star break outing

Alligator intrudes on Wild players' All-Star break outing

Nino Niederreiter returned to the Wild from Cancun with a sunburn and all his fingers still attached.
Beatings continue: Wild outmuscled, outplayed in sloppy loss

Beatings continue: Wild outmuscled, outplayed in sloppy loss

The Wild, 3-8-3 in its past 14 and sitting in ninth in the West, lost for the eighth time in nine games on a night filled with mistakes and misplays.
Dubnyk comes full circle with All-Star selection

Dubnyk comes full circle with All-Star selection

Devan Dubnyk's career, once at a low in Nashville, shuttled him back to Music City as an All-Star.
Wild's meltdown: Can't win if you can't score goals

Wild's meltdown: Can't win if you can't score goals

An exasperated coach Mike Yeo said that it makes no sense that the Wild could be on such a losing stretch with such a low goals-against total.
Dubnyk's late-game misplay leads to shootout win for Arizona

Dubnyk's late-game misplay leads to shootout win for Arizona

Arizona scored shorthanded with 1:13 to tie the score, then the Coyotes won in the shootout. The struggling Wild finished January without winning a game at the X.
Dubnyk jokingly asks media to refrain from keeping goalie stats in All-Star Game

Dubnyk jokingly asks media to refrain from keeping goalie stats in All-Star Game

"Devan Dubnyk returns from the All-Star Game with a 28.67 goals-against average," Dubnyk kidded the headline may read.
Late goal gives San Jose 4-3 win over Wild

Late goal gives San Jose 4-3 win over Wild

The Wild twice rallied from one-goal deficits to tie the Sharks and was seeking its first winning streak in more than three weeks. But a goal with 84 seconds left was the dagger.
Wild notes: Suter's uncle tags along to receive honor from Sharks

Wild notes: Suter's uncle tags along to receive honor from Sharks

Fourteen years after his exceptional 18-year NHL career ended, Gary Suter got to take a ride on the Wild's charter late Saturday.
Ex-Wild defenseman Burns embraces the free-flowing California lifestyle

Ex-Wild defenseman Burns embraces the free-flowing California lifestyle

Looking like a cross between Grizzly Adams and Sasquatch, it's hard for the heavily bearded, tatted-up Brent Burns to go anywhere without being recognized.
Wild notes: The tinkering stops; main power-play unit produces

Wild notes: The tinkering stops; main power-play unit produces

The Wild returned to its usual power-play units and it resulted in the eventual winning goal against the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday night.
Shutout win over Kings snaps Wild's five-game funk

Shutout win over Kings snaps Wild's five-game funk

Having entered with four goals in its previous five games and 1.87 per game its previous 16, the floodgates opened against the Kings, at least by Wild standards.
Stoll recalls tough times preceded Stanley Cup for Kings

Stoll recalls tough times preceded Stanley Cup for Kings

Between Dec. 24 and Feb. 3 of the 2013-14 season, the Kings won five of 21 games yet would go on to win the Stanley Cup.
Wild's crucial West Coast swing begins poorly with loss in Anaheim

Wild's crucial West Coast swing begins poorly with loss in Anaheim

The Wild's losing streak reached five games with the 3-1 loss as the power-play failed yet again and teams continue to creep up on them.
Yeo aims to fix Wild's ailing power play

Yeo aims to fix Wild's ailing power play

Ask Mike Yeo about the power play, and the Wild coach likely will grimace.
Wild hits the road, searching to find its game

Wild hits the road, searching to find its game

Nine days ago, one victory would have put the Wild one point behind the St. Louis Blues for third in the Central Division with three games in hand.
Heading west, Wild seeks answer to offensive slump

Heading west, Wild seeks answer to offensive slump

Back-to-back shutouts have players and coach seeking answers, with six of its next seven games on the road.
Fletcher on Wild's slump: 'Usually the solution's in the room'

Fletcher on Wild's slump: 'Usually the solution's in the room'

The general manager said he isn't going to force any major shake-ups. "We'll get out of this. We always have and we will again."
Wild's Fletcher says he won't overreact with hastily considered trade

Wild's Fletcher says he won't overreact with hastily considered trade

With the Wild slumping with 29 goals (including four empty-netters) in 15 games, including none the past two nights, many around the NHL are expecting the team to make a trade.
Wild is stuck in the rut of starting games slowly

Wild is stuck in the rut of starting games slowly

The Wild has found a habit of starting games on an off note, and the problem has been even worse at home where the team has lost three games in a row.
Wild falls behind early, loses to struggling Sabres

Wild falls behind early, loses to struggling Sabres

Facing the team with the second-fewest points in the NHL, the Wild spotted the Sabres a three-goal first-period lead and could not recover.
Wild sets sights on Lightning's Drouin

Wild sets sights on Lightning's Drouin

A week after missing out on Columbus Blue Jackets center Ryan Johansen, Wild General Manager Chuck Fletcher has his sights set on Tampa Bay Lightning forward Jonathan Drouin, multiple sources say.
Heading into Game 43, Wild likes where it's sitting in standings

Heading into Game 43, Wild likes where it's sitting in standings

There's something strange about playing the Buffalo Sabres in the 43rd game of the season and the Wild not being in all-out crisis mode.
Wild has trouble finding net in 'boring' loss to New Jersey

Wild has trouble finding net in 'boring' loss to New Jersey

Zach Parise called it an "ugly, uneventful game." Goalie Darcy Kuemper said, "I'm sure it was a boring game to watch."
Despite changes, Wild's Parise still has some ties to Devils

Despite changes, Wild's Parise still has some ties to Devils

Sunday's game against the team he once captained was only the fourth time in four seasons Zach Parise has faced the New Jersey Devils.
Wild's late lead holds up against Stars' pressure

Wild's late lead holds up against Stars' pressure

Devan Dubnyk's 34 saves were the difference against the West's top team.
Reilly's Wild debut caps a busy day for his family

Reilly's Wild debut caps a busy day for his family

Mike Reilly's NHL debut with the was a victorious one.
NHL Insider: Wild's chance at young, No. 1 center looks gone for now

NHL Insider: Wild's chance at young, No. 1 center looks gone for now

The Wild pursued one, but he was traded, and it's rare they are available.
Ex-Gopher Reilly called up, will make NHL debut with Wild

Ex-Gopher Reilly called up, will make NHL debut with Wild

Look for ex-Gopher Mike Reilly to make is NHL debut Saturday vs. the high-scoring Stars.
Sluggish Wild tipped 4-3 in overtime by Flyers

Sluggish Wild tipped 4-3 in overtime by Flyers

The Wild, in the midst of its busiest stretch of hockey to date, returned from four road games in six nights and looked and played like a tired team.
WIld notes: Koivu able to play against the Flyers

WIld notes: Koivu able to play against the Flyers

Other than feeling sore from a violent collision with the end boards 48 hours earlier, Mikko Koivu was able to play Thursday night against the Philadelphia Flyers.
Quartet of young fans takes one long and Wild ride

Quartet of young fans takes one long and Wild ride

Their adventure started with almost burning down an apartment, and ended with nearly being ejected from Nationwide Arena in Columbus for jumping over a railing.
World junior tournament offers glimpse of Wild's future

World junior tournament offers glimpse of Wild's future

Wild GM Chuck Fletcher and assistant GM Brent Flahr are scouting five draft picks who are playing in the tournament.
Blue Jackets' Johansen tries to stay focused amid trade rumors

Blue Jackets' Johansen tries to stay focused amid trade rumors

Ryan Johansen knows it's part of the gig, but it's still not easy being the subject of daily trade rumors.
Wild notes: Downing's return to health is a boost for AHL Iowa

Wild notes: Downing's return to health is a boost for AHL Iowa

Grayson Downing, a free-agent signing out of the University of New Hampshire last March, has been producing consistently since returning from a knee injury suffered at the Traverse City prospect tournament
Nick Schultz learned how to play in NHL with Wild

Nick Schultz learned how to play in NHL with Wild

Many of the biggest events in his life — and career — happened here.
Jagr, 43, scores twice as Florida beats Wild 2-1

Jagr, 43, scores twice as Florida beats Wild 2-1

Jaromir Jagr, an All-Star captain at age 43, pounced 48 seconds into the game and then again in the third for the Panthers' win.
Wild regroups after slow start, loses in shootout to Tampa Bay

Wild regroups after slow start, loses in shootout to Tampa Bay

The Wild looked off until a big third-period push, then settled for a shootout loss.
Wild notes: Injuries to goalies move Backstrom out of the background

Wild notes: Injuries to goalies move Backstrom out of the background

Niklas Backstrom, the all-time leader in Wild history with 194 victories, hasn't played an NHL game since being pulled last Jan. 13 in Pittsburgh. Devan Dubnyk was acquired the next day.
Wild forward Zach Parise admits right knee keeping him out again

Wild forward Zach Parise admits right knee keeping him out again

Wild winger Zach Parise missed eight games in November when he injured it the first time.
Porter proves his value on Wild penalty kill

Porter proves his value on Wild penalty kill

Despite seeing the third-most shorthanded ice time among forwards (38 minutes, 51 seconds) heading into Thursday's game against his former team, Porter was on the ice for only two of the Wild's 19 power-play goals against.
Wild keeps it simple and successful in victory over St. Louis

Wild keeps it simple and successful in victory over St. Louis

Minnesota turned to defense and a new third line in New Year's Eve victory.
Wild looking to improve mediocre road record

Wild looking to improve mediocre road record

The Wild is determined to rediscover its strong road play of last season's second half.
Wild heads outdoors for practice, prepping for February festivities

Wild heads outdoors for practice, prepping for February festivities

The team practiced outside to get ready for its Feb. 21 game at TCF Bank Stadium.
Injured Dubnyk comes to the rescue as Wild tops Red Wings

Injured Dubnyk comes to the rescue as Wild tops Red Wings

Despite a deep cut on his wrist suffered in practice, he answered the call after scheduled starter Darcy Kuemper also got hurt.
Wild's Fontaine scratched, needed a 'good chat'

Wild's Fontaine scratched, needed a 'good chat'

Coming off a tough game against the Pittsburgh Penguins, right wing Justin Fontaine found himself the odd man out Monday against the Detroit Red Wings.
Parise, Dubnyk hurt during practice as Wild ponders skid

Parise, Dubnyk hurt during practice as Wild ponders skid

The Wild's game has slipped mightily since a nine-game point streak ended four games ago. Defenseman Ryan Suter said Sunday was about "resetting and refocusing."
Wild still in holiday stupor with loss to Penguins

Wild still in holiday stupor with loss to Penguins

Pittsburgh coasted to victory before the largest X crowd of the year.
Wild not rushing to extend contracts of Zucker, Dumba

Wild not rushing to extend contracts of Zucker, Dumba

Chuck Fletcher said there is no rush to get to the pending restricted free agents.
NHL Insider: Dubnyk's arrival sparked Wild's run to playoffs in 2015

NHL Insider: Dubnyk's arrival sparked Wild's run to playoffs in 2015

The goalie was among the highs of the Wild's turbulent year.
Goaltending play helps Wild avoid December slump

Goaltending play helps Wild avoid December slump

The Wild has avoided a third consecutive December swoon with a 7-2-2 record heading into the Christmas break. Devan Dubnyk and Darcy Kuemper have been big reasons for the success.
Kuemper sharp in Wild's 2-1 win over Canadiens

Kuemper sharp in Wild's 2-1 win over Canadiens

Two disallowed goals didn't bother the Wild as Kuemper made 24 saves and continued the strong showings that started when Devan Dubnyk was hurt.
Wild notes: Niederreiter puts Yeo's advice to quick use

Wild notes: Niederreiter puts Yeo's advice to quick use

After going 15 consecutive games without a goal, the Wild power winger scored and had his best game in weeks against Dallas.
Wild notes: Spurgeon signed to 4-year contract extension

Wild notes: Spurgeon signed to 4-year contract extension

Jared Spurgeon became the first of the Wild's pending restricted free agents to have his contract extended Monday when the sixth-year defenseman signed a four-year, $20.75 million contract.
Coyle excelling in all areas — except goal-scoring

Coyle excelling in all areas — except goal-scoring

The Wild's Charlie Coyle and his undeniable skill set have impressed but not produced.
Parade of Wild penalties leads to loss in Nashville

Parade of Wild penalties leads to loss in Nashville

The Wild, unusually undisciplined, gave the Predators five power plays.
Predators' Gaustad keeps 'em guessing in the circle

Predators' Gaustad keeps 'em guessing in the circle

One reason Nashville Predators center Paul Gaustad keeps getting better in the faceoff circle is that he is the only center in the NHL who regularly takes draws as a lefty and a righty.
Dubnyk stays cut above the rest in win over Rangers

Dubnyk stays cut above the rest in win over Rangers

The Wild's Devan Dubnyk caught a stick off his cheek, and still made 21 saves to dump the Rangers on Thursday night at Xcel Energy Center.
Haula sits, Stoll plays for Wild against Rangers

Haula sits, Stoll plays for Wild against Rangers

Causing the least disruption possible, new acquisition Jarret Stoll slid right into Erik Haula's fourth-line center spot between Chris Porter and Ryan Carter.
Yeo has options for Wild's lineup vs. Rangers

Yeo has options for Wild's lineup vs. Rangers

Goalie Devan Dubnyk will return, while the coach played it coy about Jarret Stoll's potential debut.
Wild overwhelms Vancouver in a home rout

Wild overwhelms Vancouver in a home rout

Minnesota had scored just 10 goals in the previous six games
Two-time Cup winner Jarret Stoll eager to join Wild

Two-time Cup winner Jarret Stoll eager to join Wild

Jarret Stoll won two Stanley Cups with the Kings, went to the Stanley Cup Finals with the Oilers in 2006 and has 93 games of playoff experience. That's now most on the Wild.
Wild notes: Zucker clicks on a line with Vanek

Wild notes: Zucker clicks on a line with Vanek

Thomas Vanek and Mikko Koivu each had four-point nights Tuesday with Jason Zucker on their line.
Hot Kuemper moves Dubnyk into backup role for now

Hot Kuemper moves Dubnyk into backup role for now

The Wild, which has points in seven consecutive games, plays six of its next seven games at home. Coach Mike Yeo said it's time "to really put our foot on the gas."
Arizona State sees sunny college hockey future

Arizona State sees sunny college hockey future

There's something cool about showing up to college hockey practice sporting shades, a tank top, mesh shorts and flip-flops.
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