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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All-around effort by the Wild helps it improve to 2-0

Posted by: Michael Russo under Wild game coverage Updated: January 20, 2013 - 11:42 PM
In his first start since being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, Josh Harding made 24 saves for his seventh career shutout and Zach Parise scored his first goal as a Wild to lift Minnesota to a 1-0 win over Dallas.
 
Good evening from high above an empty Xcel Energy Center, where a few hours ago, the perfect story was written by Harding, the 28-year-old goalie selected by the Wild in the second round of the 2002 draft.
 
If you don’t remember my stories at the time, here is the article I wrote in November after spending an afternoon with Harding and his doctor, Dan Peterson.
 
Here is also a supplementary blog I wrote that night, too.
 
Tonight, Harding brushed off all the doubt and butterflies and was flawless.
 
“This is something that most of us cannot understand what he’s going through,” coach Mike Yeo said. “He’s just had an amazing attitude about this.”
 
Added former teammate and Dallas Stars forward Eric Nystrom: “It’s incredible. There’s a lot more important things in life than hockey and I think sometimes we forget about that.”
 
As good as Harding was in the game, he was as good in his postgame interview. He thanked everybody, from management, to the coaches, to his teammates, to his doctors – Dan Peterson and Jonathan Calkwood -- that he says have “saved him” and made him believe.
 
To hear from Harding, read the game story when it’s updated later tonight on www.startribune.com/wild.
 
On the game, the Wild limited the Stars’ chances, remedied a lot of the defensive woes from the night before and spent a lot of the night in the offensive zone. They generated 32 shots and a lot of quality chances, especially during a second-period flurry, but weren’t rewarded.
 
The Stars’ line of Loui Eriksson-Derek Roy-Jaromir Jagr was pretty much shut down. It was a team effort, but the Cal Clutterbuck-Kyle Brodziak-Pierre-Marc Bouchard line along with Clayton Stoner and Tom Gilbert got a lot of the assignments.
 
This is the first time in Bouchard’s career he’s being asked to play a defensive role against top players and the best way to do that is to play in the offensive zone. This line did that for much of the night. Clutterbuck had five shots and five hits, including a crushing, clean hit on Stephane Robidas.
 
Gilbert had seven blocked shots and Stoner was just awesome tonight. Justin Falk’s game was real good, too.
 
Jagr, ancient only in the fact that he turns 41 next month, looked like vintage Jagr the night before in a win over Phoenix. But he followed a four-point night with gooseeggs on three shots in the only NHL arena he has never scored in.
 
“Good teams find a way to win and sometimes you’ve got to win 1-0, sometimes you’ve got to score four goals,” Yeo said. “Every night is different, every night is unique. Our guys battled and did everything we could. The battle level is unbelievable with this group.”
 
Both teams were playing back-to-back to open the season, and all fans should get used to this during this condensed, 48-game season. On every night, pretty much one of both teams will have played the night before.
 
So that could lead to some dead legs and some lulls, which this game had a few times. But all in all, it was a pretty good game with some open ice and plenty of chances for a 1-0 game.
 
But, with only six days of camp and no practices since, Yeo says it’ll be a work in progress. He noted how the players “tried to do things and couldn’t quite connect, without the puck, system-wise, they know where they’re supposed to be but kind of drift out of there.”
 
He did feel that the team is tired, so he won’t practice the guys Monday. They’ll have a morning skate Tuesday before playing Nashville that night to close the three-game homestand. Then, there’s a chance for consecutive practice days if Yeo so chooses before a two-game trip to Detroit and St. Louis.
 
That’s it for me. Since there is no practice, you may not hear from me Monday. But I will be on KFAN in studio from 9:35-10:15 a.m.
 

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Toronto - LP: D. Hutchison 2 FINAL
NY Yankees - WP: M. Tanaka 5
Washington - WP: S. Strasburg 2 FINAL
Miami - LP: N. Eovaldi 1
NY Mets - WP: J. deGrom 10 FINAL
Atlanta - LP: E. Santana 2
Boston - WP: J. Kelly 3 FINAL
Baltimore - LP: M. Gonzalez 2
Milwaukee - LP: W. Peralta 0 FINAL
Pittsburgh - WP: V. Worley 1
Chicago WSox - WP: J. Danks 10 FINAL
Tampa Bay - LP: N. Karns 5
Cleveland - WP: C. Kluber 7 FINAL
Minnesota - LP: A. Swarzak 2
Detroit - LP: R. Porcello 2 FINAL
Kansas City - WP: J. Guthrie 5
Seattle 3 Top 9th Inning
Houston 8
Los Angeles 7 Bottom 8th Inning
Chicago Cubs 5
Texas 1 Bottom 6th Inning
LA Angels 1
Philadelphia 4 Top 5th Inning
Oakland 4
San Francisco 0 Bottom 5th Inning
San Diego 0
Arizona 0 Bottom 5th Inning
Colorado 4
Cincinnati - A. Simon 7:05 PM
St. Louis - L. Lynn
San Diego 22 FINAL
Buffalo 10
Dallas 34 FINAL
St. Louis 31
Washington 34 FINAL
Philadelphia 37
Houston 17 FINAL
NY Giants 30
Minnesota 9 FINAL
New Orleans 20
Tennessee 7 FINAL
Cincinnati 33
Baltimore 23 FINAL
Cleveland 21
Green Bay 7 FINAL
Detroit 19
Indianapolis 44 FINAL
Jacksonville 17
Oakland 9 FINAL
New England 16
San Francisco 14 3rd Qtr
Arizona 6
Denver 3 2nd Qtr 2:54
Seattle 10
Kansas City 7 2nd Qtr 1:42
Miami 0
Pittsburgh 7:30 PM
Carolina
Chicago 9/22/14 7:30 PM
NY Jets
NY Giants 9/25/14 7:25 PM
Washington
Columbus 4 FINAL
Carolina 3
Buffalo 0 1st Prd 2:21
Washington 1
St. Louis 5:30 PM
Columbus
Calgary 7:00 PM
Edmonton
Edmonton 7:00 PM
Calgary
Old Dominion 45 FINAL
Rice 42
Troy 0 FINAL
(12) Georgia 66
Georgia Tech 27 FINAL
Virginia Tech 24
Eastern Mich 14 FINAL
(9) Michigan State 73
Iowa 24 FINAL
Pittsburgh 20
Bowling Green 17 FINAL
(19) Wisconsin 68
Maryland 34 FINAL
Syracuse 20
Tulane 13 FINAL
Duke 47
Hawaii 12 FINAL
Colorado 21
Marshall 48 FINAL
Akron 17
North Carolina 41 FINAL
(23) East Carolina 70
Army 21 FINAL
Wake Forest 24
Virginia 33 FINAL
(20) BYU 41
(6) Texas A&M 58 FINAL
SMU 6
Rutgers 31 FINAL
Navy 24
Central Mich 10 FINAL
Kansas 24
Utah 26 FINAL
Michigan 10
Florida 21 FINAL
(3) Alabama 42
Louisville 34 FINAL
FIU 3
Fla Atlantic 19 FINAL
Wyoming 20
Indiana 31 FINAL
Missouri 27
San Jose St 7 FINAL
Minnesota 24
Texas State 35 FINAL
Illinois 42
Massachusetts 7 FINAL
Penn State 48
Georgia State 14 FINAL
Washington 45
Appalachian St 20 FINAL
Southern Miss 21
(14) Miss State 34 FINAL
(17) LSU 29
Northern Ill 14 FINAL
Arkansas 52
Middle Tennessee 17 FINAL
Memphis 36
Utah State 14 FINAL
Arkansas State 21
Miami-Ohio 24 FINAL
Cincinnati 31
Idaho 24 FINAL
Ohio U 36
Ball State 23 FINAL
Toledo 34
(13) So Carolina 48 FINAL
Vanderbilt 34
(4) Oklahoma 45 FINAL
West Virginia 33
Ga Southern 28 FINAL
South Alabama 6
UNLV 14 FINAL
Houston 47
Miami-Florida 31 FINAL
(21) Nebraska 41
New Mexico 38 FINAL
New Mexico St 35
Clemson 17 FINAL
(1) Florida State 23
California 45 FINAL
Arizona 49
San Diego St 7 FINAL
Oregon State 28
(2) Oregon 38 FINAL
Washington St 31
Louisiana 9 FINAL
Boise State 34
Texas Tech 9/25/14 6:30 PM
(24) Oklahoma State
Appalachian St 9/25/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
(11) UCLA 9/25/14 9:00 PM
(15) Arizona State
Middle Tennessee 9/26/14 7:00 PM
Old Dominion
Fresno State 9/26/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico
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(25) Kansas State
Tennessee 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(12) Georgia
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Kentucky
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(9) Michigan State
Northwestern 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
TCU 9/27/14 11:00 AM
SMU
Iowa 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
Tulane 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Rutgers
So Florida 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(19) Wisconsin
Colorado State 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Boston College
Western Mich 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Virginia Tech
Maryland 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Indiana
Akron 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Pittsburgh
Bowling Green 9/27/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
Arkansas 9/27/14 2:30 PM
(6) Texas A&M
Kent State 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Virginia
Western Ky 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Navy
Minnesota 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Wake Forest 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Louisville
FIU 9/27/14 2:30 PM
UAB
(1) Florida State 9/27/14 2:30 PM
NC State
Miami-Ohio 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Colorado 9/27/14 3:00 PM
California
Louisiana Tech 9/27/14 3:00 PM
(5) Auburn
Texas 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Kansas
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Connecticut
(16) Stanford 9/27/14 3:15 PM
Washington
TX-San Antonio 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Fla Atlantic
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Idaho
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(22) Ohio State
Rice 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
Missouri 9/27/14 6:00 PM
(13) So Carolina
Boise State 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Air Force
North Carolina 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Clemson
Central Mich 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Toledo
Troy 9/27/14 6:00 PM
ULM
New Mexico St 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(17) LSU
Memphis 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(10) Ole Miss
Duke 9/27/14 6:30 PM
Miami-Florida
Texas State 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Tulsa
Washington St 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Utah
(8) Notre Dame 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Syracuse
(7) Baylor 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Iowa State
UNLV 9/27/14 7:00 PM
San Diego St
Illinois 9/27/14 8:00 PM
(21) Nebraska
Oregon State 9/27/14 9:30 PM
(18) USC
Nevada 9/27/14 9:30 PM
San Jose St
Chivas USA 0 FINAL
Toronto FC 3
Toronto 40 FINAL
Brt Columbia 23
Edmonton 23 FINAL
Hamilton 25
Calgary 15 FINAL
Montreal 31
Ottawa 22
Saskatchewan 10

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