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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Wild looks to extend 7-0-1 November record tonight in Montreal

Posted by: Michael Russo under Wild pregame skate Updated: November 19, 2013 - 11:47 AM

Bonjour from Montreal, where the Wild and Les Habitants square off tonight in the front end of back-to-back games for Minnesota.

Wild plays in Ottawa tomorrow. This is the first of four straight away from the friendly confines of the X (league-best 10-1-2) for the Wild, which hopes to improve on its 3-3-2 road record.

If you didn't read my feature in today's paper on Team Finland's brass talking about potentially naming Mikko Koivu captain at the Olympics and the evolution of Mikael Granlund, that article can be read here.

Josh Harding starts tonight and Darcy Kuemper is expected to start tomorrow. Despite several teams in the NHL dealing with goalie issues including the Wild, Jason LaBarbera cleared waivers for Edmonton.

So that pretty much sums up where he is in his career.

Not much news to report other than Clayton Stoner's revolving D partners.

"They're trying to keep me guessing," Stoner said with a wink.

Stoner has played with injured Keith Ballard this season, Jared Spurgeon this season and most recently interchanging Nate Prosser and Matt Dumba.

Tonight, Prosser gets back into the lineup and Dumba will be scratched. My guess is Dumba plays tomorrow in Ottawa, and coach Mike Yeo said that's a possibility.

I figured it had to do with the big Montreal stage and the fact it could intimidate a 19-year-old like Dumba, but Yeo said that wasn't the reason.

"You know what, we've got seven guys right now," Yeo said. "I liked a lot of things I saw in his game [against Winnipeg on Sunday]. We have a large number of games coming up here, so there's a good chance we'll get him back in there. It was the same thing with Pross. It was hard to take Pross out of the lineup [Sunday], but we're just trying to keep everybody involved."

Improving Marco Scandella, as I wrote today here, will play his second game in the rink five or six minutes from where he grew up. He only had to buy 12 tickets and got a home-cooked meal last night, "so in the end, I won."

He also set up 30 postgame passes and he's just excited, saying how cool it is to get text messages from old teachers saying how excited they are to watch him in person.

Different atmosphere around the Wild from the bilingual press when we come here now. It used to be mayhem when Jacques Lemaire coached the Wild. Now, it's much less crowded, although Scandella and Quebec-born Jason Pominville were popular interviews today, as well as Mikko Koivu -- the brother of longtime former Canadiens captain Saku Koivu.

That's it for moi. Talk after tonight's game and on Twitter during the game (www.twitter.com/russostrib).

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