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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Lots of defensemen questionable for Wild against Lightning

Posted by: Michael Russo under Wild practice Updated: April 1, 2011 - 4:21 PM

Update: The Wild has recalled defensemen Justin Falk and Maxim Noreau.

Afternoon.

Very short practice this morning down at the X as coach Todd Richards got the guys on the ice for a get-the-legs moving practice after consecutive wins and before back-to-back home and road games.

Niklas Backstrom will start Saturday's 1 p.m. game against Tampa Bay, Jose Theodore will start Sunday's 5 p.m. ET/4 p.m. CT time game at Detroit.

Defensemen Marek Zidlicky and Nick Schultz did not practice today, Zidlicky with an aggravation it sounds of his hamstring, Schultz with an undisclosed injury. Brent Burns also went down in practice and Richards called him questionable, although Burns looked OK in the locker room.

All three are questionable. Cam Barker is possible to return. But Richards said the Wild may need to call up one or two defensemen.

Houston plays in Milwaukee tonight in a battle of the Western Conference's first-place Admirals and second-place Aeros. So conceivably, the Wild can have possible callups play tonight, then get em here in time for Saturday's game if needed. The Aeros play in Chicago on Saturday.

Uhhhhh, that's it. Work to do. Check out my Sunday column expanding on the Wild's mid-range first-round pick draft history and why it's killing them. I even talk to you in Yiddish in there. Also, check out Saturday's paper as I catch up with ageless Lightning goalie and former popular Wild netminder Dwayne Roloson. Roloson had another tremendous performance in a win over Pittsburgh last night.

I'll be on the Team 1040 in Vancouver at 2:30 p.m. CT for my regular Friday afternoon appearance. Might be delayed 15 minutes depending on if Alex Burrows beats me to the punch

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