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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Live Wild/NHL chat today at 2 p.m. CT; Yeo has lineup decisions to make tonight

Posted by: Michael Russo under Wild pregame skate Updated: October 13, 2011 - 9:09 AM

Good morning.

I'll be hosting a live chat on startribune.com today at 2 p.m. CT from the Xcel Energy Center pressbox. I'll may even be selling tickets to look over my shoulder as I do it.

If you get in trouble at work or school for hopping on this chat, blame Youngblood.

I'll also be on CHED in Edmonton at 1:30 p.m. CT with the great Bob Stauffer.

The Oilers come to town tonight. Coach Mike Yeo indicated to Kent yesterday that Pierre-Marc Bouchard (naturally) and Brad Staubitz, who are both coming off suspensions (weird to say that for Bouchard), will return to the lineup tonight. For Staubitz, it'll be his season debut.

That means, unless a forward got hurt Tuesday that we don't know about (there was no practice yesterday), two forwards will have to come out of the lineup.

Who?

Matt Kassian will certainly be one, and frankly, if Staubitz is sticking on the roster, Kassian may wind up on waivers at some point soon to get to Houston.

The other? Well, Bouchard goes back to the second line, where Brett Bulmer was playing. Bulmer was playing on the third before Bouchard's suspension. However, Colton Gillies has been great on that third line with Kyle Brodziak and Cal Clutterbuck the last two games, so I bet he sticks there.

That leaves Bulmer or Nick Johnson as the extra. Johnson scored last game, so it wouldn't surprise me at all if Bulmer sits tonight.

First, he didn't play much if at all in the second half of the third period the other night in Ottawa.

Second, sitting Bulmer would be a very natural thing in the development of a 19-year-old. Every teenager I've ever covered that is thrust into the NHL gets some games off every now and then where they get extra work at the morning skate with the coaches and get to watch upstairs with us experts. In the press box, the game is slower and easier to see develop.

So we'll see. Like I said, unless somebody is hurt, you can bet Johnson or Bulmer will be the other scratch.

More after the morning skates.

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