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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Latendresse dips toe into Wild lineup tonight; "Like" us on Facebook

Posted by: Michael Russo under Wild pregame skate Updated: October 27, 2011 - 12:05 PM

Guillaume Latendresse returns to the Wild lineup tonight, but as I suspected on yesterday's blog, for it to happen, he'd have to at least start off on the Wild's fourth line.

Coach Mike Yeo indicated yesterday that he was anxious to see the Wild's top two lines that have practiced together since Monday, and he didn't want to tinker with the Brett Bulmer-Kyle Brodziak-Nick Johnson line. That left scratching Latendresse, who says he's ready to return from a groin strain, or putting him on the fourth line.

Latendresse said it was a coach's decision and he'll work to get his ice time and role back. Yeo said he is not unhappy with Latendresse's play at all and he's "just not big" on a player returning to the lineup after one practice following a week off from practice.

No. 1 line tonight: Heatley-Koivu-Clutterbuck

No. 2 line tonight: Bouchard-Cullen-Setoguchi

Mentioned No. 3

No. 4 line tonight: Latendresse-Powe-Gillies

Latendresse will play on the No. 2 power-play unit with Bouchard, Setoguchi, Scandella, Spurgeon. Bouchard's been working on his faceoffs this week in practice, Yeo said. But we could see Brodziak out there if there's a draw on the right side.

Brad Staubitz and Matt Kassian are the healthy scratches. Niklas Backstrom in the cage.

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