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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Hackett to make first NHL start; Setoguchi, Clutterbuck out

Posted by: Michael Russo under Wild pregame skate Updated: December 8, 2011 - 2:28 PM

Afternoon from outside the visitors dressing room at the Staples Center. I'll be on NHL Live on NHL Network at around 3 p.m. CT.

Matt Hackett, one game after winning his first game in relief, will make his NHL debut tonight vs. L.A.

Nik Backstrom practiced yesterday and skated today, but coach Mike Yeo said the team feels he should get another game to rest. So he'll back up.

Cal Clutterbuck will miss tonight's game with a leg injury. It sounds like the same injury that kept him out last week (aggravation of thigh).

Jeff Taffe was scheduled to land at 12:13 p.m., so he didn't make it to the skate on time. But it sounds like he'll make his Wild debut on the left wing of Mikko Koivu and Dany Heatley. Yeo said the team will debate whether to play seven defensemen, but if you don't play Taffe in that spot, suddenly you're messing with every line that's been playing well -- particularly the second line.

Devin Setoguchi is on injured reserve. He got hurt on his second shift in San Jose.

I believe it's a sprained knee, but he definitely says it's not a fully torn ligament. He says the full left cast is just to keep him from bending it.

"Injuries happen. They come and go. You just come and treat it day to day. I'll rehab to get better," Setoguchi said.

On how long he'll be out (he has to miss at least three games): Obviously it's a little sore, but we'll take a couple days to ice and get treatments done, and then see how it is."

If I'm right and it's a sprained knee, usually that takes four to six weeks, but again, that's pure conjecture on my part and there are different degrees of sprain. It's good that he's not on crutches, meaning they're comfortable that he's putting weight on it. Yeo also says he doesn't think this will be too, too long.

Just fyi, they're still calling it lower body. Same with Clutterbuck.

Talk to you tonight.

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