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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Setoguchi talks

Posted by: Kent Youngblood under Wild game coverage Updated: December 29, 2011 - 1:26 PM

Well, it was a fairly uneventful morning skate for the Wild. That's mainly because there was no morning skate. Coach Mike Yeo decided to have his guys get a good night's sleep rather than come in for a morning skate.

So the only folks hanging around Xcel Energy Center were some assistant coaches and the injured players, who went through a rather intense skate. Those on the ice included: Devin Setoguchi, Clayton Stoner, Casey Wellman and Guillaume Latendresse.

Matt Kassian, called up from Houston, jumped on a 7:30 a.m. flight. He carried his equipment back into the Wild dressing room as the players were leaving the ice.

Setoguchi, who is coming back from a knee injury that has forced him out of the last 10 games, looked good on the ice. Afterward, he talked about perhaps taking part in a Wild practice this week. Here is how he described his progress:

"Feeling good, better and better each day," he said. "It's a matter of just getting to the point where you don't think you're going to hurt yourself if you go out and play. It's getting your legs and your lungs back. You have to get a full practice before you can get back. But definitely making big strides day to day, and skating better each day."

It's unclear whether Setoguchi will use a brace on his leg when he returns. But it's clear that much of the timing regarding his return has to do with his confidence. Indeed, when asked about when he might return to practice, Setoguchi said it might happen as early as tomorrow.

"Could be tomorrow," he said. "It could be a couple days. It's kind of my decision. I want to wake up in the morning and see how I feel. I pushed it pretty hard today. The plan was to try to be back before the new year. Hopefully I'll get in a couple practices here soon."

Meanwhile, it's been nearly as painful for Setoguchi to watch the team struggle and not be able to help as the injury itself. "Any time you see your team struggling a little bit you always want to be out there to help," he said. "The guys have been working hard and you want to be a part of it."

 

Meanwhile, Kassian is back. Yeo wasn't there this morning, but I'm thinking Kassian will be in the lineup tonight. Yeo has been talking about needing to stand up to teams that try to push the Wild around, and Kassian could be a part of that plan.

 

 

 

 

 

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