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, Wellman activated

Posted by: Kent Youngblood under On the road, Wild practice Updated: January 3, 2012 - 2:29 PM

Greetings.

Well, i wrote after practice that all signs pointed to Devin Setoguchi's return to the lineup tomorrow in Vancouver.

Now it looks almost certain. The Wild has activated both Setoguchi and Casey Wellman off of injured reserve while sending Matt Kassian back to Houston.

Setoguchi has missed 12 games with a knee injury and Wellman missed nine games with a wrist injury. Setoguchi, who skated on a line with Mikko Koivu and Dany Heatley in practice the past two days, has 13 points in 28 games for the Wild. Wellman has four points in seven games.

It was another up-tempo practice Tuesday, with a whole lot of players on the ice. The Wild had nine defensemen and 13 forwards skating.

Afterward, coach Mike Yeo talked like Setoguchi was about to return. Setoguchi, meanwhile, again said he felt good after practice.

Immediately after practice Yeo wasn't going to say whether Setoguchi would play tomorrow.  But it sounded like he would when Yeo talked about what the potential return of Setoguchi would mean: "It's the potential return of a high-skill guy," Yeo said, "a top-six forward, a guy that can help us on the power play, a guy with great speed who can help us draw a few more power plays."

The past two days have been spent on reinforcing the team's attention to detail. "When we were winning a lot of games, we were winning a lot of one-goal games,"  Yeo said. "And now we're losing a lot of one-goal games. So we're talking about one play being the difference, one shift, one guy not paying attention to detail in a certain area, one mistake you make or one play you don't make."

In other news, when asked about the two-game suspension Phoenix's Raffi Torres got for a shot to Nate Prosser's head Saturday, Yeo said, "Well, we didn't get the call in the game. Could have used that. ... You don't like anybody getting hit like that, people taking runs at people."

 

That's about it for now. Russo will pick up the team tomorrow

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