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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Scandella returns, Foucault expected to make his NHL debut

Posted by: Michael Russo under Wild practice Updated: February 13, 2012 - 4:17 PM

I'll be on KFAN at 9 a.m. Tuesday live from the Xcel penalty box with Paul Allen

Afternoon from the X, where the Wild practiced in preparation for its game tomorrow night with the Anaheim Ducks. The Ducks are about to hit the ice for their practice.

Cal Clutterbuck is day-to-day with a lower body injury. Coach Mike Yeo said he's not anticipating that Clutterbuck will be able to play. If that's the case, Kris Foucault will make his NHL debut. He will be the 39th player to play for the Wild this season and seventh to make his NHL debut.

He practiced on the No. 2 power-play unit today and Yeo said he was chosen as the callup because he's got a chance to score goals and make plays. Yeo sounded like he'll fiddle with the second, third and fourth lines against the red-hot Ducks.

Marco Scandella is back as well. He was sent down Jan. 9 after getting no points and being minus-10 in his previous 11 games. He is apparently playing real well now. Justin Falk and Mike Lundin will be scratched.

Today's practice was a fun one. It sure helped that some of Mikko Koivu's buddies or something showed up to the rink with a Mikko Koivu cardboard cutout that is currently standing up in Tony DaCosta's office.

Some players said it was hard to focus with Koivu's cutout watching practice. Some players suggested they put it in the net to try to entice the guys to shoot more. Yeo joked that they were going to do a Major League thing the rest of the year and take off pieces of the clothing every time the Wild wins.

Hey, whatever works. As I spelled out in today's Pierre-Marc Bouchard article here, a team that has gotten 3 out of every 10 points since Dec. 13 must get 6.1 out of the final every 10 points to get to 91. Yeo said to be safe, the Wild must win 18 out of a final 27 games to get to 94 to make the playoffs.

That's pretty daunting, so Yeo said it's important the Wild just focuses on the next game in hand to try to get a good feeling back into its game.

That's just a quick blog. I may thicken it out later on.

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