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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Wild injury updates and a Seann William Scott Extra

Posted by: Michael Russo under Wild news, Wild practice Updated: March 12, 2012 - 3:10 PM

Wild winger Cal Clutterbuck returned to practice today after missing the past three games because he wasn’t feeling well. He is feeling much better, but was wearing a Do Not Touch jersey today and is questionable for Tuesday’s game against Dallas. Clearly the team has been playing it safe to ensure he wasn’t concussed on the David Jones, what Clutterbuck says, elbow to the jaw.
Mikko Koivu also practiced again today and will see the doctors in the next few days to see if he can be cleared for contact. Koivu says he “definitely” plans to play again this season.
Koivu has missed 20 of the last 24 games with a shoulder injury. You can read Koivu’s comments in Tuesday’s Star Tribune. He turned 29 today and took a shaving cream pie to the face from Stephane Veilleux. Here’s a pic, courtesy of equipment manager Tony DaCosta’s Twitter account (@styleswild):

 


 

I asked Koivu if he was going to hang with buddy Kurtis Foster. "No, I want to have a happy birthday," he quipped. Koivu's brother, Saku, by the way, is scheduled to play his 1,000th game tonight when Anaheim visits Colorado. I talked to Josh Harding. He’s feeling better after a lower body injury suffered Thursday at Phoenix. Also, no shock here, but Pierre-Marc Bouchard (concussion) admits it’ll be pretty hard for him to play this season. He’s starting to feel better and he’s skated in a tracksuit, but he’d have to be 100 percent free, then try exercising, then get back into shape.
Coach Mike Yeo said it’s pretty grim for Guillaume Latendresse (concussion) and Mike Lundin (hernia), too. Niklas Backstrom went on the ice before practice today and Yeo said his desire is to return as quickly as possible. “He’s a gamer,” Yeo said.
You can read Yeo’s quotes on a tough practice in Tuesday’s paper.
I meant to post this Sunday, but it didn’t publish for some reason.
Like any good DVD, there are always extras. So here are some deleted scenes, so to speak, from my phone interview with actor Seann William Scott, the Cottage Grove native who stars in the new hockey comedy, "Goon."
Here is a link to the column

As you know, Scott and Wild defenseman Nate Prosser are pretty much doppelgangers. I told Scott to make sure he googles Prosser.
“That’s classic. That’s funny. Is he a super nice guy like me?” Scott said, laughing.

 


 

The fact Scott puts “super” in front of everything was my first indication as to how Minnesotan he is.
Scott is currently promoting two movies, one being, Goon, which comes out March 30 in the U.S., and one being, "American Reunion," where he revives his infamous character, Steve Stifler, in another sequel to American Pie.
“It’s a stand alone, great comedy,” Scott said. “If people love American Pie and those movies, they’re going to freak out on this movie. American Pie haters, I think they’ll be surprised.”
The Farrelly Brothers have also produced a series of short films coming out, and Scott’s in one with Johnny Knoxville, his co-star from the movie, Dukes of Hazzard.
As for Goon, Scott said he was doing press for Role Models a few years back when actor Paul Rudd told him he had spoken to writer Evan Goldberg (Pineapple Express, Superbad).
“They worked together on Knocked Up,” Scott said. “Paul said he’s writing this really cool script with Jay Baruchel about this hockey enforcer and they’d love you for it. I was thrilled because I hadn’t worked with the Judd Apatow camp at all and their films. And to have them already thinking of me as they’re writing the movie was a totally different experience knowing that filmmakers were already keying on me playing the role instead of me trying to convince them that I could do it.
“So based on that, I spoke to them, I eventually got the script and loved it. It was totally different than what I’ve done in the past. We got the financing and then it all kind of came together.”
Scott said he loved making the move because Baruchel, who grew up in Montreal and I’ve heard has a Maple Leafs tattoo, is a big fan.
“His love for the game is so infectious you can’t help but just to want to learn more and want to watch more,” Scott said.
Not being a big-budget film, there wasn’t a lot of time to rehearse the fight scenes. He did work with former player Christian Lalonde before shooting to improve his skating.
“I think even Liev Schreiber said for Wolverine that they rehearsed like three months before they actually started shooting,” Scott said. “We have so many fights in this movie. We’d get out there and they’d say, ‘OK, you’re going to throw five punches, you throw 10, throw him into the glass, then head butt him.’ I’d be like, ‘OK, so we’ll rehearse this?’ They’d be like, ‘No, we’ll just walk through it once and then we’ll shoot it.’
“I was like, ‘What?” Scott said, laughing.
“A lot of hockey films have been made, but they don’t really capture the game well. They wanted as best as possible for the [moviegoer] to really get how fast the game is and try to photograph it in a way that’s a little bit more real. As far as the fights go, you’re going to see some landed punches. We did some specialty shots where some of the guys knew they were going to get punched. We just wanted it to feel as real as possible and we also wanted every punch to mean something so the audience is reacting to it.
“I just watched the movie for the third time here in LA last night and I was like, man every time I’m watching the fights, especially the last one with Liev, it’s like, I was tense, and I’m in the movie. I know what’s going to happen. I win, but still, wooph, that fight was pretty brutal.”
Scott gets to fight former heavyweight Georges Laraque in the movie.
“It’s just incredible in my opinion, and obviously I’m a novice, but the best fighter in the NHL arguably is the sweetest guy. We have that scene where he’s like, you want to go? And I’m like yeah sure. And we’re like all polite and afterwards we’re patting each other on the back. That really happened in a fight he was miked for. That was the thing I thought was just incredible is that some of the biggest enforcers in the game are some of the most polite, nicest guys you’ll ever meet. You’d never know he owns two vegan restaurants watching his fights.”
I know this is meant to be a comedy, but I did ask him if he was conflicted because of last offseason deaths of fighters Derek Boogaard, Wade Belak and Rick Rypien.
“We filmed the movies before the recent tragedies,” he said. “We filmed it over a year ago and as far as I knew, it was just a movie to entertain. It wasn’t pro or against fighting. But to hear Jay Baruchel talk about it, he makes the argument, he wonders if Wayne Gretzky would have put up the numbers that he did if he didn’t have somebody looking out for him. Being an athlete and looking at it from that standpoint, that makes sense. And if you don’t have some kind of consequence for guys giving each other cheap shots, holding each other accountable, there might be even more.
“It’s been a topic for years about fighting, and I hope they find a resolution so everybody’s happy. Liev Schreiber’s character in the movie, he’s been battling it out as this enforcer, this fighter, for years and then all of a sudden, from 17 years old to close to 40, he’s going to retire. How do you transition into life? Most people, their late 30s, 40s, their life is still moving forward. Not in sports. So I’m sure it takes a psychological toll to be on the ice everyday, to put blood, sweat and tears in and then all of a sudden the glory might be gone, especially if you’re a fighter and don’t feel you’re taken seriously as a hockey player. I believe that does take a toll.”
Scott said he was always envious of his hockey-playing buddies growing up.
“This movie was pretty much my real introduction to the sport,” he said. “I learned a helluva lot. Still a terrible player, but I know a little more of the game and my appreciation has grown immensely just to really see how athletic these guys are, how aggressive the sport is, how fast it is and just how they relate to each other.”
Scott said he still has two brothers and a sister that live here in Minnesota and he tries to get back as often as possible. When he’s done promoting these two films, he’s planning a trip back to meet all his friend’s new families.
“Yeah, I’m at that age where my buddies are having kids,” he said.
As you can tell, really nice guy.

 

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