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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If it's a shootout, the Wild's usually involved

Posted by: Michael Russo under Wild game coverage Updated: April 3, 2012 - 11:26 PM

The Nashville Predators got to the 100-point plateau tonight with a 2-1 shootout win over the Wild. Quality effort by the Wild, but no dice in the shootout when the Wild went 0-for-3 and Niklas Backstrom was beaten on a pretty nasty shot by Alex Radulov.


The Wild fell to 10-9 in shootouts. That’s the most in the NHL. I’m no math genius, but that’s 19 stressful ... file-the-second-the-game’s-over stories for first edition.


This was the fourth consecutive overtime for the Wild, incidentally. Six periods to go in this season, excluding the inevitable shootouts.

In the nightly casualty report, Clayton Stoner looked to get hurt in the third period on an Andrei Kostitsyn hit, but he did return. And Kyle Brodziak played with a bunch of stitches in his face after being clipped by teammate Darroll Powe’s left skate. He cut his left cheek and the outside of the left side of his nose.

He was real sore after the game, so he didn’t want to speak, but he looked to have trouble playing the puck after, probably because he’s not normally used to wearing a visor. He’s one of three healthy guys on the Wild that doesn’t wear one.

He didn’t just wear a visor, but athletic therapist Don Fuller told the equipment gents to get a ¾ visor to protect Brodziak, and the best they had was the specially-ordered Dany Heatley long model.
It’s amazing how many injuries the Wild’s had this season and still have right now, yet Nashville’s completely healthy.

“It’s a little ridiculous how things can go like this,” said defenseman Justin Falk, who was real good tonight. “It’s comical to the point where you just want it to end, the guys to be healthy, you want the best for each other. Nobody can play at 100 percent unless they’re feeling 100 percent. We have a lot of guys playing nicked up as well. Like you saw tonight, no shortage of effort and desire out there.”

That’s really it for me. I’m trying to get on an earlier flight in the morning. Read the gamer for all the details, but the ice was bad, Dany Heatley scored his team-leading 23rd, the blue line was good, the effort was solid, the Jason Zucker-Erik Christensen-Nick Johnson line bounced back fairly well after a bad game in Chicago that forced coach Mike Yeo to barely play them.

One weird moment came on a 10-minute video review in the second with the game scoreless.
Nick Spaling, always good against Minnesota, threw a puck in the crease. After a mad scramble, replays showed Johnson fishing the puck from deep inside his net.

But the goal was disallowed after FOREVER when the NHL said referee Ghislain Hebert finally determined he had blown his whistle to declare play dead prior to the puck crossing the goal line.
OK, Kent has practice Wednesday as I work ahead on my end of the season stuff.

 

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