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 enjoying day off in Florida

Posted by: Michael Russo under Wild practice Updated: October 18, 2013 - 4:46 PM

Afternoon from Ft. Lauderdale Beach, where the cruises are starting to file the channel leading from Port Everglades to the Atlantic Ocean.

and my view is this

The Wild's got today off as one of its four mandatory days off a month (as per new collective bargaining agreement). Beautiful day here in South Florida, and not very humid. Not much news today.

First a mea culpa. On the winning goal last night by Tampa Bay, apparently the mistake up the ice wasn't Mikko Koivu in the neutral zone, but Zach Parise not being in the passing lane. Obviously, there were plenty of mistakes to go around (including obviously Ryan Suter) and it still looks to me that Koivu is too far to the strongside, but regardless, probably the only innocent party on the whole goal was Jonas Brodin.

Nevertheless, Steven Stamkos was being Steven Stamkos. Wrong guy on the ice for the Wild to have a breakdown like that.

Now the Wild must find a way to even up the road trip Saturday night against the 2-6 Florida Panthers.

Darcy Kuemper was reassigned to Iowa. As of now, no forward callup, which surprises me a bit. I feel it would be a good time to shake it up, particularly shake up a second line that hasn't scored a goal this season. Dany Heatley's off to the worst start of his career and will match his career-long goal drought of nine games if he doesn't score vs. Florida. He's twice before gone nine games without a goal, and both came last season.

I chatted with Nick Bjugstad via phone this morning and did a story on him tomorrow. The former Gopher is expected to play the Wild for the first time Saturday.

I'll be on KFAN at 5:55 p.m. CT tonight and on Fox Sports North during the pregame show and first intermission Saturday.

Talk to you after the skates.

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