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Russo's Rants

Michael Russo gives you complete coverage of the Minnesota Wild and the NHL

Only three Wild regulars playing tonight against Winnipeg


The Wild (1-1 in the preseason) visits Winnipeg tonight at 7. The game can be seen on NHL Network and heard on KFAN (100.3-FM).

Darcy Kuemper, whom I wrote about in today's paper here, will start with Alex Stalock backing up.

Erik Haula is the lone World Cup returnee making his exhibition debut.

Others in the lineup include roster hopefuls Joel Eriksson Ek, Tyler Graovac, Zac Dalpe, Kurtis Gabriel, Alex Tuch, Christoph Bertschy, Mike Reilly, Ryan Carter and Jordan Schroeder.

"I'd just like to see them playing the right way," coach Bruce Boudreau said. "This was our seventh practice. Now granted, I would say, not everybody's practiced seven times. We should be starting to get down the things we want to do. When we reviewed the tape from the last game, we were just all over the place in the neutral zone, all over the place on the forecheck, and when you're doing that, you're not going to keep the puck in and when you're doing that you're playing slow and when you're doing that you're not getting any shots on goal. 

"This is the third look we have on some guys and I think it's important that they make the positive impression on us."

Besides Haula, the only other regulars on the trip are Marco Scandella and Matt Dumba.

Zach Parise, Ryan Suter, Mikko Koivu and Mikael Granlund are expected to make their preseason debuts Sunday against Carolina.

The Wild worked on the power play a ton today. It was a little deceiving because Nino Niederreiter's not in camp yet and Dumba and Reilly didn't have to practice this morning, but Boudreau used the Parise-Eric Staal-Charlie Coyle line and Granlund-Koivu-Chris Stewart lines as the Nos. 1 and 2 units, so those could be the units vs. the Canes.

The pointmen, respectively, were Jared Spurgeon-Suter and Jonas Brodin-Christian Folin.

Boudreau basically said after practice that he plans to use four defensemen on the points IF Reilly makes the team, so Reilly and Dumba as the other D besides Spurgeon and Suter. If Reilly doesn't make the team, one of the pointmen will probably be a forward like Granlund or Jason Pominville, I'd guess.

I am not covering tonight's game, by the way. I'll cover the remaining three exhibition games.

Also in today's paper was a notebook led with Coyle likely starting the season at right wing. Here's that link.

In tomorrow's paper, a feature on new Iowa coach Derek Lalonde and his hope to turn around what has been a losing team the past three years.

In the next few days, I'll write about Scott Stevens' influence already on the defensemen. For the first time that I can remember, it was an assistant coach stopping practice today to bark at guys and instruct. Boudreau said he wants that from every assistant.

"I can't be the only voice that they hear on a negative notion," Boudreau said.

Stevens was not happy with the losing goal the other night where Spurgeon and Brodin let Rene Bourque get behind them. Like I said, I'll write more about this in the next few days.

Iowa opens camp tomorrow. The Wild trimmed its roster to 42 today by assigning Brady Brassart, Steve Michalek, Pavel Jenys, Nick Seeler and Grayson Downing. Nick Sarcino, who's on an AHL deal, was also assigned there.

Wild cuts training camp roster by nine


The trimmed its training camp roster to 48 players (including injured minor-leaguers) this morning.

With the Iowa Wild set to open training camp in Des Moines on Friday, Adam Gilmour, Adam Vay, Guillaume Gelinas and Alex Gudbranson were assigned there.

Dmitry Sokolov was returned to Sudbury of the OHL and, after practice, Gustav Bouramman was returned to OHL Sault Ste. Marie. If you recall, the Wild signed the defenseman last month after there was talk he'd be leaving junior to return to Sweden.

Parker Bowles, Alex Petan and Nolan Zajac were released from their tryouts. They'll now try out for Iowa.

Also, Sunday's exhibition game against Carolina is "Kids Day." The Wild and hundreds of season-ticket holders donated roughly 3,000 tickets for that game to more than 20 community and non-profit organizations.

At practice at Ridder Arena, most the guys from last night's game has the day off, so it's unclear what Thursday's exhibition lineup will be in Winnipeg. Darcy Kuemper will start, but it's unlikely the World Cup guys get in. My guess is they play Sunday at home.

In practice today, Mikko Koivu centered Mikael Granlund and Chris Stewart and Erik Haula centered Zach Parise and Charlie Coyle.

My guess is Eric Staal winds up centering Parise and Coyle and Stewart, Jason Zucker and eventually Nino Niederreiter will audition for the Granlund-Koivu second line.

From there, the dominoes will fall on the other lines.

Bruce Boudreau did say after practice today that he envisions Coyle at right wing and he was only playing at center because the Wild was missing centermen Koivu and Haula at the World Cup.

As of now, I plan to write a story on Kuemper for Thursday's paper and some notes, likely leading with Coyle.

TV Listings

Local Schedule

< >
  • Twins at Kansas City

    6:15 pm on FSN, 96.3-FM

  • Wild at Winnipeg (preseason)

    7 pm on NHLN, 100.3-FM

  • Phoenix at Lynx

    7 pm on ESPNEWS, 106.1-FM

  • Lindenwood at Gophers women's hockey

    7:07 pm

  • Twins at Chicago White Sox

    7:10 pm on FSN, 96.3-FM

  • Lindenwood at Gophers women's hockey

    2:07 pm

  • Gophers football at Penn State

    2:30 pm on BTN, 100.3-FM

  • Twins at Chicago White Sox

    6:10 pm on FSN, 96.3-FM

  • Jacksonville at Minnesota United FC

    7 pm on Ch. 29

  • Twins at Chicago White Sox

    2:10 pm on FSN, 96.3-FM

  • Lynx at Phoenix

    4 pm on ESPN, 106.1-FM

  • Carolina at Wild (preseason)

    5 pm on 100.3-FM

  • N.Y. Giants at Vikings

    7:30 pm on ESPN, 100.3/1130

  • Wild at Colorado (preseason)

    8 pm on 100.3-FM

  • Minnesota United FC at Tampa Bay

    6:30 pm on Ch. 29

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Today's Scoreboard

  • Arizona



    - F



  • Cleveland



    - Postponed



  • Boston

    NY Yankees


    - Bot 7th



  • Chicago Cubs



    - Delayed



  • Baltimore



    - Bot 9th



  • Philadelphia



    - Top 8th



  • Minnesota

    Kansas City


    - Top 8th



  • Cincinnati

    St. Louis


    - Top 8th



  • Tampa Bay

    Chicago White Sox


    - Top 5th



  • LA Dodgers

    San Diego


    - Bot 1st



  • Oakland


    9:10 PM

  • Colorado

    San Francisco

    9:15 PM

  • Miami



    - 2nd, 2:00



No NBA games today

  • Nashville



    - End 3rd



  • New Jersey

    NY Rangers


    - 3rd, 2:01



  • Buffalo



    - 3rd, 0:30



  • Ottawa



    - 3rd, 18:34



  • Florida

    Tampa Bay


    - 3rd, 12:20



  • Minnesota



    - 2nd, 1:09



No MLS games today