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 exhibition lineup Tuesday in Edmonton

Posted by: Michael Russo under Vikings, Vikings fans, Wild training camp Updated: September 18, 2011 - 2:51 PM

Afternoon from high above an empty X, where I'm all alone in a dark press box, too.

Spooky.

Wild coach Mike Yeo announced the roster today for the Wild's first exhibition game in Edmonton. Remember, the Wild didn't win a preseason game last season, other than the game at Ilves Tampere. The Wild won that one 5-1, I believe, with Cal Clutterbuck getting a hat trick. I think Chuck Kobasew and Marek Zidlicky also scored in that game.

I scare myself with the meaningless info I remember.

I also remember accidentally racking up like a $2,000 aircard bill on the bus ride back to Helsinki trying to upload the Clutterbuck video.

The roster Tuesday:

Fowards:

Guillaume Latendresse-Matt Cullen-Pierre-Marc Bouchard

Darroll Powe-Kyle Brodziak-Cal Clutterbuck

Brett Bulmer-Warren Peters-Jed Ortmeyer

Matt Kassian-David McIntyre-Jarod Palmer

Defensemen

Jordan Hendry-Mike Lundin

Clayton Stoner-Jared Spurgeon

Justin Falk-Nate Prosser

Extra, it appears: Tyler Cuma

Goalies:

Josh Harding, making his first start since his exhibition debut a year ago, and Matt Hackett will split the cage.

In today's scrimmage, the green team beat the white team 1-zip, with Dany Heatley scoring the lone goal on a penalty shot.

So yes, in two scrimmages, the Wild didn't score a goal when actual hockey was played. Of course, it's easier to get goals than teach defense, so maybe that's why Mike Yeo seems so confident right now with this team. If the scrimmages were 7-5 each day, that'd be a big sign of work needing to be done.

Again today, the Wild put forth bigtime effort, although there were a boatload of turnovers late in the scrimmage.

The best line clearly was that Cullen line with Bouchard and Latendresse. The line buzzed and buzzed and spent most every one of their shifts in the offensive zone. Their last shift of the game, they absolutely used and abused the Koivu line, pinning the line in the defensive zone for a minute.

Other notables today: Jeff Taffe was very physical. Jordan Hendry was good again, and the tryout earned himself a spot in Edmonton. He previously wasn't slated to play, but Yeo said he warranted it, so Nick Schultz gets to stay home.

As I mentioned, Bouchard was obviously healthy today after missing yesterday with a hammy. Niklas Backstrom practiced today but was held out of his second scrimmage in a row for maintenance.

Monday is Hump Day -- the third day in training camp, which on most teams I've covered is pretty lousy. Usually the players' legs are mush, which makes for sloppy practices and frustrated coaches.

The Wild won't scrimmage Monday. Instead, Yeo will run two longer practices with each practice split by a flooding to resurface the ice. Yeo will work 5-on-5 throughout, everything from the defensive-zone coverage and neutral zone (installed today), forecheck and breakout.

On Tuesday, special teams will be worked on by the group of 21 players in Edmonton with Yeo, Darryl Sydor and Rick Wilson and by the rest of the team back in Minnesota by Darby Hendrickson and John Torchetti.

I'll give you a quick blog Monday before my flight to Edmonton. Just an fyi: the Wild-Oilers game is supposed to be streamed on edmontonoilers.com.

Enjoy the rest of your Sunday Vikings fans

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Texas - WP: C. Lewis 12 FINAL
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Northwestern
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