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.

Also find Russo on Facebook.

Email Michael to talk about hockey.

Granlund excited to make NHL debut; Wild lineup

Posted by: Michael Russo under Wild news, Wild pregame skate Updated: January 19, 2013 - 12:16 PM
 
It’s Opening Night! 8 p.m., the Wild will drop the puck on the 2013 season against Gabriel Landeskog, Matt Duchene, Erik Johnson and the Colorado Avalanche.
 
Zach Parise and Ryan Suter will make their long-awaited Wild debuts, and 20-year-old Mikael Granlund, a 2010 first-round pick, will make his NHL debut.
 
“I’m so excited. Eight hours. It’s just, ... it’s just going to be amazing,” Granlund said.
 
If you didn’t read today’s coverage:
 
Here is the advance on the Wild’s season opener and how it’s time for the franchise to take the next step
 
Here is my notebook on Torrey Mitchell, Pierre-Marc Bouchard, injuries, etc.
 
Here is Chip Scoggins’ real good column on Mikko Koivu being a bit overshadowed right now.
 
I will be on KFAN at 12:55 p.m. and 6:45 p.m. and on Fox Sports North around 3:45 p.m. or a little afterward.
 
Granlund will be playing with a half-dozen Finnish media outlets in attendance, and it’s not because of Mikko Koivu. That’s how big Granlund is in Finland, and I will have a lot more on this scene in Sunday’s newspaper.
 
The game will also be televised live in Finland at 4 a.m.
 
Interesting tidbit: Granlund has been centering a line with Matt Cullen and Devin Setoguchi. I asked coach Mike Yeo about this because Cullen was the Wild’s best drawman last season at .532 and ranked 25th in the NHL.
 
Yeo said the original plan this week was to have Cullen take the draws and then reset positions with Granlund afterward. But Granlund has been so surprisingly good on faceoffs this week, the plan now is for Granlund to take them and Cullen to replace him if he’s booted from the circle.
 
So we’ll see if that lasts.
 
Yeo arrived at the arena around 6:30 a.m. to begin his day. He said when he got home last night, after eating dinner is when it kicked in that the 2013 season is opening tonight.
 
“Little bit of butterflies, little bit of jitteriness,” said Yeo, echoing players on both Minnesota and Colorado.
 
Yeo said before the lockout ended, he was sleeping like he was eight years old again.
 
“And all of a sudden this week comes along, I don’t even know if I was really sleeping this week because your mind is going 100 mph just because your days are so busy,” Yeo said.
 
I’ll be interested in the type of hockey we’ll see the first couple weeks in the NHL. It could be very sloppy, which could also make it very entertaining.
 
Just think: Coaches haven’t coached since April, May and June. Players haven’t played NHL games since April, May and June. Refs haven’t reffed since April, May and June.
 
Yeo said he read a quote from a coach the other day that described it perfectly: “He said, ‘I feel ready and we’ve had a great week, but at the same time, I’m scared to death.’”
 
The reason is no coach can honestly say they covered everything they wanted to cover.
 
Defenseman Tom Gilbert (groin) will play tonight, meaning rookie Matt Dumba is scratched.
 
Yeo will make a decision after warmups on Matt Kassian. If he sees the Avalanche dresses minor-league tough guy Patrick Bordeleau, a 2004 fourth-round pick by the Wild, for his NHL debut, Kassian may play.
 
Yeo met with all four forward lines on the ice this morning to tell them what he is expecting, discuss their roles again, etc.
 
Again, assuming Kassian does not play tonight, here are your Wild lines and D pairs.
 
Niklas Backstrom
Josh Harding
 
Zach Parise-Mikko Koivu-Dany Heatley
Matt Cullen-Mikael Granlund-Devin Setoguchi
Cal Clutterbuck-Kyle Brodziak-Pierre-Marc Bouchard
Darroll Powe*-Zenon Konopka-Torrey Mitchell
 
*If Kassian plans, Powe may be the odd man out.
 
Ryan Suter-Jared Spurgeon
Clayton Stoner-Tom Gilbert
Justin Falk-Nate Prosser
Referees tonight are Wes McCauley and Rob Martell. Linesmen are Brad Lazarowich and Brian Murphy.
 

ADVERTISEMENT

New England 2/1/15 5:30 PM
Seattle
Portland 0 Postponed
Brooklyn 0
Sacramento 0 Postponed
New York 0
Philadelphia 74 FINAL
New Orleans 99
Minnesota 84 FINAL
Oklahoma City 92
Orlando 94 FINAL
Memphis 103
Boston 99 FINAL
Utah 90
Denver 98 FINAL
LA Clippers 102
Army 68 FINAL
American Univ 66
Wright State 64 FINAL
Detroit 53
Syracuse 83 FINAL
North Carolina 93
Cleveland State 56 FINAL
Oakland 59
Delaware State 54 FINAL
NC Central 55
High Point 63 FINAL
Presbyterian 54
Howard 45 FINAL
Bethune-Cookman 42
Coppin State 84 FINAL
NC A&T 71
Nicholls 51 FINAL
Northwestern St 80
Hampton 56 FINAL
SC State 65
Gardner-Webb 59 FINAL
Campbell 78
MD-Eastern Shore 72 FINAL
Florida A&M 65
Stephen F Austin 82 FINAL
Lamar 65
Central Arkansas 67 FINAL
New Orleans 87
Norfolk State 70 FINAL
Savannah State 54
TX A&M-CC 70 FINAL
SE Louisiana 61
Sam Houston St 80 FINAL
Abilene Christian 63
McNeese State 84 FINAL
Incarnate Word 86
Milwaukee 48 FINAL
Valparaiso 73
Alcorn State 66 FINAL
Alabama A&M 78
Southern U 59 FINAL
Alabama State 63
Prairie View 68 FINAL
Ark-Pine Bluff 105
Texas 86 FINAL
Iowa State 89
Texas Southern 85 FINAL
Miss Valley St 84
Long Island 85 FINAL
Bryant 88
Central Conn St 51 FINAL
St Francis-NY 49
Fairleigh Dickinson 0 Postponed
Sacred Heart 0
St Francis-PA 87 FINAL
Wagner 74
Delaware State 59 FINAL
NC Central 66
Howard 53 FINAL
Bethune-Cookman 61
Coppin State 49 FINAL
NC A&T 67
Hampton 88 FINAL
SC State 53
Norfolk State 54 FINAL
Savannah State 56
MD-Eastern Shore 54 FINAL
Florida A&M 64
Angelo State 55 FINAL
Abilene Christian 70
Samford 32 FINAL
(25) Chattanooga 49
Prairie View 83 FINAL
Ark-Pine Bluff 66
Alcorn State 58 FINAL
Alabama A&M 55
Southern U 53 FINAL
Alabama State 49
Texas Southern 63 FINAL
Miss Valley St 52
(12) Texas A&M 61 FINAL
(1) South Carolina 79
Robert Morris 68 FINAL
Mount St Marys 44
East Tenn St 72 FINAL
Mercer 70
Wofford 56 FINAL
Furman 58
Morehead St 64 FINAL
Tenn Tech 54
Illinois 57 FINAL
Michigan 70
Quinnipiac 0 Postponed
Manhattan 0
Saint Peters 0 Postponed
Rider 0
(18) Miss State 59 FINAL
Auburn 48
(15) Nebraska 72 FINAL
(20) Iowa 78
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Does a Stadium Series outdoor Wild game get you excited?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT