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 practice update/Monday, Jan. 28

Posted by: Rachel Blount under On the road, Wild practice Updated: January 28, 2013 - 4:48 PM

Rachel B here, checking in while Russo gets his technological problems solved.

In this compressed season, Wild coach Mike Yeo said it will be particularly challenging to balance practice time with rest. Monday, he gave Mikko Koivu and Ryan Suter a respite from the team's workout, but he noted it was important for the Wild to get back on the ice and address some of the shortcomings that hurt it in last weekend's 0-2 road trip.

Zach Parise, who had four goals and an assist in a 5-3 loss at Detroit and a 5-4 overtime loss at St. Louis, sounded just a little exasperated. The Wild was undone by ill-advised penalties, defensive lapses and a lack of attention to details such as line changes in St. Louis. He lauded the Blues' relentlessness and said the Wild would do well to take notes, as they seek to get back over .500 in Tuesday's game against Columbus at Xcel Energy Center.

"It's not a systems thing,'' he said. "It's a willingness to keep doing the right things over and over again. It's good for us to see it on video and watch a team like St. Louis. They play the right way. They kept making our D go back and retrieve pucks all night. They made it hard on our D and hard on our team. It's good for us to see them doing it and see how well it works.

"It's more important for us to not allow ourselves to keep making the same mistakes over and over again, especially in a shorter season. We have to recognize what we're doing wrong, what's not working, and start doing things on a more consistent basis. We haven't seen that yet. It's a challenge for us to start doing that.''

Despite the performance of his line--which has accounted for 10 of the team's 13 goals--Parise said that if the Wild is not winning, it means he and linemates Koivu and Dany Heatley can do more. Yeo said he will not break up that group, but he is contemplating some tinkering with the other lines to try and find a spark.

Koivu said he is not concerned with the lack of scoring from other lines. "As long as we're getting chances, it's going to start going in,'' he said. "We're getting chances, and that's a good thing. Sometimes, it's not easy to get that first one ... I'm sure it will come.

"System-wise, we can do a better job. I know it well, but it's only been two weeks for some of the guys. Also, the mindset. It doesn't matter what happens, you have to keep playing the way we want and believe it's going to bring success for us. ... We have to earn it. We're on our way there.''

Yeo also was emphasizing the positive. He pointed out the good things he saw in the loss to the Blues and said the biggest problem was that he didn't see those things sustained throughout the game. He pointed to his top line as an example that the rest of the team should follow, to see how to play the right way on every shift.

He liked the team's defensive intensity, he said, and thinks the second, third and fourth lines have gotten some good scoring chances but need to generate more. "We don't need to blow it all up here,'' he said. "We don't need to panic, because there are opportunities there that are just not going in. We scored four goals (against the Blues). That's enough to win a hockey game. There were too many other things taking place (to cause the loss).''

Yeo also said he was happy with Marco Scandella's play at St. Louis in his first game since being recalled from Houston, where he had just rejoined the lineup Friday after sitting out five weeks with a groin injury. He also stood up for Suter, who is a team-worst -5. The defenseman, he said, is putting a lot of pressure on himself, and Yeo said he is answering constant questions about Suter's struggles.

"We're asking so much of him,'' said Yeo, who credited Suter with playing "a couple of really strong games'' on the road trip. "He's coming to a new team and a new system. He's done so many good things, yet there's still talk about some of the bad things that have happened for him. A lot of them, most of them, almost all of them are out of his control. With a guy like that, let's be fair with our expectations.

"It's not going to happen that a defenseman is on the ice and the other team is never going to score. That stuff's going to happen. What's important is that his game has been getting better every game. What's important is what he adds to our team.''

Everyone is healthy other than defenseman Jared Spurgeon, who still is coping with a bone bruise in his foot. He tried to practice Monday but didn't last long. "Possibly,'' Yeo said when asked if Spurgeon could play Tuesday. "He came out and tried (to practice), but it wasn't great, so I'm not sure.''



Philadelphia 3:30 PM
San Diego 7:25 PM
San Francisco
Minnesota 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Detroit 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Cleveland 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Atlanta 12/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Green Bay 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Kansas City 12/21/14 12:00 PM
New England 12/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
NY Giants 12/21/14 3:05 PM
St. Louis
Buffalo 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Indianapolis 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Seattle 12/21/14 7:30 PM
Denver 12/22/14 7:30 PM
Utah 101 FINAL
Orlando 94
Charlotte 109 FINAL
Philadelphia 91
Brooklyn 91 FINAL
Cleveland 95
Washington 105 FINAL
Miami 103
Minnesota 98 FINAL
Boston 114
Toronto 110 FINAL
Detroit 100
Chicago 103 FINAL
Memphis 97
Portland 129 FINAL
San Antonio 119
LA Clippers 106 FINAL
Denver 109
Oklahoma City 104 FINAL
LA Lakers 103
Tampa Bay 2 FINAL(SO)
New Jersey 3
Anaheim 2 FINAL
Ottawa 6
NY Islanders 2 FINAL
Detroit 1
Boston 1 FINAL
Winnipeg 2
Dallas 2 FINAL
Calgary 1
Wilberforce 71 FINAL
Youngstown St 92
Jackson State 49 FINAL
Tulane 56
Siena 66 FINAL
Radford 76
Stillman 49 FINAL
Alabama 69
Case Western Reserve 65 FINAL
Bucknell 88
Niagara 62 FINAL
Buffalo 88
SD Christian 46 FINAL
UC Santa Barbara 69
Concordia (MI) 60 FINAL
Central Mich 97
Northern Ill 55 FINAL
Dartmouth 58
North Florida 83 FINAL
Florida A&M 65
Hiwassee 71 FINAL
Gardner-Webb 91
Tennessee St 54 FINAL
Hampton 66
Kent State 71
Central Penn College 65 FINAL
Liberty 94
Eastern Ky 72 FINAL
Miami-Florida 44
Northern Ky 83 FINAL
Morehead State 60
Northern Ariz 62 FINAL
Norfolk State 81
MD-Eastern Shore 43 FINAL
Old Dominion 60
St Marys-CA 47 FINAL
St Johns 53
Clemson 45 FINAL
South Carolina 68
Tenn Tech 58 FINAL
Tennessee 61
Washington-MD 46 FINAL
William & Mary 86
Bethune-Cookman 46 FINAL
Mercer 67
Furman 78 FINAL
Fla Gulf Coast 83
South Dakota St 53 FINAL
CS-Bakersfield 49
Milligan 53 FINAL
Lamar 80
LSU-Alexandria 71 FINAL
ULM 76
Southern Utah 57 FINAL
Loyola-Chicago 73
Chattanooga 58 FINAL
Middle Tennessee 68
Seattle 57 FINAL
Minnesota 92
Lipscomb 55 FINAL
Princeton 77
Winthrop 71 FINAL
SE Louisiana 81
Dickinson State 48 FINAL
North Dakota 78
New Orleans 56 FINAL
Southern Ill 52
TX-Pan American 60 FINAL
Creighton 75
Colorado State 85 FINAL
Denver 84
Alabama A&M 49 FINAL
Marquette 83
Ark-Pine Bluff 51 FINAL
Texas Tech 72
Eastern Wash 67 FINAL
California 78
Idaho State 56 FINAL
Utah State 69
Arizona 60 FINAL
Texas-El Paso 55
Hawaii 94 FINAL
Chaminade 63
Nevada 10:00 AM
Utah State 1:20 PM
Texas-El Paso
(23) Utah 2:30 PM
Colorado State
Western Mich 4:45 PM
Air Force
South Alabama 8:15 PM
Bowling Green
BYU 12/22/14 1:00 PM
Marshall 12/23/14 5:00 PM
Northern Ill
Navy 12/23/14 8:30 PM
San Diego St
Central Mich 12/24/14 11:00 AM
Western Ky
Fresno State 12/24/14 7:00 PM
Illinois 12/26/14 12:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
Rutgers 12/26/14 3:30 PM
North Carolina
NC State 12/26/14 7:00 PM
Ohio Valley 33 FINAL
Youngstown St 84
East Tenn St 48 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 61
Cal-Irvine 44 FINAL
Purdue 69
Campbell 63 FINAL
Stetson 76
Jacksonville St 70 FINAL
Charleston Southern 43
Louisiana 64 FINAL
Alcorn State 57
Denver 63 FINAL
Wright State 72
Blue Mountain 30 FINAL
Central Arkansas 71
Texas State 51 FINAL
Bethune-Cookman 40
Albany 62 FINAL
Pepperdine 36
TX-San Antonio 53 FINAL
Houston 56
Yale 66 FINAL
Bucknell 73
Northern Colorado 56 FINAL
Fla Gulf Coast 69
Belmont 86 FINAL
Mercer 83
Massachusetts 66 FINAL
Georgia State 71
George Mason 69 FINAL
Winthrop 57
Portland State 33 FINAL
Princeton 104
Samford 52
Mobile 30 FINAL
Alabama State 66
Nicholls 49 FINAL
Texas Tech 76
Toledo 65 FINAL
Nevada 56
UMass Lowell 48 FINAL
(13) Duke 95
St Marys-CA 49 FINAL
Virginia 62
McNeese State 55 FINAL
Rice 57
McMurry 49 FINAL
Houston Baptist 69
Seton Hall 74
(6) North Carolina 65 FINAL
Maine 36
Lafayette 58 FINAL
Stony Brook 60
Siena 62 FINAL
Binghamton 53
Longwood 56 FINAL
Clemson 72
Savannah State 51 FINAL
Florida State 97
(19) Syracuse 72 FINAL
(9) Baylor 74
Buffalo 68 FINAL
Manhattan 58
Canisius 43 FINAL
Michigan 79
Davidson 66 FINAL
NC State 82
Northern Ky 63 FINAL
Delaware 58
Saint Louis 81 FINAL
Austin Peay 86
(25) DePaul 64 FINAL
(2) Connecticut 98
Ohio U 74 FINAL
La Salle 63
Florida Atlantic 60 FINAL
Long Beach St 85
Miami-Florida 65 FINAL
Tulane 70
Miss Valley St 39 FINAL
Memphis 62
Ark-Pine Bluff 56 FINAL
UAB 65
Bowling Green 58 FINAL
Illinois State 54
Arkansas State 78 FINAL
Missouri State 62
Wichita State 57
(16) Oregon State 71 FINAL
Southern Ill 55
Pacific 67 FINAL
New Mexico St 62
No Dakota State 79 FINAL
Cal State Fullerton 86
Utah State 92 FINAL
Sacramento St 102
Bethesda (CA) 61 FINAL
Fresno State 83
Utah Valley U 44 FINAL
Montana 68
UC Santa Barbara 45
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