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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Johan Larsson's NHL debut, Jason Zucker's season debut highlights Wild lines vs. Detroit

Posted by: Michael Russo under Wild pregame skate Updated: February 17, 2013 - 5:03 PM

The Wild will host the Red Wings at 5 p.m. in front of a soldout crowd at Xcel Energy Center.

Forwards Zenon Konopka and Pierre-Marc Bouchard won't play for the Wild, as won't defenseman Justin Falk. Bouchard and Falk are sick, although coach Mike Yeo said Bouchard is feeling a little better.

Yeo said Konopka was scratched primarily for numbers reasons and "this is for tonight." But Yeo also admitted he didn't like Konopka's penalty on Greg Zanon Thursday against Colorado. The minor resulted in Milan Hejduk's go-ahead, power-play goal in the second period.

Johan Larsson will make his NHL debut. Jason Zucker will make his season debut.

"These guys are two guys we've been anxious to watch for quite some time," Yeo said. "They've been doing a great job. ... [Zucker], we feel he can provide some speed and scoring ability. Lars is the kind of guy that can help us generate momentum and be a guy that is real tough to play against as far as getting to the offensive zone, being strong on the puck, winning battles, being good defensively. We like the play that he plays the game."

Darcy Kuemper gets the start. Niklas Backstrom will back up but has the flu, says Chuck Fletcher

Your lines are:


Zach Parise-Mikko Koivu-Dany Heatley

Jason Zucker-Matt Cullen-Devin Setoguchi

Johan Larsson-Kyle Brodziak-Cal Clutterbuck

Mike Rupp-Mikael Granlund-Torrey Mitchell


Ryan Suter-Jared Spurgeon

Clayton Stoner-Tom Gilbert

Jonas Brodin-Nate Prosser

Suter has played real well the past five or six games. Asked if he was hesitant to break up Suter and Brodin, Yeo explained that with Falk out, the Wild doesn't have any right-shot defenseman that is comfortable playing the left side.

Brodin as a lefty has been comfortable playing the right side, which is what allowed that Suter-Brodin pair to work.

With no games til Thursday in Edmonton and three extra bodies right now, don't be surprised at all if the Wild sends Zucker and/or Larsson back tomorrow. Could happen.

I'll be on Fox Sports North at 4:45 p.m. and also during the first intermission.


New England 2/1/15 5:30 PM
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
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
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