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.

In a very Wild-like way, Minnesota blows chance to win third straight game

Posted by: Michael Russo under Wild game coverage Updated: February 24, 2013 - 1:26 AM

 

The Wild, 4-1-1 in its previous six and winners of two in a row, couldn’t make it three in a row for the first time this season tonight when it lost 3-1 to the Calgary Flames.
 
I said to a few people the last few days that I would believe the Wild’s hot streak was for real if it found a way to get four points against the downtrodden Calgary Flames in a home-and-home. But this is the Wild, and its M.O. as long as I’ve covered them is to not take advantage of the teams it should take advantage of when it must.
 
Tonight was just so typical. Get into the top-8 with a great second and third period in Edmonton, strut into Calgary like you’ve actually accomplished something and then completely abandon what made you successful in Edmonton. Now one loss later, it finds itself in 11th again because every team in the West is basically jammed around the same spot in the standings.
 
Coach Mike Yeo was ticked after the game. The game started well even though the Wild found itself down 1-0. It played a good first 14 minutes of the first period, got the puck up ice well, buzzed line after line, actually created some sustained attacks. Then a momentum-killing power play for a team that is now 3 for 34 the last 12 games, and the game went south in a hurry.
 
Yeo felt the Wild tried to get into a skating game with the Flames, and that’s not the Wild’s game. It’s not going to win track meets with star-studded teams, let alone Mike Cammalleri, Alex Tanguay, Jiri Hudler and even speedsters like Curtis Glencross.
 
Yeo wants more discipline like Nashville and Phoenix does it. Just look at the amount of odd-man rushes and breakaways the Wild gave up tonight. That is not typical of the Wild.
 
When the Wild is good -- and when the Wild was good tonight – it’s because it gets pucks in behind the D and begins to go to work. The Wild’s fourth line was by far the best line tonight, and that, with all due respect to them, is not a good thing.
 
Mikko Koivu and Zach Parise, who are in mammoth dry spells the last dozen games, each had one shot tonight and Koivu a bunch of turnovers. Dany Heatley was a minus-3 and was taken off the first line for Pierre-Marc Bouchard, who had a good first half of the game and set up Charlie Coyle’s first NHL goal. Yeo defended Heatley after the game despite struggles (legs and hands have slowed) that are evident to everybody watching.
 
After jumping out to a 13-5 shot lead and earning that first power play, the Wild stopped doing all the things that made it successful. It stopped shooting pucks and that filtered into a poorly-played, scoreless second. The third actually started OK, but then you could feel the game turn. A couple bad shifts, especially one by the second line, created that track meet again and boom Matt Stajan made it 2-1 against the third line (Brodziak, Heatley, Coyle with defensemen Suter and Brodin).
 
The lowest scoring team in the NHL would not recover. I’ve got to wake up in 4 ½ hours for a flight, so that’s it for me. The Wild is off Sunday. Talk Monday barring news.
 
 

ADVERTISEMENT

Denver 28 4th Qtr 11:43
Cincinnati 27
Buffalo 12/28/14 12:00 PM
New England
Carolina 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Atlanta
Cleveland 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore
Dallas 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Washington
Indianapolis 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
Detroit 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Green Bay
Jacksonville 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Houston
San Diego 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
NY Jets 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Miami
Chicago 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Minnesota
Philadelphia 12/28/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
New Orleans 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Oakland 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Denver
Arizona 12/28/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
St. Louis 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Seattle
Cincinnati 12/28/14 7:30 PM
Pittsburgh
Denver 82 FINAL
Charlotte 110
Portland 95 FINAL
Houston 110
Utah 97 FINAL
Memphis 91
Toronto 120 FINAL
Chicago 129
Atlanta 105 FINAL
Dallas 102
LA Clippers 118 FINAL
San Antonio 125
Sacramento 20 2nd Qtr 11:44
Golden State 36
Ottawa 1 FINAL
Washington 2
Nashville 5 FINAL
Columbus 1
Pittsburgh 3 FINAL(SO)
Florida 4
Arizona 0 2nd Prd 17:44
Vancouver 4
San Jose 0 2nd Prd 13:49
Anaheim 0
Calgary 0 1st Prd 3:46
Los Angeles 1
Ark-Little Rock 64 FINAL
Bradley 54
Brown 67 FINAL
Central Conn St 55
Stetson 59 FINAL
Florida State 63
Ill-Chicago 46 FINAL
Northwestern 63
Ohio 49 FINAL
George Washington 77
Southern Utah 61 FINAL
Ark-Pine Bluff 70
Elon 67 FINAL
Kennesaw St 65
Dartmouth 49 FINAL
Penn State 69
Green Bay 70 FINAL
UC Irvine 72
DePaul 68 FINAL
Colorado 82
Lewis & Clark 49 FINAL
Portland 71
SC State 59 FINAL
Abilene Christian 65
Manhattan 71 FINAL
Fordham 57
Truett-McConnell 57 FINAL
Ga Southern 90
Citadel 56 FINAL
Michigan State 82
Miami-Ohio 55 FINAL
Ohio State 93
Gardner-Webb 89 FINAL
Purdue 84
Idaho 68 FINAL
Northern Ky 81
Fairfield 66 FINAL
Albany 77
North Dakota St 61 FINAL
Alcorn State 50
UT Martin 37 FINAL
Butler 64
SE Louisiana 65 FINAL
UCF 70
Oakland 60 FINAL
Clemson 70
Florida A&M 57 FINAL
East Carolina 75
Eastern Ky 66 FINAL
Fla Atlantic 69
IUPU-Ft Wayne 43 FINAL
Illinois State 68
Norfolk State 74 FINAL
James Madison 71
Binghamton 68 FINAL
Mount St Marys 69
Towson 56 FINAL
Navy 61
Long Island 73 FINAL
New Hampshire 72
Northern Ill 66 FINAL
Notre Dame 91
William & Mary 62 FINAL
Old Dominion 69
Liberty 47 FINAL
Princeton 65
Delaware 81 FINAL
Robert Morris 84
MD-Eastern Shore 82 FINAL
St Bonaventure 80
Colgate 43 FINAL
Syracuse 78
Kansas 52 FINAL
Temple 77
Mercer 54 FINAL
Tennessee 64
East Tenn St 60 FINAL
VA Commonwealth 84
Va Military 74 FINAL
Virginia Tech 87
Bucknell 53 FINAL
Wake Forest 60
Alabama A&M 62 FINAL
Western Mich 71
New Orleans 59 FINAL
Indiana 79
Columbia 65 FINAL
Connecticut 80
Long Beach State 49 FINAL
St Johns 66
Wofford 44 FINAL
West Virginia 77
Southern U 66 FINAL
Baylor 70
UAB 67 FINAL
Chattanooga 83
Char Southern 54 FINAL
Colorado State 75
North Florida 70 FINAL
Iowa 80
NC Central 67 FINAL
Jackson State 64
Rice 72 FINAL
Lamar 79
Central Mich 89 FINAL
McNeese State 56
Coppin State 56 FINAL
Michigan 72
Furman 76 FINAL
Minnesota 86
SE Missouri St 51 FINAL
Ole Miss 82
Weber State 51 FINAL
Oklahoma 85
Grambling St 39 FINAL
TCU 80
Loyola-Chicago 62 FINAL
Texas Tech 44
Incarnate Word 47 FINAL
Tulsa 76
Penn 50 FINAL
Vanderbilt 79
Chicago State 38 FINAL
SIU Edwardsville 63
Simpson 62 FINAL
Drake 84
Tenn Tech 81 FINAL
UMKC 60
Murray State 83 FINAL
Southern Ill 71
Oral Roberts 45 FINAL
Missouri State 52
Jacksonville St 65 FINAL
Air Force 66
Milwaukee 52 2nd Half 1:02
Arkansas 82
Wisconsin 68 FINAL
California 56
Coll of Charleston 47 FINAL
LSU 71
North Dakota 54 FINAL
Marquette 67
Northern New Mexico 39 FINAL
New Mexico St 78
UC Santa Barbara 78 1st OT 0:33
Oregon 80
Miami-Florida 60 2nd Half 2:09
Providence 72
Northeastern 68 FINAL
St Marys-CA 72
Kent State 63 2nd Half 3:26
Texas-El Paso 68
UC Davis 73 FINAL
Northern Colorado 63
Lewis-Clark State 81 FINAL
Eastern Wash 87
Walla Walla 52 FINAL
Portland State 94
TX A&M-CC 32 2nd Half
Cal State Fullerton 36
Marshall 30 2nd Half 19:33
Nevada 39
Boise State 23 1st Half 4:56
Houston 15
UC Riverside 6 1st Half 16:34
San Diego St 8
Tulane 2 1st Half 18:08
Washington 4
Loyola Marymount 10:00 PM
Wichita State
Nebraska 12/23/14 12:00 AM
Hawaii
BYU 48 FINAL
Memphis 55
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
Rice
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
UCF
Cincinnati 12/27/14 12:00 PM
Virginia Tech
Duke 12/27/14 1:10 PM
(15) Arizona State
Miami-Florida 12/27/14 3:00 PM
So Carolina
Boston College 12/27/14 3:30 PM
Penn State
(25) Nebraska 12/27/14 7:00 PM
(24) USC
Texas A&M 12/29/14 1:00 PM
West Virginia
Oklahoma 12/29/14 4:30 PM
(18) Clemson
Arkansas 12/29/14 8:00 PM
Texas
UMass Lowell 63 FINAL
Holy Cross 78
Temple 59 FINAL
Villanova 64
Georgia Southern 68 FINAL
Southern U 52
Xavier 60 FINAL
Kennesaw St 61
Eastern Michigan 52 FINAL
Michigan 81
Brescia 56 FINAL
Marshall 127
(21) West Virginia 54 FINAL
Ohio State 96
UMBC 87 FINAL
MD-Eastern Shore 78
Cornell 79 FINAL
Loyola-Maryland 61
St Bonaventure 70 FINAL
Georgetown 64
New Hampshire 63 FINAL
Northeastern 62
Eastern Washington 67 FINAL
Florida 56
Rice 63 FINAL
Texas Southern 69
Butler 72 FINAL
Illinois State 60
UC Davis 59 FINAL
(16) Stanford 71
Washington St 87 FINAL
Loyola Marymount 60
Sacramento St 94 FINAL
San Jose St 97
SIU-Edwardsville 74 FINAL
UMKC 58
Oakland 92 FINAL
IUPU-Ft Wayne 84
Belmont 43 FINAL
(14) Georgia 62
George Mason 83 FINAL
Longwood 61
Kansas 81 FINAL
Creighton 84
Abilene Christian 53 FINAL
Kansas State 68
UT Martin 65 FINAL
Missouri 74
Hampton 67 FINAL
DePaul 86
Florida State 65 FINAL
Tulane 54
Murray State 44 FINAL
Illinois 64
Fla Gulf Coast 74 FINAL
Arkansas State 68
BYU 58 2nd OT 2:59
Utah State 54
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: Who is your favorite pro sports coach in the Twin Cities?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT