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.

Bobrovsky steals extra point from Wild; Cullen close to returning; Wild's cap/roster situation

Posted by: Michael Russo under Wild game coverage, Wild news Updated: April 14, 2013 - 10:54 AM
Sunday morning update: Charlie Coyle will face no supplemental discipline from the NHL for last night's incident. The league deemed it a full body check and that Coyle was not targeting Artem Anisimov's head.
 
So, yes, 17 seconds into a big game, the refs and linesmen had a conference after not calling an initial penalty and wound up blowing the call massively, handing Columbus a major power play and forcing the Wild to mix and match first-line right wings for 59 minutes, 43 seconds. I think 17 seconds into a game, if you're going to boot a first-line right wing this time of year, you better be certain you're getting the call right. Just the latest in a long list of dubious calls and missed calls against Minnesota.
 
Plain, simple: Sergei Bobrovsky stole the Columbus Blue Jackets two points from the X tonight with a 3-2 shootout win.
 
Everybody in the Blue Jackets’ room knew it and said it. Same with the Wild’s.
 
The good news is at least the Wild got one in a game it deserved two thanks to Jason Pominville burying Ryan Suter’s rebound with 3:15 left in regulation. The Wild could have really used that second point, but Bobrovsky, who has a 2.01 goals against average and .932 save percentage, made two more saves in overtime, then two more saves in the shootout against two of the best shootout performers in the NHL – Zach Parise and Mikko Koivu.
 
I was just talking to the Columbus Dispatch’s Shawn Mitchell up here in the press box and the Blue Jackets beat writer said, “He has four shutouts this year, but that was by far his best performance of the season.”
 
Still, Pominville said of Bobrovsky, “He’s had a good run. He made some big saves early. As good as he is, I think it falls on us to find a way to put one through. As good as he is, we’re the ones that are shooting.”
 
The Wild outshot the Blue Jackets 41-22, outchanced them dramatically and if not for a sloppy first 6:18 of the second period, would have skated off with two points. On the two shifts that resulted in two goals, Mikael Granlund lost Vinny Prospal on the one goal and on the second, the crowd sensed what was coming when Kyle Brodziak, who started the mess by coughing up the puck, Cal Clutterbuck, Pierre-Marc Bouchard, Jared Spurgeon and Brett Clark got hemmed in the zone for 60 seconds of a long, long shift that actually lasted 1:34.
 
Finally, Niklas Backstrom left open the wickets and Fedor Tyutin fired it right through. But despite Bobrovsky stoning and frustrating the Wild to no end, finally Devin Setoguchi drew a power play late and Pominville scored his first goal at home and second with the Wild.
 
So, tonight could have been worse. The Wild could have sure used that second point though. Instead, it settled for one and remains seventh in the West – but only two points up on Dallas, Detroit and Columbus as it now heads on a three-game trip to Calgary, Edmonton and San Jose.
 
Before I continue on the game and Charlie Coyle incident, some news:
 
-- The Wild is 1-4-1 without Matt Cullen. He will be on the road trip, coach Mike Yeo said after the game.
 
-- Because of Zenon Konopka’s injury, which sources tell me is a broken foot, Jason Zucker was considered an emergency callup. Because that was considered an emergency, technically Mikael Granlund remained an emergency. That means the Wild still has exhausted only two of its four non-emergency callups – not the maximum. This is only important because there may come a point where the Wild may want to give Marco Scandella a shot.
 
However, for that to happen, the Wild would have to put Dany Heatley or Josh Harding on retroactive Long Term Injury Reserve to create the cap space. The Wild has so little cap space right now, GM Chuck Fletcher may go over the ceiling if he buys a coffee and a bagel (just a joke). Honestly, it’s like $6,000 or $7,000 bucks shy of the ceiling.
 
By the way, there is little doubt Jonas Brodin will hit some rookie bonuses, meaning the Wild will likely be charged a bonus overage next season, meaning there’s a chance the Wild’s cap ceiling next year could be a few hundred thousand less than the league’s $64.3 million.
 
Back to the game, rookie Charlie Coyle was assessed a match penalty for contact to Artem Anisimov’s head 17 seconds into the game. The Columbus forward never played another shift. Clearly dazed. Anisimov was reaching for a puck, so he was bent downward.
 
Yeo felt it was a “clean hit” and it should not have been a penalty. GM Chuck Fletcher felt the same and met with Supervisor and former ref Mick McGeough during the first intermission. We’ll find out Sunday what the league feels. I don’t even want to venture a guess. Coyle was given a warning earlier this season by Brendan Shanahan for his high hit on Matt Stajan. To me, Niklas Kronwall’s flying forearm to Coyle’s head in Detroit last month was way worse and more blatant, but who knows?
 
Losing Coyle meant Yeo had to mix and match right wingers on the snakebit Parise-Koivu line the whole game. Setoguchi saw time there for the first time this season. Pominville and Cal Clutterbuck saw time there, too.
 
Koivu has no points in seven games by the way. Bouchard scored his first goal since March 25 tonight.
 
Yeo loved Jason Zucker’s game. He had a game-high six shots and Yeo wants to see this continue on the road now.
 
I asked about Brodziak. He is minus-15, turned the puck before the second goal, missed on some golden scoring chances and only has six goals after 22 last year.
 
Yeo: “I’m not going sit here and throw Brodzy under the bus. There were a lot of guys on the ice at that time (Tyutin goal). For anyone that’s watching and have no idea how much a guy like Brodzy cares, you have to make sure you channel it the right way and it doesn’t affect you the wrong way.”
 
But he said it’s a team game.
 
Suter again awesome tonight. Played 30:29, assisted on the tying goal, and he probably should not have been playing with his injury. If you watched the game closely, watched how he shot, watched how he stick-handled, watched how he checked people, it should be clear to you what’s wrong.
 
On a personal note, great seeing Vinny Prospal after the game. I covered him briefly in Florida. Just a class act all the way around and he’s very happy with this Blue Jackets team and what they’re accomplishing right now.
 
OK, I have to get out of here. Early flight to Calgary and I still have to pick up a prescription tonight. I will talk to you Monday from Calgary. Kent Youngblood is covering Sunday’s practice.

ADVERTISEMENT

Houston 23 FINAL
Pittsburgh 30
San Diego 10/23/14 7:25 PM
Denver
Detroit 10/26/14 8:30 AM
Atlanta
Buffalo 10/26/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
St. Louis 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
Houston 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
Minnesota 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Seattle 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Baltimore 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Miami 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Chicago 10/26/14 12:00 PM
New England
Philadelphia 10/26/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Oakland 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Cleveland
Indianapolis 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Pittsburgh
Green Bay 10/26/14 7:30 PM
New Orleans
Chicago 98 FINAL
Cleveland 107
New Orleans 88 FINAL
Washington 84
Milwaukee 120 FINAL
New York 107
Philadelphia 88 FINAL
Brooklyn 99
Charlotte 114 FINAL
Atlanta 117
Sacramento 99 FINAL
San Antonio 106
Memphis 103 FINAL
Dallas 108
Tampa Bay 2 FINAL
Edmonton 3
Arkansas State 10/21/14 7:00 PM
Louisiana
Connecticut 10/23/14 6:00 PM
(18) East Carolina
Miami-Florida 10/23/14 7:00 PM
Virginia Tech
So Florida 10/24/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Troy 10/24/14 6:30 PM
South Alabama
BYU 10/24/14 8:00 PM
Boise State
(6) Oregon 10/24/14 9:00 PM
California
North Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Rice
UAB 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Arkansas
Rutgers 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(16) Nebraska
Maryland 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Wisconsin
Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(11) Kansas State
Minnesota 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
Memphis 10/25/14 11:00 AM
SMU
North Carolina 10/25/14 11:30 AM
Virginia
San Jose St 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Navy
Northern Ill 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
(25) UCLA 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Colorado
Akron 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Ball State
Massachusetts 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Toledo
Ohio U 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Western Mich
Ga Southern 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Kent State 10/25/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Oregon State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Stanford
Fla Atlantic 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(23) Marshall
Louisiana Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Southern Miss
(1) Miss State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Georgia Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Pittsburgh
(22) West Virginia 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Texas Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(10) TCU
Michigan 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Boston College 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Central Mich 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Vanderbilt 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Missouri
Old Dominion 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Western Ky
UNLV 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Utah State
Temple 10/25/14 4:00 PM
UCF
(15) Arizona 10/25/14 5:00 PM
Washington St
Texas-El Paso 10/25/14 6:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Wyoming 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Colorado State
Syracuse 10/25/14 6:00 PM
(21) Clemson
Texas State 10/25/14 6:00 PM
ULM
(3) Ole Miss 10/25/14 6:15 PM
(24) LSU
(4) Alabama 10/25/14 6:30 PM
Tennessee
So Carolina 10/25/14 6:30 PM
(5) Auburn
(13) Ohio State 10/25/14 7:00 PM
Penn State
(20) USC 10/25/14 9:00 PM
(19) Utah
(14) Arizona State 10/25/14 9:45 PM
Washington
Nevada 10/25/14 10:59 PM
Hawaii
Montreal 10/24/14 5:30 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 10/24/14 8:30 PM
Calgary
Hamilton 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Toronto
Brt Columbia 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Winnipeg
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 Wild player?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT