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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Jason Pominville will miss Game 1 tonight against Chicago

Posted by: Michael Russo under Stanley Cup, Wild pregame skate Updated: April 30, 2013 - 1:13 PM
Jason Pominville has been ruled out of tonight’s opening game of the Wild’s Western Conference quarterfinal series against the Chicago Blackhawks by coach Mike Yeo.
 
Good morning from the United Center. A reminder, I will be hosting a live chat on startribune.com/wild at 3 p.m. CT. Please join in.
 
The Wild left Minnesota yesterday completely confident Pominville would play after practicing yesterday. But Pominville, who missed the regular season’s final two games after being elbowed in the head by Dustin Brown, woke up not feeling well today, I hear.
 
Yeo wouldn’t confirm that when I asked but said Pominville is “just not quite ready. This is a big game, but you’ve got to look at the big picture and we have to make sure that when we get him back in, we get him back in for good.”
 
That means the Wild will go back with the lines of the final two games:
 
Zach Parise-Mikko Koivu-Charlie Coyle
Jason Zucker-Matt Cullen-Devin Setoguchi
Cal Clutterbuck-Kyle Brodziak-Pierre-Marc Bouchard
Mike Rupp-Zenon Konopka-Torrey Mitchell.
 
So, Clutterbuck moves back up to the third line, Mitchell slide back from center to right wing on the fourth and Konopka, slated to be a scratch, plays.
 
Defense pairs will be:
 
Ryan Suter-Jonas Brodin
Marco Scandella-Jared Spurgeon
Clayton Stoner-Tom Gilbert
 
Suter and Brodin pretty much played half the game down the stretch. They will obviously see huge minutes in the postseason, but Yeo said one reason why the Wild recalled Scandella is so Scandella and Spurgeon, partners in Houston when Yeo’s Aeros went to the Calder Cup Finals in 2011, can eat more minutes.
 
Nine Wild players – Brodin, Gilbert, Stoner, Brodziak, Coyle, Zucker, Clutterbuck, Scandella and Spurgeon – will make their Stanley Cup playoff debuts tonight. I talked to a few of these guys this morning and will quote them in tomorrow’s paper. Coyle can’t get over how far he’s come in a year. Last year, he was in college at Boston University and then playing junior for eventual Quebec League champ Saint John.
 
NO Blackhawks players are debuting, unless you include backup Henrik Karlsson.
 
I talked to Nick Leddy, and the former Gopher and Minnesota Mr. Hockey is excited to face the team he grew up watching in the playoffs. Leddy has some history with the Wild, too, although I can’t remember right now what it is.
 
Leddy said his family and buddies back home are excited for the series and will be at the games at the X.
 
In 2011, when the Wild pushed the Blackhawks into the eighth seed by beating the Dallas South Stars in the final game, the eighth-seed Blackhawks were down 3-0 to the President Trophy-winning Vancouver Canucks. The Blackhawks rallied to tie the series before losing in Game 7.
 
“We really had nothing to lose,” Western Conference leading scorer Patrick Kane said. “That’s the thing about an eighth seed. They’re the last team to get in, it’s like they’re expected to be out in the first round. Those are the teams that are most dangerous because they have nothing to lose. You see that last year with [eventual Stanley Cup champ] L.A. and the year we went to the Finals with Philly.
 
“Minnesota is a dangerous team. They have the talent and lineup to do some special things.”
 
Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville talked about the Brodin-Suter paid and had some nice things to say about 19-year-old Brodin.
 
“Nice player,” Coach Q said. “Got to commend him on establishing himself right off the bat, playing meaningful minutes against top players. He’s got a real good feel for the game. How they’re going to manage their minutes, we’ll see. We’ll play it out accordingly. We have to be aware of these guys offensively on the back end. Hopefully we can make them play more in their end than in our end. Both are effective at both ends of the rink. Both sets of defense’s, both teams have the ability to go from the back end. It could be a differential as we go along.”
 
On the Wild, Quenneville said, “They’ve got some balance in their lineup. They’re capable of having some pace on all their lines, they can score, they can check, they’re responsible, they play a very organized game. I think we have to be respectful of what they’re capable of.”
 
Yeo on what it will take to beat the Blackhawks: “It’s pretty simple. We’ve got to be great at every aspect of our game, every player of our team. The depth of their lineup, the strength of their game in all situations, there’s no room for error on our part. That’s obviously a tough challenge, but at the same time we also like to think that we’ve been sort of faced with those situations and when we’ve gone up against teams like that, it’s helped to sharpen our focus and performed well in those situations.”
 
A lot more coverage in Wednesday’s Star Tribune. I talked to Pierre McGuire this morning about his insane travel schedule the next few weeks. Doc Emrick and Pierre are doing the game on NBC Sports Network tonight, but it should be blacked out in the Twin Cities.
 
The game can be seen locally on Fox Sports North.
 
Congratulations to Brian Rolston on a stellar career. The three-time Wild 30-goal scorer retired after 17 seasons today.
 
That’s it for me. Talk to you tonight.

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Cleveland 4 Suspended
Kansas City 2
Baltimore - W. Chen 6:05 PM
NY Yankees - M. Pineda
Kansas City - D. Duffy 6:05 PM
Cleveland - C. Carrasco
Seattle - J. Paxton 6:07 PM
Toronto - J. Happ
Chicago WSox - C. Bassitt 6:08 PM
Detroit - K. Lobstein
Pittsburgh - F. Liriano 6:10 PM
Atlanta - A. Harang
Houston - N. Tropeano 7:05 PM
Texas - D. Holland
St. Louis - A. Wainwright 7:05 PM
Chicago Cubs - T. Wood
Arizona - J. Collmenter 7:10 PM
Minnesota - R. Nolasco
LA Angels - C. Wilson 9:05 PM
Oakland - J. Samardzija
San Francisco - J. Peavy 9:10 PM
Los Angeles - D. Haren
Colorado - T. Matzek 9:10 PM
San Diego - E. Stults
San Diego 22 FINAL
Buffalo 10
Dallas 34 FINAL
St. Louis 31
Washington 34 FINAL
Philadelphia 37
Houston 17 FINAL
NY Giants 30
Minnesota 9 FINAL
New Orleans 20
Tennessee 7 FINAL
Cincinnati 33
Baltimore 23 FINAL
Cleveland 21
Green Bay 7 FINAL
Detroit 19
Indianapolis 44 FINAL
Jacksonville 17
Oakland 9 FINAL
New England 16
San Francisco 14 FINAL
Arizona 23
Denver 20 FINAL
Seattle 26
Kansas City 34 FINAL
Miami 15
Pittsburgh 37 FINAL
Carolina 19
Chicago 7:30 PM
NY Jets
NY Giants 9/25/14 7:25 PM
Washington
Ottawa 12:30 PM
NY Islanders
Ottawa 5:00 PM
NY Islanders
New Jersey 6:00 PM
NY Rangers
Detroit 6:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Toronto 6:00 PM
Philadelphia
Washington 6:00 PM
Philadelphia
Minnesota 7:00 PM
Winnipeg
St. Louis 7:30 PM
Dallas
Anaheim 8:00 PM
Colorado
Colorado 9:00 PM
Anaheim
Los Angeles 9:00 PM
Arizona
Arizona 9:30 PM
Los Angeles
Old Dominion 45 FINAL
Rice 42
Troy 0 FINAL
(12) Georgia 66
Georgia Tech 27 FINAL
Virginia Tech 24
Eastern Mich 14 FINAL
(9) Michigan State 73
Iowa 24 FINAL
Pittsburgh 20
Bowling Green 17 FINAL
(19) Wisconsin 68
Maryland 34 FINAL
Syracuse 20
Tulane 13 FINAL
Duke 47
Hawaii 12 FINAL
Colorado 21
Marshall 48 FINAL
Akron 17
North Carolina 41 FINAL
(23) East Carolina 70
Army 21 FINAL
Wake Forest 24
Virginia 33 FINAL
(20) BYU 41
(6) Texas A&M 58 FINAL
SMU 6
Rutgers 31 FINAL
Navy 24
Central Mich 10 FINAL
Kansas 24
Utah 26 FINAL
Michigan 10
Florida 21 FINAL
(3) Alabama 42
Louisville 34 FINAL
FIU 3
Fla Atlantic 19 FINAL
Wyoming 20
Indiana 31 FINAL
Missouri 27
San Jose St 7 FINAL
Minnesota 24
Texas State 35 FINAL
Illinois 42
Massachusetts 7 FINAL
Penn State 48
Georgia State 14 FINAL
Washington 45
Appalachian St 20 FINAL
Southern Miss 21
(14) Miss State 34 FINAL
(17) LSU 29
Northern Ill 14 FINAL
Arkansas 52
Middle Tennessee 17 FINAL
Memphis 36
Utah State 14 FINAL
Arkansas State 21
Miami-Ohio 24 FINAL
Cincinnati 31
Idaho 24 FINAL
Ohio U 36
Ball State 23 FINAL
Toledo 34
(13) So Carolina 48 FINAL
Vanderbilt 34
(4) Oklahoma 45 FINAL
West Virginia 33
Ga Southern 28 FINAL
South Alabama 6
UNLV 14 FINAL
Houston 47
Miami-Florida 31 FINAL
(21) Nebraska 41
New Mexico 38 FINAL
New Mexico St 35
Clemson 17 FINAL
(1) Florida State 23
California 45 FINAL
Arizona 49
San Diego St 7 FINAL
Oregon State 28
(2) Oregon 38 FINAL
Washington St 31
Louisiana 9 FINAL
Boise State 34
Texas Tech 9/25/14 6:30 PM
(24) Oklahoma State
Appalachian St 9/25/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
(11) UCLA 9/25/14 9:00 PM
(15) Arizona State
Middle Tennessee 9/26/14 7:00 PM
Old Dominion
Fresno State 9/26/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico
Texas-El Paso 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(25) Kansas State
Tennessee 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(12) Georgia
Vanderbilt 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Kentucky
Wyoming 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(9) Michigan State
Northwestern 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
TCU 9/27/14 11:00 AM
SMU
Iowa 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
Tulane 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Rutgers
So Florida 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(19) Wisconsin
Colorado State 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Boston College
Western Mich 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Virginia Tech
Maryland 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Indiana
Akron 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Pittsburgh
Bowling Green 9/27/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
Arkansas 9/27/14 2:30 PM
(6) Texas A&M
Kent State 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Virginia
Western Ky 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Navy
Minnesota 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Wake Forest 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Louisville
FIU 9/27/14 2:30 PM
UAB
(1) Florida State 9/27/14 2:30 PM
NC State
Miami-Ohio 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Colorado 9/27/14 3:00 PM
California
Louisiana Tech 9/27/14 3:00 PM
(5) Auburn
Texas 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Kansas
Temple 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Connecticut
(16) Stanford 9/27/14 3:15 PM
Washington
TX-San Antonio 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Fla Atlantic
South Alabama 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Idaho
Cincinnati 9/27/14 5:00 PM
(22) Ohio State
Rice 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
Missouri 9/27/14 6:00 PM
(13) So Carolina
Boise State 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Air Force
North Carolina 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Clemson
Central Mich 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Toledo
Troy 9/27/14 6:00 PM
ULM
New Mexico St 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(17) LSU
Memphis 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(10) Ole Miss
Duke 9/27/14 6:30 PM
Miami-Florida
Texas State 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Tulsa
Washington St 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Utah
(8) Notre Dame 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Syracuse
(7) Baylor 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Iowa State
UNLV 9/27/14 7:00 PM
San Diego St
Illinois 9/27/14 8:00 PM
(21) Nebraska
Oregon State 9/27/14 9:30 PM
(18) USC
Nevada 9/27/14 9:30 PM
San Jose St
Toronto 40 FINAL
Brt Columbia 23
Edmonton 23 FINAL
Hamilton 25
Calgary 15 FINAL
Montreal 31
Ottawa 32 FINAL
Saskatchewan 35
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