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's Mike Yeo wants more hatred, physicality today against the Blackhawks

Posted by: Michael Russo under Stanley Cup, Wild news, Wild pregame skate Updated: May 5, 2013 - 12:10 PM


 

Josh Harding will start for the Wild in Game 3 against the Chicago Blackhawks at 2 p.m. (NBC, KFAN) at the X.
 
I am hearing Stephane Veilleux will play for the Wild in place of Zenon Konopka. Originally, I heard Mike Rupp would be out for Jake Dowell, but that doesn’t appear to be the case now. Coach Mike Yeo didn’t want to discuss the lineup.
 
I’ll update blog if anything changes in warmups.
 
Yeo expects a good, intense game: “Both teams understand the importance of this game. Clearly we’re going to be a desperate team today. This is a very significant game for us.”
 
On why the lack of hate and hostility in this series compared to others, Yeo said, “We have a lot of guys that they’re getting their first taste of playoff hockey and some guys that haven’t been a part of it for awhile. There’s no question that I really believe that to be successful, there has to be a level of hatred for the team that you’re playing against. It shouldn’t be hard for us. They’re trying to take away something from us.”
 
On what he would want a guy like Veilleux to bring and the fourth line to bring, Yeo pointed out that No. 1 he doesn’t want the fourth line to be scored upon. That’s happened twice in Games 1 and 2, including the overtime winner in Game 1.
 
“One thing in particular that we haven’t done very well is be physical on key guys, and especially on their defensemen,” Yeo said. “You look back at the game and we have opportunities to finish checks on a guy like [Duncan] Keith and we’re not taking those opportunities. We have to understand it’s more than just that play. It’s about investing in the series and making sure that every time they’re going to touch a puck that they know that you’re coming.”
 
 

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