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.

Wild, still optimistic after Thursday's opener, prepares for the Anaheim Ducks

Posted by: Michael Russo under Wild practice Updated: October 4, 2013 - 2:06 PM

Afternoon from the X, where scrappy Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau is currently below on the ice surface putting Teemu Selanne, Corey Perry, Ryan Getzlaf and the rest of the Anaheim gang through a practice.

The Wild coaches are in the stands watching. The Ducks coaches, including some goalie coach who looks strangely like Dwayne Roloson, did the same during Minnesota's workout.

Painful start to practice. You know how coaches ask players to "pay the price." Well, the coaches apparently do, too.

Andrew Brunette, who once upon a time -- actually in two different stints -- wore a Wild sweater, took a puck to the chin immediately at the start of practice. Afterward, Bruno emerged with a chin the size of Jay Leno's, four stitches on the inside of his mouth and eight on the outside.

“I’ve had enough stitches to stitch a baseball in my career. I thought when I retired, ‘That’s it,’” Brunette said.

The Wild moved on with practice without Brunette and Yeo put the Wild through battle drills and execution drills. They worked on the "little things."

Charlie Coyle, who had a solid game at junctures, also had some young mistakes. On Jeff Carter's tying goal, he was walked in the neutral zone and then was slow to get into the zone and pick up Carter.

Coyle took a swan dive on the knife today and basically said if he picks up his guy, the Wild maybe wins 2-1.

Still, the atmosphere was good Friday after playing well Thursday.

Yeo was real happy with guys like Kyle Brodziak, who had a stellar game (probably would have loved to bury that goal with a minute left), and Mikael Granlund, who assisted on both Wild goals, was often first or second in on the forecheck, blocked two shots and drew a power play that could have won the game in the final minutes.

"He maturing in a lot of ways," Yeo said.

Niklas Backstrom will start vs. the Ducks. Yeo wouldn't say yet if Matt Dumba will make his NHL debut. Clayton Stoner played well yesterday alongside Keith Ballard and Jonas Brodin played well and scored a goal on the second power-play unit.

My gut though is Dumba plays for Stoner. I just get the sense that the Wild doesn't want to have Dumba sitting for long. At some point you want him to debut and probably at home, not on the road. Plus, I think the team flew in Dumba's folks for these games.

Everybody practiced today. Yeo admitted the top line looked tired late in yesterday's game, but he also said so did L.A.'s top line and those are "heavy, hard minutes" when you go head to head vs. Anze Kopitar.

If you want to get a laugh, I was pretty surly on Twitter today with some folks. Go take a gander. Just seems to be silly season on Twitter and some of the comments got to me.

It's one game folks, a game in which the Wild outplayed one of the best teams in the league for the majority of it.

Just an fyi: I put out a tweet last night that had an error with Year 1/4 salary/bonuses for Jason Pominville's contract.

The correct numbers are:
2014-15 $6 M
2015-16 $5.75 M
2016-17 $6.25 M
2017-18 $5 M
2018-19 $5 M
 

Frankly though, unless you're Craig Leipold, you don't need to care about those numbers. The one that matters is his salary-cap hit, $5.6 million, which is the average of the contract -- $28 million by five years.

Again, GM Chuck Fletcher said the Pominville deal doesn't inhibit the Wild from re-signing its own players or pursuing other free agents.

OK, need to run and get Selanne for a story.

Talk to you after Saturday's morning skate.

ADVERTISEMENT

Tennessee 12/18/14 7:25 PM
Jacksonville
Philadelphia 12/20/14 3:30 PM
Washington
San Diego 12/20/14 7:25 PM
San Francisco
Minnesota 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Miami
Baltimore 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Houston
Detroit 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Chicago
Cleveland 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Atlanta 12/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Green Bay 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Kansas City 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh
New England 12/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
NY Giants 12/21/14 3:05 PM
St. Louis
Buffalo 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Oakland
Indianapolis 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Dallas
Seattle 12/21/14 7:30 PM
Arizona
Denver 12/22/14 7:30 PM
Cincinnati
Atlanta 6:00 PM
Cleveland
Phoenix 6:00 PM
Charlotte
Dallas 6:30 PM
Detroit
Utah 6:30 PM
Miami
Orlando 6:30 PM
Boston
Brooklyn 7:00 PM
Toronto
Memphis 7:30 PM
San Antonio
Milwaukee 9:00 PM
Portland
Houston 9:30 PM
Denver
Indiana 9:30 PM
LA Clippers
Ottawa 6:00 PM
New Jersey
Boston 7:00 PM
Minnesota
Dallas 9:00 PM
Vancouver
Langston 65 FINAL
North Texas 78
Delaware State 72 FINAL
St Francis-NY 64
James Madison 6:00 PM
Ball State
SIU Edwardsville 6:00 PM
Campbell
St Francis-PA 6:00 PM
Duquesne
North Florida 6:00 PM
Florida State
Catawba 6:00 PM
George Mason
Ferrum 6:00 PM
High Point
Hampton 6:00 PM
Illinois
Gardner-Webb 6:00 PM
Jacksonville
Longwood 6:00 PM
Miami-Ohio
Arkansas State 6:00 PM
Miss State
Tennessee 6:00 PM
NC State
NC A&T 6:00 PM
Ohio State
Manhattan 6:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Robert Morris 6:00 PM
Toledo
Char Southern 6:00 PM
Wofford
Kennesaw St 6:00 PM
Youngstown St
Barber-Scotia 6:00 PM
NC Central
Detroit 6:30 PM
UCF
Liberty 6:30 PM
UNC-Wilmington
TX A&M-CC 7:00 PM
Denver
Ark-Pine Bluff 7:00 PM
Houston
UT Martin 7:00 PM
Illinois State
Milligan 7:00 PM
Louisiana
Abilene Christian 7:00 PM
Loyola-Chicago
USC Upstate 7:00 PM
Memphis
Alcorn State 7:00 PM
Murray State
Central Mich 7:00 PM
Northwestern
Georgia State 7:00 PM
Old Dominion
TX-Pan American 7:00 PM
Saint Louis
Ill-Chicago 7:00 PM
SMU
Texas State 7:00 PM
Stephen F Austin
SC State 7:00 PM
Texas Tech
Missouri State 7:00 PM
Tulsa
Chicago State 7:00 PM
Western Ky
Morehead State 7:00 PM
Green Bay
Northern Colorado 7:00 PM
Nebraska Omaha
Winthrop 8:00 PM
Auburn
New Mexico St 8:00 PM
Baylor
San Diego St 8:00 PM
Cincinnati
Eastern Mich 8:00 PM
Michigan State
Loyola Marymount 8:00 PM
Stanford
Incarnate Word 8:00 PM
Grand Canyon
Northeastern 9:00 PM
Cal Poly
Central Arkansas 9:00 PM
New Mexico
Howard 9:00 PM
Pepperdine
Portland 9:30 PM
UNLV
CS-Northridge 10:00 PM
Oregon
Grambling St 10:00 PM
Washington
Nevada 12/20/14 10:00 AM
Louisiana
Utah State 12/20/14 1:20 PM
Texas-El Paso
(23) Utah 12/20/14 2:30 PM
Colorado State
Western Mich 12/20/14 4:45 PM
Air Force
South Alabama 12/20/14 8:15 PM
Bowling Green
BYU 12/22/14 1:00 PM
Memphis
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
Western Carolina 79 FINAL
UNC-Asheville 66
(21) Miss State 66 FINAL
Louisiana 51
(25) DePaul 109 FINAL
Loyola-Chicago 84
Liberty 64 FINAL
NC State 67
Elon 77 FINAL
Campbell 51
Richmond 77 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 67
Akron 69 2nd Half 1:25
UCF 60
Montana 43 2nd Half 10:24
Seattle 39
(7) Stanford 12 1st Half 9:33
Chattanooga 11
Florida A&M 5:30 PM
Southern U
Oklahoma 5:30 PM
(13) Duke
Savannah State 5:30 PM
Auburn
Northern Colorado 6:00 PM
South Florida
Youngstown St 6:00 PM
Robert Morris
Siena 6:00 PM
Sacred Heart
Vermont 6:00 PM
St Francis-NY
(1) South Carolina 6:00 PM
Hampton
Fla Gulf Coast 6:00 PM
Bethune-Cookman
Texas Southern 6:00 PM
Houston Baptist
Northwestern 6:00 PM
UNLV
NC A&T 6:00 PM
Appalachian St
NC Central 6:00 PM
Coastal Carolina
Drexel 6:00 PM
Quinnipiac
Cincinnati 6:00 PM
Northern Ky
Alabama State 6:00 PM
Georgia Tech
Morehead St 6:00 PM
USC Upstate
Arkansas State 6:00 PM
Kent State
American Univ 6:00 PM
Manhattan
UNC Greensboro 6:00 PM
St Bonaventure
Arkansas-Monticello 6:30 PM
Northwestern St
Prairie View 6:30 PM
Sam Houston St
McNeese State 7:00 PM
(3) Texas
Yale 7:00 PM
Wagner
Oakland 7:00 PM
TX A&M-CC
Eastern Kentucky 7:00 PM
Alabama A&M
SIU-Edwardsville 7:00 PM
Northern Ill
McMurry 7:00 PM
TX-Arlington
Portland 8:00 PM
Eastern Washington
North Texas 9:00 PM
San Francisco
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