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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Matt Dumba to make his NHL debut tonight against the Anaheim Ducks

Posted by: Michael Russo under Wild pregame skate Updated: October 5, 2013 - 12:37 PM

The Wild expects a “grumpy, desperate” Anaheim Ducks team at the X tonight. The Ducks lost 6-1 in its opener Wednesday in Denver and as Wild coach Mike Yeo predicted, Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau made clear this morning that “It’s a big night for us. We have to redeem ourselves.”

“The message was pretty simple this morning [to the Wild]. We’ve got two teams searching for their first win,” Yeo said. “There should be a high level of determination coming into this game tonight.”

Despite a strong game by Clayton Stoner in the opener, rookie Matt Dumba will make his NHL debut tonight. The 2012 first-round pick will be paired with Keith Ballard, who will move to the left side after playing the right on Thursday.

I believe Dumba is the youngest defenseman to debut in Wild history. Brent Burns debuted at age 18, but I think he played forward his rookie year (I didn't cover the team). Dumba and Jonas Brodin is/was 19, and Dumba’s got a July 25 birthday, Brodin a July 12 birthdate.

Knowing me and the way I do math, I’ll probably be back later to correct this! Like

Dumba’s folks, Treena and Charlie, will be in the house tonight to watch their oldest son debut. Dumba led the center-ice team stretch after the morning skate in a neat scene.

Teammates joked with him that they’ll be happy in Red Deer tonight.

“They’ve all been great,” Dumba said, adding teammates told him to “just go out and play my game and just have fun. I’ve been playing this game since I was little and just relax and be myself out there.”

Dumba said, “I’m just thankful that my opportunity has come along. Now I’m just going to go out there and work my hardest and do whatever it takes to stay around.”

He said he’d try not to put on “extra pressures and nerves. Just another game. Looking back afterward, hopefully it a good one.”

Yeo said, “I’m excited for him. This guy’s a big part of our future. He’s had a really strong camp, so I’m excited to get him there and see how he goes out and performs at this time of year. We’ve seen it. We saw it Game 1 for us, the pace of play, the intensity picks up right now, so you want to see how he handles that.”

Asked if assistant coach Rick Wilson, who changes the D, will manage his ice time, Yeo said, “It’s important to get him out there early and get him into the feel of the game. And then every game you manage the game. But it’s important that we show him the faith and confidence in him to get him involved in the game.”

Yeo wouldn’t say if Dumba would play the power play, but Yeo indicated yesterday that it would tough taking Brodin off after playing so well Thursday and scoring a power-play goal.

Jonas Hiller vs. Niklas Backstrom tonight.

Dustin Penner gets in for Anaheim as Teemu Selanne sits in anticipation for another return to Winnipeg tomorrow.

The Ducks’ Emerson Etem (lower body), Luca Sbisa (ankle) and Sheldon Souray (wrist) are out. For some reason, I forgot to add them to my injury report in today’s paper.

What else? Saku Koivu got to meet his niece last night. I’ve got some cool quotes from Mikko that I’ll toss into tomorrow’s paper.

Yeo also was impressed Charlie Coyle took a leap onto the knife in today’s paper regarding his mistake on the tying goal against L.A. in the opener.

“That’s the kind of accountability that we like around here,” Yeo said. “He had a solid game. He had a really solid game. He was close to a great game. What he did with the puck all night and what he did without puck the puck most of the night, he had a really strong game.”

But Coyle told Yeo yesterday that he couldn’t sleep after the game because of not defending Jeff Carter on the tying goal. Yeo said, “I said, ‘you’ve got to learn from it and you’ve got to move on from it and focus on the things you did well and just correct that stuff.’”


Kansas City - J. Guthrie 7:07 PM
San Francisco - T. Hudson
San Diego 21 FINAL
Denver 35
Detroit 10/26/14 8:30 AM
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
Minnesota 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Seattle 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Miami 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Chicago 10/26/14 12:00 PM
New England
Philadelphia 10/26/14 3:05 PM
Oakland 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Indianapolis 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Green Bay 10/26/14 7:30 PM
New Orleans
Washington 10/27/14 7:30 PM
Dallas 6:00 PM
New York 6:30 PM
San Antonio 7:00 PM
Miami 7:00 PM
Minnesota 7:00 PM
Phoenix 8:00 PM
Sacramento 9:00 PM
LA Lakers
Denver 9:30 PM
Golden State
Portland 9:30 PM
LA Clippers
Dallas 6:00 PM
New Jersey
Tampa Bay 7:00 PM
Vancouver 8:00 PM
Carolina 8:30 PM
Columbus 9:00 PM
Connecticut 21 FINAL
(18) East Carolina 31
Miami-Florida 30 FINAL
Virginia Tech 6
So Florida 6:00 PM
Troy 6:30 PM
South Alabama
BYU 8:00 PM
Boise State
(6) Oregon 9:00 PM
North Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
UAB 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Rutgers 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(16) Nebraska
Maryland 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(11) Kansas State
Minnesota 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Memphis 10/25/14 11:00 AM
North Carolina 10/25/14 11:30 AM
San Jose St 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Northern Ill 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
(25) UCLA 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Akron 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Ball State
Massachusetts 10/25/14 1:00 PM
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
Oregon State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
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
Georgia Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(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
Vanderbilt 10/25/14 3:00 PM
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
(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
(3) Ole Miss 10/25/14 6:15 PM
(24) LSU
(4) Alabama 10/25/14 6:30 PM
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
Nevada 10/25/14 10:59 PM
(2) Florida State 10/30/14 6:30 PM
Troy 10/30/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
Houston 7:00 PM
Montreal 5:30 PM
Saskatchewan 8:30 PM
Hamilton 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Brt Columbia 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Hamilton 10/31/14 6:30 PM
Winnipeg 11/1/14 3:00 PM
Brt Columbia 11/1/14 6:00 PM
Toronto 11/2/14 11:00 AM
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