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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Yeo explains Kuemper's start, sitting Dumba tonight against Toronto; Prosser to make season debut

Posted by: Michael Russo under Wild pregame skate Updated: October 15, 2013 - 4:43 PM

Josh Harding does get the night off for Darcy Kuemper tonight.

Coach Mike Yeo said Kuemper had a good camp and “we want to see what he can do in a game that he certainly is going to be challenged. But he’s a guy we have confidence in.”

Most of all, as I’ve indicated, the Wild doesn’t want to burn out Harding six games into the season. He’s played the past four games, and in my opinion, the Wild can’t risk any health issues with Harding for two reasons: 1) Niklas Backstrom has a knee injury; 2) Backstrom wasn’t playing particularly well beforehand.

So to make him play back-to-back wasn’t something Yeo was willing to do, especially because Harding has multiple sclerosis.

“He’s been playing so well, I don’t want to put him in a bad spot,” Yeo said, before inferring Harding’s M.S. “He hasn’t had any complaints, he hasn’t come to us and shown any kind of fatigues or symptoms or any problems whatsoever. With that said, back-to-back games are pretty tough on those goalies, so it’s a good opportunity to get Kuemps in and see what he can do.”

Quickly, I’ll write about Matt Dumba later this week and explain the situation, but he’s being pulled tonight because of a rough game last night. First, Yeo said he told Marco Scandella he’d play tonight. Yeo said, “It didn’t matter if we won 10-0 yesterday, he was going to play this game.” But second, as I said on the last blog, part of Dumba’s development will be coming out of lineups to watch from above, working with the coaches for extended periods in the morning

This is completely normal. It doesn’t mean Yeo hates Dumba, like some of the absurd tweets I’ve gotten today have claimed. My goodness. He’s 19.

Keith Ballard isn’t 100 percent. He looks foggy and hurting, so he won’t play tonight for precautionary reasons, Yeo said. Nate Prosser will make his season debut.

Yeo said Prosser should be “extremely motivated to play this game” after being scratched in six straight.

Yeo said no excuses tonight. The Wild rolled four lines (you can by the ice times) last night so the forwards wouldn’t be tired tonight, so Yeo said, “I want to come into this game head-on and we should have no excuses).

On Matt Cooke, who has six points in six games, Yeo joked, “We are expecting him to get 82 points this year.” When I noted he had no penalty minutes, Yeo said, “That’s an interesting stat, isn’t it?”

Again, James Reimer for Toronto. Surprising since Jonathan Bernier munches on the Wild. Three of his seven career shutouts are against the Wild. Talk after the game.


Fla Southern 2 FINAL
Detroit 12
Miami 7
Toronto 114 FINAL
Philadelphia 103
Golden State 108 FINAL
Brooklyn 110
Phoenix 98 FINAL
Miami 115
LA Clippers 110 FINAL
Minnesota 105
New Orleans 93 FINAL
Dallas 102
Nashville 1 FINAL
NY Rangers 4
Carolina 2 FINAL
Chicago 5
Montreal 0 FINAL
San Jose 4
Virginia 59 FINAL
Syracuse 47
Baylor 59 FINAL
Texas 61
SE Louisiana 79 FINAL
Northwestern St 92
Central Arkansas 49 FINAL
Sam Houston St 76
Norfolk State 59 FINAL
Howard 61
Bethune-Cookman 50 FINAL
NC A&T 67
Hampton 75 FINAL
Delaware State 85
Lamar 69 FINAL
McNeese State 70
Nicholls 89 FINAL
New Orleans 79
Incarnate Word 62 FINAL
Stephen F Austin 83
NC Central 62 FINAL
Savannah State 49
Texas Southern 77 FINAL
Alabama A&M 75
Prairie View 67 FINAL
Alabama State 65
Oklahoma 70 FINAL
Iowa State 77
Grambling St 62 FINAL
Miss Valley St 66
Boston College 66 FINAL
Virginia Tech 59
Jackson State 62 FINAL
Ark-Pine Bluff 64
Bethune-Cookman 55 FINAL
NC A&T 58
Hampton 78 FINAL
Delaware State 63
Norfolk State 63 FINAL
Howard 60
NC Central 54 FINAL
Savannah State 65
Texas Southern 83 FINAL
Alabama A&M 46
Prairie View 42 FINAL
Alabama State 60
Jackson State 78 FINAL
Ark-Pine Bluff 74
Grambling 56 FINAL
Miss Valley St 61
Tulsa 71 FINAL
Cincinnati 58
(1) Connecticut 88 FINAL
South Florida 65
East Carolina 67
Central Conn St 53 FINAL
Bryant 55
Wagner 66 FINAL
Robert Morris 60
Sacred Heart 75 FINAL
Fairleigh Dickinson 84
St Francis-NY 73 FINAL
Long Island 49
Mount St Marys 87 FINAL
St Francis-PA 90
Temple 56 FINAL
Houston 45
Texas Tech 65 FINAL
(6) Baylor 75
Iowa State 64 FINAL
Kansas 68
Memphis 53
Oklahoma 66 FINAL
Oklahoma St 56
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