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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Good news regarding Jonas Brodin and Charlie Coyle

Posted by: Michael Russo under Wild pregame skate Updated: October 24, 2013 - 12:46 PM

Afternoon from high above the X, where Kirk Muller's Carolina Hurricanes just got done skating.

I will be on Fox Sports North's pregame show tonight at 6:30 p.m. and again during the first intermission.

Also, tickets for tonight's Chalk Talk with Wes Walz and me are still available at www.wild.com/chalktalk. You can watch Walz diagram a neutral-zone trap and me diagram how to write a blog or something. Tix start at $28 and include a game ticket for tonight's game against Justin Faulk and the Canes. We will be doing five of these this season, and those other dates are on that link as well.

By the way, this morning on Wild Minute, I mentioned the Wild's 2010 trip to Helsinki against Carolina. If you want to take a trip down memory lane, my pictures from that trip are still on my Facebook page. Click this link and you can see pics of a young Mikael Granlund and guys like Andrew Brunette, Matt Cullen, Mikko Koivu, Nik Backstrom, Gui Latendresse, Martin Havlat, Nick Schultz, P-M Bouchard, Casey Wellman, Matt Kassian, Greg Zanon, Marek Zidlicky, Brent Burns, Justin Falk, Clayton Stoner, Antti Miettinen, etc.

Good news on the Jonas Brodin front. As of now, coach Mike Yeo says no surgery is planned and Brodin may even skate tomorrow, although maybe not with the team. Brodin will obviously wear a full cage for awhile. So cautious good news right now.

Also, Charlie Coyle is getting closer. He took part in today's morning skate and felt good. He'll have to wear a knee brace for the first time in his career, and he said that didn't feel too bad. He's got no targeted date as for a return and would still need to get into battle drills and line rushes, etc., and some real practices, but this is good news, too. But you also want to be cautious because you don't want any setbacks from his sprained MCL.

Keith Ballard was kept off the ice again and will miss his fifth game in a row. Same lines that ended the Nashville game, meaning Justin Fontaine plays on the top line to start tonight and Nino Niederreiter the third.

Niklas Backstrom is starting to feel better. He's still not feeling completely 100 percent, but he feels good enough to back up and is real happy for Josh Harding, who has taken the No. 1 reins for now and run with it. It's been roughly a calendar year since Harding was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and he continues to persevere. What a start to his season with a 0.96 goals against average and .953 save percentage.

Tonight is Harding's Hope Night at the X and all fans get a Josh Harding Masterton Trophy poster.

The Canes have won two in a row and are 3-1 on the road. Muller, whose staff includes thousands of games of experience and several Cups with Dave Lewis, John MacLean, Greg Stefan, Rod Brind'Amour, Ron Francis and Glen Wesley, is very impressed with what he's seeing from the Wild.

"Just watching them, they play a high-tempo game and play the game the right way," Muller said. "They do a good job playing on the right side of the puck, they track back hard, they don't give you time and a lot of these teams in the West, they're comfortable playing a 0-0-type game. We've got to understand these guys don't give up many shots and opportunities, so we've got to be ready for it, just no frustration, just grind it out and play the same type of game."

I interviewed Carolina's Justin Faulk today. The former UMD star defenseman is a great quote and player and way on the radar to make the U.S. Olympic team. Kirk Muller went on and on about him today and I'll likely do a Faulk feature when we're in Raleigh in a few weeks. He's got a great relationship with a few of the Wild players, particularly Fontaine, his former UMD teammate. They'll go head-to-head tonight and I'll talk about that in tomorrow's notebook.

Always great seeing Radek Dvorak, too. Few better guys in the NHL. Nine teams now. Dvorak's rookie year in the NHL and Florida (1995) was mine as well.

That's it for now. Long day in the press box ahead of me, so I better get some work done.


NY Yankees - LP: M. Pineda 0 FINAL
Toronto - WP: D. Hutchison 2
Detroit - LP: M. Scherzer 3 FINAL
Chicago WSox - WP: C. Sale 6
Chicago Cubs - WP: F. Doubront 5 FINAL
St. Louis - LP: J. Masterson 1
Cincinnati - LP: A. Simon 2 FINAL
Pittsburgh - WP: V. Worley 3
Minnesota - LP: J. Burton 2 FINAL
Baltimore - WP: A. Miller 3
Philadelphia - WP: J. Williams 7 FINAL
NY Mets - LP: B. Colon 2
Miami - WP: J. Cosart 4 FINAL
Atlanta - LP: A. Harang 0
Boston - LP: A. Webster 0 FINAL
Tampa Bay - WP: J. Odorizzi 7
Cleveland - WP: J. Tomlin 3 FINAL
Kansas City - LP: S. Downs 2
Detroit - WP: K. Ryan 8 FINAL
Chicago WSox - LP: C. Bassitt 4
Texas - LP: P. Klein 0 FINAL
Houston - WP: S. Feldman 2
Colorado - WP: T. Matzek 2 FINAL
Arizona - LP: V. Nuno 0
Chicago Cubs - LP: T. Wada 2 FINAL
St. Louis - WP: M. Gonzales 13
Los Angeles 1 Top 10th Inning
San Diego 1
Milwaukee 0 Bottom 8th Inning
San Francisco 3
Oakland 0 Top 9th Inning
LA Angels 2
Washington 3 Top 9th Inning
Seattle 1
Green Bay 9/4/14 7:30 PM
Connecticut 10
(6) Jacksonville St 7 FINAL
(8) Michigan State 45
Bowling Green 31 FINAL
Western Ky 59
TX-San Antonio 27 FINAL
Houston 7
Colorado State 31 FINAL
Colorado 17
Arizona 58
Penn State 26 FINAL
UCF 24
Troy 10 FINAL
UAB 48
Virginia 20
Western Mich 34 FINAL
Purdue 43
(5) Ohio State 34 FINAL
Navy 17
Appalachian St 14 FINAL
Michigan 52
Ga Southern 23 FINAL
NC State 24
Boston College 30 FINAL
Massachusetts 7
West Virginia 23 FINAL
(2) Alabama 33
Rice 17 FINAL
(17) Notre Dame 48
(10) South Dakota St 18 FINAL
(24) Missouri 38
Fla Atlantic 7 FINAL
(22) Nebraska 55
California 31 FINAL
Northwestern 24
Marshall 42 FINAL
Miami-Ohio 27
UC Davis 0 FINAL
(11) Stanford 45
Arkansas 21 FINAL
(6) Auburn 45
(16) Clemson 21 FINAL
(12) Georgia 45
Liberty 29 FINAL
(23) North Carolina 56
Ohio U 17 FINAL
Kent State 14
Louisiana Tech 16 FINAL
(4) Oklahoma 48
Stephen F Austin 16 FINAL
(20) Kansas State 55
Fresno State 13 FINAL
(15) USC 52
Southern Miss 0 FINAL
Miss State 49
Texas-El Paso 31 FINAL
New Mexico 24
North Texas 7 FINAL
Texas 38
(1) Florida State 37 FINAL
Oklahoma State 31
(14) Wisconsin 24 3rd Qtr 2:11
(13) LSU 13
Idaho 0 Postponed
Florida 0
South Dakota 6 2nd Qtr 7:41
(3) Oregon 28
(25) Washington 17 2nd Qtr 4:15
Hawaii 10
Utah State 8/31/14 6:00 PM
SMU 8/31/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
Miami-Florida 9/1/14 7:00 PM
Arizona 9/4/14 7:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Pittsburgh 9/5/14 6:00 PM
Boston College
Washington St 9/5/14 9:30 PM
SMU 9/6/14 11:00 AM
North Texas
Fla Atlantic 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(2) Alabama
Buffalo 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(24) Missouri 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Arkansas State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(8) McNeese State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(22) Nebraska
Central Mich 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Akron 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
Western Ill 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(14) Wisconsin
(20) Kansas State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State
(4) Oklahoma 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Western Ky 9/6/14 11:00 AM
SC State 9/6/14 11:30 AM
(16) Clemson
Navy 9/6/14 12:00 PM
UAB 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Miss State
South Alabama 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Kent State
New Mexico St 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Colorado 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Fresno State 9/6/14 2:00 PM
(1) Eastern Wash 9/6/14 2:00 PM
(25) Washington
(15) USC 9/6/14 2:30 PM
(11) Stanford
Ohio U 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Middle Tennessee 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Northern Ill 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Missouri State 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Ball State 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Maryland 9/6/14 2:30 PM
So Florida
Eastern Mich 9/6/14 3:00 PM
Georgia Tech 9/6/14 3:00 PM
(18) Ole Miss 9/6/14 3:30 PM
Old Dominion 9/6/14 5:00 PM
NC State
(8) Michigan State 9/6/14 5:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(19) Arizona State 9/6/14 6:00 PM
New Mexico
Louisiana Tech 9/6/14 6:00 PM
San Jose St 9/6/14 6:00 PM
(6) Auburn
East Carolina 9/6/14 6:00 PM
(9) So Carolina
Duke 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Idaho 9/6/14 6:00 PM
(17) Sam Houston St 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(13) LSU
Michigan 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(17) Notre Dame
Lamar 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(21) Texas A&M
Northwestern St 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
BYU 9/6/14 6:30 PM
Citadel 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(1) Florida State
San Diego St 9/6/14 7:00 PM
(23) North Carolina
Virginia Tech 9/6/14 7:00 PM
(5) Ohio State
Memphis 9/6/14 9:00 PM
(7) UCLA
Colorado State 9/6/14 9:15 PM
Boise State
Air Force 9/6/14 9:15 PM
Oregon State 9/6/14 9:30 PM
Texas Tech 9/6/14 10:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Colorado 0 FINAL
Seattle 1
New England 3 FINAL
Toronto FC 0
Columbus 0 FINAL
Montreal 2
FC Dallas 0 FINAL
Chicago 1
Real Salt Lake 1 2nd Half 44:55
San Jose 1
Portland 1 2nd Half 35:00
Vancouver FC 0
Ottawa 10 FINAL
Montreal 20
Winnipeg 8/31/14 3:00 PM
Toronto 9/1/14 12:00 PM
Edmonton 9/1/14 3:30 PM
Brt Columbia 9/5/14 6:30 PM
Calgary 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Hamilton 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Saskatchewan 9/7/14 3:00 PM
Chicago 70 FINAL
Indiana 77
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