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.

Josh Harding day-to-day, Johan Gustafsson recalled; other injury updates

Posted by: Michael Russo under Wild news, Wild player moves, Wild practice Updated: October 25, 2013 - 1:35 PM


Coach Mike Yeo says Josh Harding is feeling better today, but the Wild won't bring him to Chicago as not to risk his "lower-body strain" that flared up during Thursday's 3-1 win over Carolina.

The Wild has recalled Johan Gustafsson to make the trip and back up Niklas Backstrom Saturday. Remember, Backstrom was injured moments before Game 1 of the playoffs last year when he sustained a sports hernia that knocked him out of the first round and required surgery.

Backstrom isn't 100 percent yet, but he says he has to "find a way" Saturday night.

The Gustafsson recall is nothing against Darcy Kuemper, who gave up three goals on seven shots in Toronto last week. Kuemper's been on a yo-yo and it's his turn to start Sunday for Iowa against Grand Rapids. So since the callup is for a backup role here, Kuemper stays in Iowa to play and Gustafsson is called up.

It's as simple as that. He also apparently isn't quite 100 percent from something that happened in last night's game.

Gustafsson was pulled in last night's game for Iowa but gave up only one goal in roughly his first 120 minutes of the season there. He is 2-0 with a 1.99 GAA and .935 SP and one shutout for Iowa

Keith Ballard, who has missed five games with a head injury, practiced today and is "feeling better than yesterday." He will not fly to Chicago and acknowledged that he had concussion-like symptoms and whiplash.

Charlie Coyle practiced today and looked good. He is not on the trip and is doubtful for Monday, too, against Chicago. With practices scheduled Thursday and Friday, perhaps Friday's game against Montreal is a target.

Jonas Brodin wound up not skating today because Yeo said why push it since it's not like he'll be back in a few days. Right now it's just a matter of the swelling going down so he can look down and see the puck. Maybe Friday is a target, too. Monday is unlikely.

Mike Rupp also practiced today again. I'll toss Rupp quotes on his comeback in Sunday's paper. I talked to him yesterday.

Big test for the Wild Saturday as its faces Chicago for the first time since the playoffs. The Wild felt like it was chasing the puck for much of that series. This year the Wild's been a team its opponent is typically chasing. So we'll see how it goes against Chicago.

Same lines in Chicago as the Wild finished vs. Carolina. Dany Heatley on Kyle Brodziak's line, Nino Niederreiter on Mikael Granlund's line.

By the way, Wild will wear its road whites Monday in the second end of the home-and-home against the Hawks.

Talk to you Saturday after the morning skates in Chicago.


Washington 1 Top 7th Inning
NY Mets 0
Philadelphia 3 Top 7th Inning
Miami 2
Toronto 6 Bottom 5th Inning
Cleveland 8
Cincinnati 0 Top 6th Inning
Atlanta 4
Tampa Bay 2 Bottom 6th Inning
Baltimore 0
Chicago WSox 0 Bottom 3rd Inning
Minnesota 4
Detroit 1 Top 4th Inning
Kansas City 0
Seattle 1 Top 4th Inning
Houston 5
Pittsburgh 0 Top 4th Inning
St. Louis 0
Milwaukee 2 Bottom 3rd Inning
Chicago Cubs 1
Oakland 0 Top 1st Inning
Texas 0
LA Angels - J. Weaver 3:05 PM
San Francisco - T. Lincecum
Colorado - K. Kendrick 3:10 PM
San Diego - J. Shields
Arizona - C. Anderson 3:10 PM
Los Angeles - B. Anderson
NY Yankees - A. Warren 7:05 PM
Boston - J. Kelly
Washington 93 4th Qtr 5:08
Atlanta 90
Memphis 2:30 PM
Golden State
Tampa Bay 5:00 PM
Minnesota 7:30 PM
Calgary 9:00 PM
Chicago 4:00 PM
Sporting Kansas City
Seattle 6:00 PM
New York City
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters





question of the day

Poll: Who will be the MVP of the Wild-Chicago series?

Weekly Question