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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Charlie Coyle returns tonight against the Calgary Flames

Posted by: Michael Russo under Wild news, Wild pregame skate Updated: November 5, 2013 - 12:31 PM


Well, you've got to admit the first-line RW story in today's newspaper at least read well.

Of course, it's outdated now.

Torrey Mitchell won't be the first-line right wing tonight. Nor will Justin Fontaine.

That's because when the Wild said Charlie Coyle was day-to-day, it meant it. Coyle, who missed the last game vs. New Jersey with knee soreness, will return tonight against scrappy Calgary, and will play right wing next to Zach Parise and Mikko Koivu.

Mitchell is on the fourth line with Dany Heatley and Zenon Konopka, while Fontaine is on the checking line with Matt Cooke and Kyle Brodziak.

Coyle said he tweaked his knee late in Friday's game against Montreal, but doctors tell him the knee is stable and he says he'll just have to maybe play through soreness the next few weeks or even months. It'll be interesting to see how he plays off the hop. He has missed 12 of 13 games since one game and a half to start the season. The league has ramped up while Coyle's been sidelined, so don't be surprised if it takes Coyle a little time to get up to snuff.

He has missed a lot of time.

The hope is Coyle can help Parise and Koivu break out at even-strength. Koivu and Parise have combined for nine 5-on-5 points in 15 games this season.

"Adds a lot to that line," coach Mike Yeo said. "We’ve seen a lot of moving parts on that side, so we get a guy that both Mikko and Zach are not only familiar with ... but can help them play at their best."

Yeo says the chances have been there, but like Koivu and Parise, he wants to see more finish. But he feels consistency on that line can only help because some nights, shift to shift or period to period, they're playing with a different right wing.

"The goals will come," Coyle said. "As long as we just get on the puck and forecheck and play hard down low and win battles, we’ll be OK."

Coyle said he did come away from that PK Subban open-ice hit from behind scot-free in the third. He said it just shook him up at the time, "but I'm good. I'm good."

Interesting message coming from the Wild's room this morning. You know how I always say things are never as bad as they seem when you're losing and never as good as they seem when you're winning, well, the Wild has won five of six, which has masked some concerns.

The message today is the Wild is not playing as well as it was at the beginning of the season when it was losing games and it better find a way to improve.

Tonight is an interesting game. The Flames may not have Iggy and Kipper anymore, but they're a hard-working team that just walked into Chicago and took two points behind a rookie goalie who played lights out.

Simple recipe tonight: Wild outworks the Flames, it likely wins. Get outworked, it likely loses.

Same D tonight, meaning Matt Dumba sits for a third game in a row. The D is playing well, the Wild's suddenly healthy with eight defensemen, he's coming off a poor game. Easy decision to sit him.

Yeo believes Dumba's development won't be stalled by hanging out for a little longer, being a sponge and working with assistants Rick Wilson and Darryl Sydor. However, Yeo is of the mind that young kids must play, so it'll be interesting how long the Wild is willing to keep scratching him.

The risk of sending him back is that if the Wild suddenly runs into injuries again like when it lost Jonas Brodin and Keith Ballard at the same time, it would then have to turn toward Iowa beyond of course Nate Prosser. So the Dumba decision has a lot to do with how comfortable the Wild feels about its depth beyond Prosser -- i.e. Jon Blum, Kyle Medvec, Steve Kampfer, Tyler Cuma, etc.

GM Chuck Fletcher said, "We'll see how things go."

In other words, why make a decision today when you can make one tomorrow or the next day?

Carson McMillan skated, but with Coyle looking like he'll return, McMillan is probably Iowa-bound soon.

Josh Harding vs. Reto "Don't call me Yogi" Berra. Yeo would love to get Nik Backstrom back into a rhythm, but the way Harding has been playing (1.10 GAA and .950 SV% to lead the NHL), he is making this a no-decision. Just know, Yeo will have to eventually spot Backstrom a start no matter how Harding is doing.

With his multiple sclerosis and his propensity for injuries the past number of seasons, the Wild will not and can not run him into the ground. He will need to rest at times.

That's it for me. Have to continue working ahead on a couple features for Thursday and Saturday. In my game notebook in Wednesday's paper, I'll have more on Coyle, Dumba and Jason Pominville indeed being very much back on the Olympic radar for USA, USA, USA, USA!

Remember, he was born in Canada, but has dual citizenship. No USA-eligible player has more goals than Pominville's 10.

Talk to you tonight.


Cleveland 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Washington 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee 11/30/14 12:00 PM
San Diego 11/30/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Oakland 11/30/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis
New Orleans 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Carolina 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Arizona 11/30/14 3:05 PM
New England 11/30/14 3:25 PM
Green Bay
Denver 11/30/14 7:30 PM
Kansas City
Miami 12/1/14 7:30 PM
NY Jets
Dallas 12/4/14 7:25 PM
Chicago 109 FINAL
Boston 102
Golden State 6:00 PM
Dallas 6:30 PM
Milwaukee 6:30 PM
New Orleans 6:30 PM
LA Clippers 7:00 PM
New York 7:00 PM
Oklahoma City
Orlando 7:00 PM
Sacramento 7:30 PM
San Antonio
Phoenix 8:00 PM
Memphis 9:00 PM
Minnesota 9:30 PM
LA Lakers
NY Rangers 3 FINAL
Philadelphia 0
Chicago 2 2nd Prd 18:52
Anaheim 1
NY Islanders 4:00 PM
Winnipeg 6:00 PM
Montreal 6:00 PM
Detroit 6:00 PM
New Jersey
Carolina 6:00 PM
Vancouver 6:00 PM
Ottawa 6:30 PM
Edmonton 7:00 PM
St. Louis
Minnesota 7:30 PM
Tennessee 67 FINAL
Kansas 82
Eastern Ill 40 FINAL
NC Central 65
New Orleans 65 FINAL
Texas A&M 87
Radford 65 FINAL
NC A&T 57
Butler 64 FINAL
Georgetown 58
Prairie View 71 FINAL
Brown 81
Southern U 63 FINAL
Northern Ariz 70
Santa Clara 44 FINAL
Rhode Island 66
IUPU-Ft Wayne 67 FINAL
Dartmouth 68
FIU 44 2nd Half 8:30
Wright State 39
Texas-El Paso 54 2nd Half 8:47
Xavier 49
Penn State 39 2nd Half
Bucknell 33
James Madison 27 2nd Half
Ohio State 37
Yale 27 2nd Half
Providence 34
Lamar 27 2nd Half
Texas Southern 33
Miss Valley St 32 2nd Half 20:00
TX A&M-CC 37
Missouri State 25 2nd Half 19:28
Alaska-Anchorage 25
Minnesota 28 1st Half 6:34
Georgia 13
Oklahoma 9 1st Half 9:30
Wisconsin 12
Stephen F Austin 7 1st Half 17:34
Austin Peay 2
Norfolk State 4:00 PM
St Francis-NY
USC Upstate 5:00 PM
Cal State Fullerton
Middle Tennessee 5:00 PM
Char Southern 5:00 PM
Florida State
Princeton 5:00 PM
San Diego
Drake 5:00 PM
Rice 5:15 PM
Washington St
Rider 5:30 PM
Georgia Tech
High Point 6:00 PM
Emerson 6:00 PM
Savannah State 6:00 PM
Jacksonville St
Monmouth 6:00 PM
South Alabama 6:00 PM
Boise State 6:00 PM
NC State
Vanderbilt 6:00 PM
Gonzaga 6:00 PM
St Johns
Holy Cross 6:00 PM
Bradley 6:00 PM
Alabama State 6:00 PM
TX-Pan American
Delaware State 6:00 PM
Wake Forest
Tennessee St 6:30 PM
Saint Peters
North Carolina 7:00 PM
Memphis 7:00 PM
Indiana State
Hofstra 7:00 PM
Jackson State
Samford 7:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
Cleveland State 7:00 PM
UT Martin 7:00 PM
SE Louisiana 7:00 PM
Creighton 7:30 PM
Ole Miss
Murray State 7:30 PM
North Texas 8:00 PM
UNC Greensboro 8:00 PM
Michigan State 8:00 PM
Western Mich 8:00 PM
San Jose St
Stetson 8:00 PM
Northern Colorado
Texas-Arlington 8:05 PM
Montana State
Pacific 8:30 PM
Colorado State
Miss State 8:30 PM
Saint Louis
La Salle 8:30 PM
North Dakota 9:00 PM
UCLA 9:30 PM
Baylor 9:30 PM
Long Beach State 10:30 PM
Mercer 10:59 PM
UC Santa Barbara
Texas A&M 17
(6) TCU 48 FINAL
Texas 10
Northern Ill 31 FINAL
Western Mich 21
Nebraska 37 FINAL
Iowa 34
Western Ky 67 FINAL
(19) Marshall 66
So Florida 0
Houston 35 FINAL
Akron 24 FINAL
Kent State 27
Ball State 41 FINAL
Bowling Green 24
Buffalo 41 FINAL
Massachusetts 21
Toledo 52 FINAL
Eastern Mich 16
Arkansas 14 3rd Qtr 7:42
(17) Missouri 6
Navy 28 3rd Qtr 8:20
South Alabama 17
(13) Arizona State 21 3rd Qtr
(12) Arizona 21
Stanford 21 3rd Qtr
(9) UCLA 10
(21) Colorado State 10 2nd Qtr 3:05
Air Force 17
Virginia 7:00 PM
Virginia Tech
East Carolina 7:30 PM
North Texas 11/29/14 11:00 AM
TX-San Antonio
Old Dominion 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Fla Atlantic
(16) Georgia Tech 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(8) Georgia
Kentucky 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(24) Louisville
So Carolina 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(23) Clemson
West Virginia 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State
Rice 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Louisiana Tech
Michigan 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(7) Ohio State
Purdue 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Illinois 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Cincinnati 11/29/14 11:00 AM
NC State 11/29/14 11:30 AM
North Carolina
Syracuse 11/29/14 11:30 AM
Boston College
Louisiana 11/29/14 11:30 AM
Utah 11/29/14 12:00 PM
Texas State 11/29/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Idaho 11/29/14 1:00 PM
Appalachian St
Wyoming 11/29/14 2:00 PM
New Mexico
New Mexico St 11/29/14 2:00 PM
Arkansas State
UAB 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Southern Miss
(4) Miss State 11/29/14 2:30 PM
(18) Ole Miss
Notre Dame 11/29/14 2:30 PM
(10) Michigan State 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Penn State
(22) Minnesota 11/29/14 2:30 PM
(14) Wisconsin
(5) Baylor 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Texas Tech
Florida 11/29/14 2:30 PM
(1) Florida State
Rutgers 11/29/14 2:30 PM
San Jose St 11/29/14 2:30 PM
San Diego St
Tennessee 11/29/14 3:00 PM
Kansas 11/29/14 3:00 PM
(11) Kansas State
Connecticut 11/29/14 3:00 PM
BYU 11/29/14 3:30 PM
ULM 11/29/14 5:00 PM
Ga Southern
Middle Tennessee 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Hawaii 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Fresno State
Wake Forest 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Pittsburgh 11/29/14 6:00 PM
(15) Auburn 11/29/14 6:45 PM
(2) Alabama
(3) Oregon 11/29/14 7:00 PM
Oregon State
Utah State 11/29/14 9:15 PM
(25) Boise State
Washington 11/29/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
Nevada 11/29/14 9:30 PM
UCF 12/4/14 6:30 PM
East Carolina
TBA 12/5/14 6:00 PM
Bowling Green
TBA 12/5/14 8:00 PM
(3) Oregon
(19) Marshall 12/6/14 2:00 AM
(11) Kansas State 12/6/14 2:00 AM
(5) Baylor
Iowa State 12/6/14 2:00 AM
(6) TCU
Oklahoma State 12/6/14 2:00 AM
(20) Oklahoma
Hamilton 11/30/14 5:00 PM
Michigan 76 FINAL
Washington St 64
Green Bay 71 FINAL
Georgia Tech 50
Eastern Kentucky 71 FINAL
Western Carolina 62
Florida Atlantic 57
Fordham 74 FINAL
Incarnate Word 42
Furman 63 FINAL
Florida State 94
Illinois State 44 FINAL
Miami-Florida 95
Eastern Michigan 74 FINAL
Cal State Fullerton 78
George Washington 74 FINAL
NC State 66
Ohio State 55 FINAL
Wichita State 70
Western Ky 69 FINAL
Tulane 64
La Salle 71 FINAL
Long Island 66
Binghamton 51 FINAL
St Johns 67
UNC-Asheville 52 FINAL
NC Central 55
North Florida 55 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 41
Akron 73 FINAL
Belmont 58
Miss Valley St 46 FINAL
Liberty 80 FINAL
Penn State 68
Colgate 44 FINAL
(21) Rutgers 60
Mercer 80 FINAL
Saint Louis 75
Northeastern 72 FINAL
No Dakota State 79
(10) Maryland 80 FINAL
James Madison 64
Villanova 46 FINAL
Arizona State 51
Wyoming 63 FINAL
Iowa State 84
Tulsa 75 2nd Half 3:20
Buffalo 63
Boston College 75 1st OT 3:58
Brown 71
Weber State 42 2nd Half 13:25
New Mexico St 50
Texas Tech 50 2nd Half 2:30
Purdue 67
Washington 69 2nd Half 3:35
Hartford 58
Fla Gulf Coast 72 2nd Half 9:35
Clemson 45
Drake 54 2nd Half 7:00
TX-San Antonio 50
UNC Greensboro 50 2nd Half 5:40
Navy 56
(15) Nebraska 26 2nd Half
Northern Iowa 7 1st Half 7:20
Hofstra 17
Austin Peay 28 2nd Half
Southern Miss 47
(17) Iowa 27 2nd Half
Arkansas 25
Cal-Irvine 24 2nd Half
Bowling Green 31
Samford 19 1st Half 5:44
Georgia State 19
Siena 25 1st Half 8:05
Denver 15
Abilene Christian 34 1st Half 5:45
George Mason 23
Towson 8 1st Half 11:00
Rhode Island 13
Howard 4:00 PM
St Marys-CA
Houston 4:00 PM
Idaho State
Texas Southern
East Carolina 4:45 PM
USC 5:00 PM
Sam Houston St
Minnesota 5:00 PM
Kent State 5:00 PM
Montana 5:00 PM
(9) Kentucky 5:00 PM
Arizona 5:00 PM
Northern Ky 5:00 PM
Grand Canyon
Stetson 5:00 PM
American Univ 5:30 PM
UAB 5:30 PM
Loyola Marymount
Oral Roberts 5:30 PM
Stony Brook 5:30 PM
(8) Duke
TCU 6:00 PM
Colorado State
(5) Stanford 6:00 PM
(11) North Carolina
Monmouth 6:00 PM
Portland 6:00 PM
Stephen F Austin 6:00 PM
Alcorn State 6:00 PM
Lafayette 6:00 PM
(12) Louisville
Florida 6:00 PM
Miami-Ohio 6:00 PM
SE Missouri St 6:05 PM
Southern Ill
Florida A&M 7:00 PM
Northern Colorado 7:00 PM
Nebraska Omaha
Montana State 7:00 PM
(22) Syracuse 7:00 PM
(1) South Carolina
Dartmouth 7:00 PM
Cal Poly
Utah State 7:00 PM
(13) Baylor
Toledo 7:00 PM
Christian Brothers 7:05 PM
Arkansas State
South Florida 7:15 PM
Coll of Charleston 7:30 PM
(3) Connecticut
Wake Forest 7:30 PM
San Jose St 7:30 PM
(14) California
Central Michigan 8:00 PM
Fresno State 8:00 PM
San Diego
Boston U 8:00 PM
New Mexico
Missouri State 8:30 PM
Ole Miss 8:30 PM
Prairie View 8:30 PM
Army 9:00 PM
UC Santa Barbara
Cincinnati 9:30 PM
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