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 unhappy with officiating, San Jose's "embellishment" after Wild's latest road loss

Posted by: Michael Russo under Wild game coverage Updated: December 13, 2013 - 1:33 AM

Mike Yeo was ticked off tonight, although he used a different word than ticked.

The Wild coach was upset with the officiating and accused the Sharks of embellishing all night during a 3-1 victory over the Wild. The Wild, outscored 14-4 during a five-game road skid (0-4-1), fell to 5-8-3 on the road and dropped to ninth in the West. It is now 1-8 in its past nine in San Jose.

The Sharks got four power plays in the first 12:47 of the game to build a 2-0 lead on goals by Joe Pavelski and Tomas Hertl.

Yeo called Brad Stuart’s “embellishment” on a Justin Fontaine high-sticking penalty “embarrassing.” Yeo felt replays showed it wasn’t a high-stick. Nevertheless, the Sharks scored.

In the second, Zenon Konopka was called for a four-minute high-sticking penalty when replays clearly showed he didn’t high-stick Jason Demers. Konopka went to check Freddie Hamilton and Hamilton high-sticked Demers. Regardless, referee Marc Joannette saw it differently and the Sharks made it 3-0.

Read the game story at www.startribune.com/wild for Yeo’s quotes. He had some good ones.

The Wild felt it outplayed the Sharks at even-strength, and it did have a 26-20 shot advantage in that department, but as has been a broken record all season on the road especially, the Wild can’t score. Four goals in five road games is not going to get it done, and the Wild all night whistled shots wide, passed pucks in skates, tried to make an extra play before taking a shot or couldn’t get shots through.

There was one sequence late in the second that completely embodied the game. The Wild pinned the Sharks in their zone for what seemed like an eternity.


But despite the Sharks breaking two sticks, despite the Sharks constantly failing to clear the zone, the Wild barely made Antti Niemi make a save. It basically tired themselves out.

By the time the Wild players got to the bench after not scoring, Ryan Suter logged a 3:07 shift and Mikko Koivu, Zach Parise, Jason Pominville and Jared Spurgeon all logged 2 ½-minute shifts.

So, yes, while the officiating was suspect to say the least tonight and while the Sharks may have been diving all over the ice, it’s up to the Wild to actually score some goals. For a team that talks so much about its improved depth, one Mikael Granlund injury has seemed to mess up all the lines.

Yeo indicated before the game he’s tired of breaking up the first line anytime the other lines can’t score, but the second line continues to be dry, the third line may be in the offensive zone for the most part, but the players on that line haven’t been scoring either. Kyle Brodziak’s drought has reached 22 games.

Fontaine hasn’t scored since Nov. 9. Niederreiter has no goals in the last 10. Coyle has three goals this year (Coyle just hasn’t been hard on pucks lately and as you can read in my notebook on www.startribune.com/wild, he is really pressing right now). Torrey Mitchell has one goal this year.

So “doing a lot of good things” isn’t good enough. Scoring goals is essential and this slip in the standings won’t stop unless a Wild team that always has to work super-hard to score finally figures out a way.

Yeo liked Brett Bulmer’s first NHL game in two-plus seasons tonight. He felt he played with an edge, was solid on the wall and was hard to play against. The second line continues to be an issue, although Jonas Brodin’s goal with 7:24 left in the game came with Nino Niederreiter, Charlie Coyle and Fontaine on the ice.

Anyway, very big game in Denver on Saturday as the Wild needs to stop the bleeding. Right now, I’m not sure what the Wild’s schedule will be Friday in Denver. My guess is a very optional practice at Denver University. Anyway, that’s it for me. Very early flight in the morning.


Tampa 6 FINAL
Philadelphia 2
LA Clippers 96 FINAL
Chicago 86
Cleveland 103 FINAL
Houston 105
Golden State 106 FINAL
Boston 101
Philadelphia 74 FINAL
Indiana 94
Portland 110 FINAL
Sacramento 99
Charlotte 98 FINAL
Orlando 83
Oklahoma City 108 FINAL
LA Lakers 101
New Orleans 99 FINAL
Denver 92
Los Angeles 2 FINAL
Winnipeg 5
Tampa Bay 3 FINAL
Florida 4
Columbus 3 FINAL
Pittsburgh 5
Toronto 0 FINAL
Washington 4
Anaheim 3 FINAL
Dallas 1
St. Louis 2 2nd Prd 12:58
Vancouver 2
Connecticut 81
Quinnipiac 65 FINAL
Manhattan 69
Fairfield 56 FINAL
Niagara 57
Marist 49 FINAL
Rider 59
Iona 60 FINAL
Saint Peters 68
Oregon State 56 FINAL
California 73
South Florida 55 FINAL
Houston 72
Marquette 66 FINAL
Providence 77
Michigan State 61 FINAL
Wisconsin 68
Siena 57 FINAL
Monmouth 63
Pittsburgh 66 FINAL
Wake Forest 69
Oregon 73 FINAL
Stanford 70
Purdue 61 FINAL
Ohio State 65
Arizona State 79 2nd Half 0:23
Colorado 81
Washington St 41 2nd Half 13:52
Georgetown 66 FINAL
Providence 81
Binghamton 50 FINAL
Elon 65 FINAL
Hofstra 58
Virginia Tech 47 FINAL
Boston College 49
(8) Louisville 59 FINAL
Virginia 75
Texas 69 FINAL
West Virginia 76
Creighton 53 FINAL
Villanova 61
Seton Hall 85 FINAL
Butler 76
UNC-Wilmington 76 FINAL
Coll of Charleston 65
(5) Maryland 69 FINAL
(25) Northwestern 48
Saint Josephs 67 FINAL
La Salle 55
Louisiana Tech 53 FINAL
TX-San Antonio 60
Rhode Island 70 FINAL
Massachusetts 78
Richmond 55 FINAL
VA Commonwealth 49
Davidson 46 FINAL
Fordham 54
St Bonaventure 43 FINAL
Duquesne 51
George Mason 45 FINAL
(22) George Washington 80
Indiana 60 FINAL
(20) Rutgers 71
(12) Texas A&M 63 FINAL
LSU 80
Ole Miss 47 FINAL
(11) Miss State 55
Clemson 56 FINAL
Pittsburgh 61
Maine 47 FINAL
New Hampshire 61
Vermont 48 FINAL
Albany 76
Quinnipiac 87 FINAL
Monmouth 48
Saint Peters 47 FINAL
Siena 64
(4) Notre Dame 67 FINAL
NC State 60
Wisconsin 62 FINAL
Penn State 56
Stony Brook 49 FINAL
Hartford 56
Northeastern 47 FINAL
William & Mary 62
St Johns 61 FINAL
Xavier 74
James Madison 74 FINAL
Delaware 71
Towson 45 FINAL
Drexel 50
Illinois State 50 FINAL
Bradley 60
Southern Ill 74 FINAL
Loyola-Chicago 70
Northern Iowa 54 FINAL
Wichita State 66
Minnesota 76 FINAL
(17) Iowa 92
(15) North Carolina 80 FINAL
(16) Duke 81
Alabama 73 FINAL
Auburn 80
(9) Florida State 69 FINAL
Miami-Florida 55
Arkansas 41 FINAL
Missouri 57
Georgia 52 FINAL
Florida 45
Dayton 95 FINAL
Saint Louis 68
Drake 57 FINAL
Missouri State 86
Colorado 46 FINAL
(10) Arizona State 59
(19) Stanford 55 FINAL
Oregon 62
Marquette 82 FINAL
DePaul 99
Southern Miss 66 FINAL
Texas-El Paso 60
Vanderbilt 49 FINAL
(6) Tennessee 79
(2) South Carolina 56 FINAL
(13) Kentucky 67
Utah 41 FINAL
Arizona 64
Ohio State 78 FINAL
Nebraska 60
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