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.

Kuemper shuts out Oilers during solid Wild effort; Stoner fine after "gruesome" looking injury

Posted by: Michael Russo under Wild game coverage Updated: February 28, 2014 - 12:13 AM

Darcy Kuemper continues to do everything he can to alleviate any concerns the suits upstairs may have with the Wild’s goaltending down the stretch.

We’ve learned the last two months the rookie’s feeling confident when he flashes the leather after a big save. That’s what he did after gloving down Mike Richards’ shootout attempt in a 39-save victory at L.A. – the game that started this remarkable run from the Sunshine Kid – and that’s what he did on a Taylor Hall blast in the second period tonight.

It wasn’t as pronounced. But look closely, and it was clear as day to see.

Kuemper made 21 saves for his second career shutout during the Wild’s 3-0 blanking of the Oilers.

Check out the gamer for the details, but the Wild defended well, took hits to make plays and got the puck north for the majority of the game. Kuemper didn’t have to make a bunch of huge saves, but his biggest on Jordan Eberle in the second – a point-blank one-timer to his right – preserved a 1-0 lead.

Shortly after, Erik Haula set up Stephane Veilleux for the Wild’s second goal.

The Wild’s now five up on Dallas for the top wildcard spot and six up on 10th-place Vancouver, Friday’s opponent. Coach Mike Yeo said Kuemper will start that game. He is 9-2-2 in his past 14 starts with a 2.02 goals-against average and .933 save percentage.

Mikael Granlund, whom Yeo said this morning has a chance to do something special these final 22 games, scored two minutes into the game off a nice feed from Zach Parise. He did get banged up twice, once when he took a puck to the left cheek, the other when he was checked by Nick Schultz and looked to fall into another Oiler. Athletic therapist Don Fuller worked on him a bunch after that shift and was with him in the locker room after.

Granlund said afterward cunningly that he didn’t know what I was talking about and he’s OK.

Two guys also banged up tonight?

Nate Prosser and Clayton Stoner.

Prosser, 12 seconds into his first shift and 54 seconds into the game, was hit from behind by Blaine’s Matt Hendricks, who was a physical menace all game. Somehow no penalty was called on the blatant boarding major. Kyle Brodziak immediately challenged him thought, which resulted in a 4-on-4 that led to Granlund's goal. So it worked out.

Prosser said he got his “bell rung” and took stitches to the chin, but while he was lost for the rest of the first period, he returned to start the second and had an assist on Veilleux's goal.

“I knew he was coming,” said Prosser, whose wife is days from giving birth to their second child. “I knew it was Hendricks and he finishes his hits. But I’m digging the puck out. I expect a little rubout or something, but he full-fledged put me into the glass.”

Clayton Stoner’s injury was, as Yeo said, “gruesome” looking. While either grabbing the jersey of Luke Gazdic in a fight or having his finger punched by Gazdic as he reached (Stoner didn’t know), Stoner’s left ring finger dislocated. Screen captures on Twitter (check out @randball) showed his finger facing east.

I would have been lost for weeks. Stoner returned in the third after doctors got the finger back in place and he told them to tape his ring finger to his middle finger for support.

“Probably looked worse than it felt,” said Stoner. “I’ve had problems with this finger for three weeks, so I think the tendons are weak and it came out easier than it should of.”

Oh, OK.

We’ll see if Stoner can play Friday in Vancouver, his home province team so to speak. If he can’t, the Wild has Marco Scandella waiting in the wings. If he can’t play, the Wild has Steve Kampfer or will need to helicopter in Jon Blum.

Keith Ballard, who returns to Vancouver, his former team, for the first time since signing a two-year deal with Minnesota last summer, was plus-3 and was great. His drive to the net helped lead to Granlund’s goal.

I thought Jared Spurgeon had a great game. Assist, three blocked shots for the Edmonton native. Charlie Coyle was good defensively and offensively. Dany Heatley scored a goal in front of the fans who just love him so.

Lots of good efforts from Wild players. Now on to Vancouver for a big game Friday. I’m staring a 4:30 a.m. wakeup call in the face. Talk to you from one of the best stops in the league Friday.

ADVERTISEMENT

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 0 Top 5th Inning
Baltimore 1
Philadelphia 6 Top 7th Inning
NY Mets 0
Miami 4 Bottom 6th Inning
Atlanta 0
Boston 0 Bottom 5th Inning
Tampa Bay 4
Cleveland 1 Bottom 5th Inning
Kansas City 0
Detroit 5 Top 6th Inning
Chicago WSox 0
Texas 0 Top 7th Inning
Houston 0
Colorado 1 Bottom 3rd Inning
Arizona 0
Chicago Cubs 1 Bottom 2nd Inning
St. Louis 1
Los Angeles 0 Bottom 1st Inning
San Diego 0
Milwaukee - M. Fiers 8:05 PM
San Francisco - J. Peavy
Oakland - J. Samardzija 8:05 PM
LA Angels - C. Rasmus
Washington - S. Strasburg 8:10 PM
Seattle - R. Elias
Green Bay 9/4/14 7:30 PM
Seattle
BYU 35 FINAL
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
UNLV 13 FINAL
Arizona 58
Penn State 26 FINAL
UCF 24
Troy 10 FINAL
UAB 48
(7) UCLA 28 FINAL
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 4th Qtr 8:53
(12) Georgia 38
Liberty 22 3rd Qtr 0:56
(23) North Carolina 49
Ohio U 14 4th Qtr 4:23
Kent State 7
Louisiana Tech 3 3rd Qtr
(4) Oklahoma 31
Stephen F Austin 10 3rd Qtr
(20) Kansas State 28
Fresno State 7 2nd Qtr 5:25
(15) USC 24
Southern Miss 0 2nd Qtr 5:24
Miss State 14
Texas-El Paso 14 2nd Qtr
New Mexico 7
North Texas 0 2nd Qtr 13:50
Texas 7
(1) Florida State 10 2nd Qtr 15:00
Oklahoma State 0
(14) Wisconsin 8:00 PM
(13) LSU
Idaho 0 Delayed
Florida 0
South Dakota 9:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(25) Washington 9:30 PM
Hawaii
Utah State 8/31/14 6:00 PM
Tennessee
SMU 8/31/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
Miami-Florida 9/1/14 7:00 PM
Louisville
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
Nevada
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
Army
(24) Missouri 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Toledo
Arkansas State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Tennessee
(8) McNeese State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(22) Nebraska
Central Mich 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
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
Tulsa
Western Ky 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
SC State 9/6/14 11:30 AM
(16) Clemson
Navy 9/6/14 12:00 PM
Temple
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
Massachusetts
Fresno State 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Utah
(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
Kentucky
Middle Tennessee 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Minnesota
Northern Ill 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Missouri State 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Ball State 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Iowa
Maryland 9/6/14 2:30 PM
So Florida
Eastern Mich 9/6/14 3:00 PM
Florida
Georgia Tech 9/6/14 3:00 PM
Tulane
(18) Ole Miss 9/6/14 3:30 PM
Vanderbilt
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
Louisiana
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
Troy
Idaho 9/6/14 6:00 PM
ULM
(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
Texas
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
Wyoming
Oregon State 9/6/14 9:30 PM
Hawaii
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 2nd Half 44:55
Montreal 1
FC Dallas 0 1st Half 35:00
Chicago 0
Real Salt Lake 9:30 PM
San Jose
Portland 9:30 PM
Vancouver FC
Ottawa 10 FINAL
Montreal 20
Winnipeg 8/31/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Toronto 9/1/14 12:00 PM
Hamilton
Edmonton 9/1/14 3:30 PM
Calgary
Brt Columbia 9/5/14 6:30 PM
Ottawa
Calgary 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Edmonton
Hamilton 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Saskatchewan 9/7/14 3:00 PM
Winnipeg
Chicago 62 4th Qtr 2:32
Indiana 66
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Which local pro team are you most excited about?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT