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.

Pivotal Game 5 tonight for the Wild and Avalanche in Denver

Posted by: Michael Russo under Wild pregame skate Updated: April 26, 2014 - 5:02 PM

UPDATE

With the series tied at 2-2, Game 5 of the Western Conference quarters tonight will be a swing game.

Somebody, whether that be the Wild or the Avalanche, will be facing elimination Monday night in St. Paul during an 8 p.m. Game 6.

Avs coach Patrick Roy shrewdly put on a show at his presser yesterday. With the Avalanche returning home after losing two games in Minnesota, he deflected all the attention onto himself and almost made the presser sound like an end-of-the-season presser. He talked about how it’s a process going from 29th to winning the Cup and how proud he is of what his team has accomplished this season.

Today, it back to business as usual as both teams look for a key win tonight.

Matt Duchene is clearly getting closer to a return, very possibly in this series. Roy said he won’t play tonight, but Duchene, the Avs’ talented youngster and leading scorer who has been out since late March with a Grade 2 MCL sprain, practiced for the first time with teammates this morning. He skated normal line rushes with Ryan O’Reilly and Jamie McGinn.

Roy said the Avs only lineup decision will be Joey Hishon or Paul Carey tonight on the fourth line.

No lineup changes for the Wild.

So far, this has been a homer series. Avs win Games 1 and 2 in Denver, Wild Games 3 and 4 in St. Paul.

The Wild dominated Games 3 and 4 yet only won 1-0 and 2-1. So it’ll be interesting to see if the Wild, clearly with renewed confidence, brings the same personality tonight. The Avs are obviously going to get the benefit of matchups on their home ice and a jolt from the home crowd. Can the Wild match that and play the same way it did in Minnesota?

“We’re making them come through five guys when they have the puck. That’s pretty tough to do,” Zach Parise said. “The key is we have to do the same thing on the road as we did at home.”

Avs captain Gabriel Landeskog said Colorado was “taken aback” by the Wild’s play in Game 3.

“It was a wakeup call that they want this just as badly as we do,” Landeskog said.

After the Game 4 loss, Max Talbot told Landeskog almost every series he has ever played in was 2-2 at some point.

“That made me bounce back right away,” Landeskog said. “No one said it was going to be easy.”

Landeskog said the Avs were chasing too much in Minnesota and with the home-ice matchups, they believe they’ll have the puck more and be able to control the game better.

“We missed the fans here,” he said. “We realize why people talk about home ice advantage. Fortunately, we feed off the crowd so much. As an opposing team , I wouldn’t say it puts you back on your heels, but certainly you feel the energy against you.”

Western Conference home teams are 16-2 I the playoffs.

“I think we’re a different team than we were in Game 1,” Parise said. “We know we have to win one in here if we want to win the series. Hopefully it will be tonight. Hopefully we can break that trend tonight and get a win in here. “

I chatted with Patrick Bordeleau this morning, the former Wild draft pick that was cut loose on June 1, 2006, by the previous regime. Bordeleau said he has a lot of motivation facing the Wild even though that regime is long gone.

By the way, Bordeleau took a big run at Jared Spurgeon in Game 4 and kneed him. No call and certainly looking like a response after Matt Cooke ended Tyson Barrie’s series and a lot longer with a knee.

“I would have to think that they’re taking a pretty close at that,” Yeo said. “We have a player that was suspended for seven games. The very big difference is our player wasn’t hurt from it, but I would have to think both the referees and the people watching from afar are keeping a close eye on it.”

ADVERTISEMENT

New Orleans 28 FINAL
Carolina 10
Tampa Bay 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Cleveland
Arizona 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Dallas
Philadelphia 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Houston
NY Jets 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
Jacksonville 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
San Diego 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Miami
Washington 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Minnesota
St. Louis 11/2/14 3:05 PM
San Francisco
Denver 11/2/14 3:25 PM
New England
Oakland 11/2/14 3:25 PM
Seattle
Baltimore 11/2/14 7:30 PM
Pittsburgh
Indianapolis 11/3/14 7:30 PM
NY Giants
Washington 105 FINAL
Orlando 98
Detroit 91 FINAL
Minnesota 97
New York 95 FINAL
Cleveland 90
Utah 102 FINAL
Dallas 120
Oklahoma City 90 FINAL
LA Clippers 93
Boston 3 FINAL(OT)
Buffalo 2
Winnipeg 1 FINAL(SO)
New Jersey 2
Los Angeles 0 FINAL
Pittsburgh 3
Chicago 5 FINAL(SO)
Ottawa 4
Philadelphia 3 FINAL
Tampa Bay 4
Arizona 1 FINAL
Florida 2
San Jose 3 FINAL(SO)
Minnesota 4
Anaheim 0 FINAL
St. Louis 2
NY Islanders 0 FINAL
Colorado 5
Montreal 2 FINAL(OT)
Vancouver 3
(2) Florida State 42 FINAL
Louisville 31
Troy 10 FINAL
Ga Southern 42
Cincinnati 7:00 PM
Tulane
Tulsa 7:02 PM
Memphis
Air Force 11/1/14 10:30 AM
Army
ULM 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Texas A&M
(19) Oklahoma 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State
Northwestern 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Iowa
(24) Duke 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Pittsburgh
Maryland 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
Wisconsin 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Rutgers
Rice 11/1/14 11:00 AM
FIU
(21) East Carolina 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Temple
UCF 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Connecticut
Boston College 11/1/14 11:30 AM
Virginia Tech
North Carolina 11/1/14 11:30 AM
Miami-Florida
Washington 11/1/14 12:00 PM
Colorado
Central Mich 11/1/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
Western Mich 11/1/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Western Ky 11/1/14 2:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
NC State 11/1/14 2:00 PM
Syracuse
Virginia 11/1/14 2:30 PM
Georgia Tech
Purdue 11/1/14 2:30 PM
(17) Nebraska
BYU 11/1/14 2:30 PM
Middle Tennessee
(10) TCU 11/1/14 2:30 PM
(20) West Virginia
Indiana 11/1/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Florida 11/1/14 2:30 PM
(9) Georgia
Georgia State 11/1/14 2:30 PM
Appalachian St
Kentucky 11/1/14 3:00 PM
Missouri
Kansas 11/1/14 3:00 PM
(12) Baylor
Texas State 11/1/14 3:00 PM
New Mexico St
Houston 11/1/14 3:00 PM
So Florida
USC 11/1/14 3:30 PM
Washington St
Arkansas State 11/1/14 4:00 PM
Idaho
South Alabama 11/1/14 4:00 PM
Louisiana
New Mexico 11/1/14 4:30 PM
UNLV
UAB 11/1/14 6:00 PM
Fla Atlantic
(4) Auburn 11/1/14 6:00 PM
(7) Ole Miss
Old Dominion 11/1/14 6:00 PM
Vanderbilt
Colorado State 11/1/14 6:00 PM
San Jose St
Arkansas 11/1/14 6:15 PM
(1) Miss State
Stanford 11/1/14 6:30 PM
(5) Oregon
Tennessee 11/1/14 6:30 PM
So Carolina
Texas 11/1/14 6:30 PM
Texas Tech
Southern Miss 11/1/14 7:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
(6) Notre Dame 11/1/14 7:00 PM
Navy
Oklahoma State 11/1/14 7:00 PM
(11) Kansas State
Illinois 11/1/14 7:00 PM
(13) Ohio State
(14) Arizona 11/1/14 9:30 PM
(25) UCLA
California 11/1/14 9:30 PM
Oregon State
San Diego St 11/1/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
Wyoming 11/1/14 9:45 PM
Fresno State
(18) Utah 11/1/14 10:00 PM
(15) Arizona State
Utah State 11/1/14 10:00 PM
Hawaii
Bowling Green 11/4/14 7:00 PM
Akron
Toledo 11/4/14 7:00 PM
Kent State
Buffalo 11/5/14 7:00 PM
Ohio U
Northern Ill 11/5/14 7:00 PM
Ball State
(22) Clemson 11/6/14 6:30 PM
Wake Forest
Sporting Kansas City 1 FINAL
Red Bull New York 2
Hamilton 6:30 PM
Ottawa
Winnipeg 11/1/14 3:00 PM
Calgary
Brt Columbia 11/1/14 6:00 PM
Edmonton
Toronto 11/2/14 11:00 AM
Montreal
Ottawa 11/7/14 6:00 PM
Toronto
Calgary 11/7/14 9:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Montreal 11/8/14 3:00 PM
Hamilton
Edmonton 11/8/14 6:00 PM
Saskatchewan
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: Who is your favorite Wild player?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT