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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Mike Yeo unhappy with team's Game 1 performance

Posted by: Michael Russo under Wild game coverage Updated: May 3, 2014 - 12:59 AM

Last year, the Wild played well enough to win Game 1 in Chicago, lost in overtime and got smoked in Game 2.

I don’t think the Wild was nearly as bad as coach Mike Yeo portrayed tonight. I think he was doing a bit of postgame coaching because if the Wild actually thinks it played well and still lost 5-2, where does it go from here? It better fix its game for a Game 2 response. It’s kind of like his Game 5 reaction last round when the Wild was the victim of some questionable officiating and he bit his tongue. If the Wild actually thought it was cheated (sorry, Todd McLellan term), where does it go in Games 6 and 7?

The Wild lost this game for four reasons:

1. Jonas Brodin is a high-sticking madman suddenly, was in the bin twice tonight and the Hawks made Minnesota pay both times.

2. Its lack of finish in a one-sided second period (despite outshooting Chicago 17-3 and missing another 11 shots, including one hit pipe), the Wild watched Chicago turn its one-goal lead into a two.

3. Lost the special teams battle 2-nothing.

4. Patrick Kane is scary good.

The first two periods, it was a rumor Kane was even in the building. The third period, he decided to surface right after Clayton Stoner and Kyle Brodziak turned a 2-0 deficit into a 2-2 tie.

With the Madhouse on Madison eerily silent, Kane scored the eventual winning goal 1:26 after Brodziak’s tying goal (8:22 into the third) on a terrific play, then shot. Dangles through neutral zone, walks into the zone, cuts to his right on the backhand, turns toward the net and around Brodin and roofs a backhander because Ilya Bryzgalov wasn’t covering the short-side.


After the goal, Kane apparently yelled, "Showtime."

Kane then scored again with 3:13 left and Bryan Bickell an empty-netter, so the lopsided score isn't indicative of what actually happened on the ice.

Yeo said, “We had some good moments, but we're not happy with our game tonight. I felt that we didn't have everybody at the level we needed to be at, so we'll rectify that.”

Asked about Brodin and his poor play, Yeo said a handful of guys were below average at best. He didn’t know if that was because of the quick turnaround or because they didn’t get reset and refocused and adjusted for a new series.

“Obviously, it was a very winnable game for us,” Yeo said. “It didn’t have the feel of a game that we were going to win for sure. But to get yourself in that opportunity, you know, you’re starting to come on five-on-five, we were pretty good for a lot of points there, for a lot of periods of the game. But you’ve got to buckle down in those key moments and those key situations. We’ve been stronger than that lately, but this is nothing to hang our hat on. It’s about the next challenge in front of you.”

On Stoner, who was a physical menace and knocked Andrew Shaw out of the game with a lower-body injury, Yeo said, “I thought he was a difference maker and this is the way he's played all playoffs for us.”

On Bryz, Yeo said he didn’t have a problem with his game (and right now he has no choice to talk him up): “Obviously this a talented team that can capitalize and don't need 30 opportunities to put five in the net so we have to limit those quality opportunities.”

Bryzgalov gave up four goals on 21 shots.

Jason Pominville again can’t seem to find his game. Missing nets galore, although he set up a couple nice chances tonight.

In the first, the Wild had a chance to take a 1-0 lead when Nate Prosser connected with Zach Parise with a home-run pass near the far blue line. But on the shorthanded breakaway, Blackhawks speedy defenseman Nick Leddy, the 2009 Wild first-round pick, hustled back and impeded Parise’s shot with a swinging stick check.

That proved gigantic because 20 seconds later, Bickell, a Wild killer in last year’s playoffs, tipped Brent Seabrook’s shot past Bryzgalov for a 1-0 Blackhawks lead.

The Wild caught a break with 2:44 left in the period when Brandon Bollig appeared to make it 2-0 off a goalmouth scramble. But referee Dan O’Halloran ruled that he blew his whistle to stop play prior to the puck crossing the line.

The Wild had a chance to tie early in the second period, but Mikael Granlund, with no goalie in front of him, redirected a pass off the crossbar. It was the third time in the game the Wild hit iron. Heatley and Matt Moulson did the same in the first. Granlund missed some golden chances.

Here are some more quotes (transcribed by our stringer, Blake Schuster (@schustee19):



·      It was a good play by Sharp to throw it over to my side. I had some time and space so I tried to cut through the middle. It was one of those plays where I was about to drop it to (Sharp) but I saw both defensemen kind of go to him so I just tried to get in on the backhand and made a good shot and it went in. It’s a good feeling.

·      It’s not like I looked up and saw him go down. I wish I could say that, but it’s not the way it happened


On Kane’s backhander

·      The thing I like about Kaner the best is the big stages, he always seems to put one in, whether he's back home in Buffalo in a big game, time and time again in the playoffs he scores goals and it seems like he wants that puck all the time. So, big goal, big third period for Kaner."

On getting outshot in five of seven playoff games so far:

·      "You've got to give them credit as well. They're a good team and in the second round of playoffs, every team is going to be relentless and they're going to keep coming at you. So, they made their push. It's 2-2 in the third period. It's anybody's game. But what I liked the best was the way we responded once it was tied. I thought we played pretty good hockey down the stretch in the third, and that's something to learn going forward in the series. Minnesota's a great team. They're going to make it tough on us. It's going to be a heck of a series."


28 minutes, three shots allowed and two goals

·      “A kick in the teeth is a little extreme. We've talked about it all along. There's going to be highs and lows. We did some good things. There's a lot of areas we can be better in, but it's a long series. We feel that if we're doing the right things over the length of a series, that's when we see the results we want.”


What's changed on PP from Blues series?

·       I  don’t think a lot. We just need to get through high shots and capitalize on our second opportunities I think. we were making a couple too many passes. Seeing Shaw go down … he’s a big net front for our first unit. Ben stepped up and had an opportunity to be on it.





·      Two unlucky high sticks there, I don't  know. I need to keep the stick on the ice there.


·      It's not very fun to sit in the box.



·       Honestly, I don’t even know how it went in.


·      (do you hear when the crowd chants your name)

·      Yeah, I could hear it.


·      (you cool with it)

Yeah. It’s way better than booing me, if that’s what you’re saying. (smiles)

Blackhawks have availability at 12:30, Wild practices at 2 Saturday. Talk to ya after.


Tennessee 12/18/14 7:25 PM
Philadelphia 12/20/14 3:30 PM
San Diego 12/20/14 7:25 PM
San Francisco
Minnesota 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Detroit 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Cleveland 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Atlanta 12/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Green Bay 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Kansas City 12/21/14 12:00 PM
New England 12/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
NY Giants 12/21/14 3:05 PM
St. Louis
Buffalo 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Indianapolis 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Seattle 12/21/14 7:30 PM
Denver 12/22/14 7:30 PM
Atlanta 93 3rd Qtr 0:41
Cleveland 75
Phoenix 71 3rd Qtr 3:30
Charlotte 80
Dallas 53 3rd Qtr
Detroit 51
Utah 52 2nd Qtr 1:43
Miami 36
Orlando 53 3rd Qtr
Boston 56
Brooklyn 33 2nd Qtr 11:18
Toronto 25
Memphis 7:30 PM
San Antonio
Milwaukee 9:00 PM
Houston 9:30 PM
Indiana 9:30 PM
LA Clippers
Ottawa 1 2nd Prd 1:41
New Jersey 0
Boston 1 1st Prd 4:29
Minnesota 1
Dallas 9:00 PM
Langston 65 FINAL
North Texas 78
Delaware State 72 FINAL
St Francis-NY 64
James Madison 62 2nd Half 7:12
Ball State 39
SIU Edwardsville 55 2nd Half 4:32
Campbell 61
St Francis-PA 63 2nd Half 2:59
Duquesne 47
North Florida 47 2nd Half 11:28
Florida State 70
Catawba 57 2nd Half 5:57
George Mason 80
Ferrum 42 2nd Half 4:05
High Point 89
Hampton 40 2nd Half 6:28
Illinois 62
Gardner-Webb 58 2nd Half 6:14
Jacksonville 57
Longwood 45 2nd Half 7:15
Miami-Ohio 53
Arkansas State 62 2nd Half 4:45
Miss State 50
Tennessee 51 2nd Half 6:49
NC State 59
NC A&T 54 2nd Half 1:30
Ohio State 95
Manhattan 34 2nd Half 7:02
Pittsburgh 48
Robert Morris 46 2nd Half 6:19
Toledo 70
Char Southern 54 2nd Half 2:51
Wofford 54
Kennesaw St 82 2nd Half 3:08
Youngstown St 76
Barber-Scotia 32 2nd Half 7:57
NC Central 92
Detroit 33 2nd Half 16:55
UCF 40
Liberty 23 2nd Half
UNC-Wilmington 31
TX A&M-CC 14 1st Half 5:00
Denver 31
Ark-Pine Bluff 23 1st Half 4:28
Houston 13
UT Martin 17 1st Half 3:15
Illinois State 24
Milligan 29 1st Half 4:47
Louisiana 50
Abilene Christian 19 1st Half 7:13
Loyola-Chicago 24
USC Upstate 23 1st Half 5:07
Memphis 32
Alcorn State 17 1st Half 6:04
Murray State 26
Central Mich 29 1st Half 3:56
Northwestern 17
Georgia State 22 1st Half 3:32
Old Dominion 19
TX-Pan American 11 1st Half 7:38
Saint Louis 21
Ill-Chicago 7 1st Half 6:34
SMU 15
Texas State 22 1st Half 4:29
Stephen F Austin 16
SC State 16 1st Half 7:58
Texas Tech 28
Missouri State 25 1st Half 1:06
Tulsa 29
Chicago State 28 1st Half 5:32
Western Ky 27
Morehead State 8 1st Half 8:14
Green Bay 22
Northern Colorado 25 1st Half 4:14
Nebraska Omaha 33
Winthrop 8:00 PM
New Mexico St 8:00 PM
San Diego St 8:00 PM
Eastern Mich 8:00 PM
Michigan State
Loyola Marymount 8:00 PM
Incarnate Word 8:00 PM
Grand Canyon
Northeastern 9:00 PM
Cal Poly
Central Arkansas 9:00 PM
New Mexico
Howard 9:00 PM
Portland 9:30 PM
CS-Northridge 10:00 PM
Grambling St 10:00 PM
Nevada 12/20/14 10:00 AM
Utah State 12/20/14 1:20 PM
Texas-El Paso
(23) Utah 12/20/14 2:30 PM
Colorado State
Western Mich 12/20/14 4:45 PM
Air Force
South Alabama 12/20/14 8:15 PM
Bowling Green
BYU 12/22/14 1:00 PM
Marshall 12/23/14 5:00 PM
Northern Ill
Navy 12/23/14 8:30 PM
San Diego St
Central Mich 12/24/14 11:00 AM
Western Ky
Fresno State 12/24/14 7:00 PM
Western Carolina 79 FINAL
UNC-Asheville 66
(21) Miss State 66 FINAL
Louisiana 51
(25) DePaul 109 FINAL
Loyola-Chicago 84
Liberty 64 FINAL
NC State 67
Elon 77 FINAL
Campbell 51
Akron 73 FINAL
UCF 64
Richmond 77 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 67
Montana 70 FINAL
Seattle 64
(7) Stanford 46 FINAL
Chattanooga 54
Florida A&M 69 FINAL
Southern U 80
Oklahoma 72 FINAL
(13) Duke 92
Savannah State 56 2nd Half 0:01
Auburn 62
Drexel 50 FINAL
Quinnipiac 74
Northern Colorado 23 2nd Half 11:52
South Florida 68
Youngstown St 45 2nd Half 5:47
Robert Morris 51
Siena 73 2nd Half 0:26
Sacred Heart 65
Vermont 63 2nd Half 0:11
St Francis-NY 59
(1) South Carolina 66 2nd Half 1:36
Hampton 43
Fla Gulf Coast 89 2nd Half 1:36
Bethune-Cookman 43
Texas Southern 78 2nd Half 5:15
Houston Baptist 70
Northwestern 79 2nd Half 5:54
NC A&T 53 2nd Half 6:00
Appalachian St 60
NC Central 44 2nd Half 5:26
Coastal Carolina 60
Cincinnati 48 2nd Half 4:57
Northern Ky 58
Alabama State 49 2nd Half 8:11
Georgia Tech 67
Morehead St 40 2nd Half 18:40
USC Upstate 42
Arkansas State 43 2nd Half 7:52
Kent State 29
American Univ 55 2nd Half 3:16
Manhattan 47
UNC Greensboro 49 2nd Half 5:35
St Bonaventure 64
Arkansas-Monticello 25 2nd Half
Northwestern St 21
Prairie View 29 2nd Half 20:00
Sam Houston St 25
McNeese State 15 1st Half 3:49
(3) Texas 38
Yale 28 1st Half 6:47
Wagner 24
Oakland 16 1st Half 5:00
TX A&M-CC 18
Eastern Kentucky 24 1st Half 9:11
Alabama A&M 9
SIU-Edwardsville 14 1st Half 3:26
Northern Ill 25
McMurry 6 1st Half 2:39
TX-Arlington 47
Portland 8:00 PM
Eastern Washington
North Texas 9:00 PM
San Francisco
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