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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Breaking down the Wild's 2014-15 schedule; Russo's Roadie Tips

Posted by: Michael Russo under Wild news, Wild off-season news Updated: June 22, 2014 - 3:04 PM

The NHL announced the 82-game regular-season schedules (41 home, 41 road) for all 30 teams this afternoon.

The Wild will be challenged early, playing five of its first eight games in a nine-game October on the road. Most bizarrely, after a home-and-home series Oct. 9 and Oct. 11 vs. Colorado to open the season, the Wild will probably will return home to practice (selfishly, I think Mike Yeo should do the right thing and take the team to Vegas ... or Hawaii) and won't play next until six days later Oct. 17 at Anaheim and Oct. 19 at reigning Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles.

After a training camp that will last from Sept. 18-Oct. 8, those will be six long days. What left will there be for me to write about? (Joking).

Some nuggets:

-- The Wild will play 29 games vs. its Central Division rivals (this is what happens when there's 7 teams in each division in the West), with Colorado and Winnipeg coming to Minnesota three times and the Wild going to Chicago, Dallas (gulp; one win there since March 21, 2003, sad that I know that by heart?) and Nashville three times. The Wild plays St. Louis four times.

-- The Wild plays three games each vs. the Pacific for a total of 21 games with Anaheim, ARIZONA (no longer Phoenix), L.A. and San Jose coming to Minnesota twice and the Wild, like old times (long live the Northwest Division!), going to Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver twice.

-- The Wild plays the 16 teams in the East one time each, home and away for a total of 32 games.

-- Sid the Kid and Evgeni Malkin and the Pens come to Minnesota Nov. 4, Stanley Cup champs come to Minnesota the first time Nov. 26 in the day before Thanksgiving game, for a change, the Wild will be on the road New Year's Eve at Columbus, the All-Star Game will be held in Columbus on Jan. 25 and the Wild closes the season at Chicago, at Nashville and at St. Louis.

-- After the All-Star Game, the Wild will play 18 home games and 18 road games during the stretch drive. Of those 36 games, 14 will be against the Central Division and 25 vs. the West.

-- The Wild has 13 sets of back-to-back, including a rare home back-to-back March 27-28 vs. Calgary and Los Angeles.

-- The Wild's longest homestand is five games March 27-April 6 vs. Calgary, L.A., the Rangers, Detroit and Winnipeg.

-- The Wild has seven three-game road trips and one four-game road trip, although that's a fake four-game road trip because the All-Star Game separates at Detroit with a Western Canadian swing to all three teams there.

-- Besides the first two games vs. and at Colorado, the only other home and home series is vs. Winnipeg on Dec. 27 and at Winnipeg on Dec. 29.

-- Judging by the time of the Jan. 17 game against Arizona, I assume that's Hockey Day Minnesota. The host city hasn't been announced.

-- As I mentioned last week, no stadium series game hosted by the Wild this season. For part of the reason why, see the previous blog.

-- Lastly, to answer my annual flurry of emails this time of year, my favorite road cities for various reasons: 1. Chicago; 2. Vancouver; 3. New York City; 4. Phoenix; 5. San Jose/Anaheim/L.A. circuit; 6. Washington; 7. Denver; 8. Montreal; 9. Boston; 10. Nashville; 11. Las Vegas (one day, I promise!).

There are so many other cities that are cool (some crummy ones, too), so don't be offended if I failed to mention yours.

Couple awesome Wild trips if you're looking for a few ideas: at Anaheim/LA in October; at Rangers/Boston in October because it's two incredible cities and a simple train ride or LaGuardia to Logan Delta shuttle; at Ottawa/MTL in November because it's a 90-minute drive between the two cities, the Canadian capital is one of my favorite places even though I failed to mention it above and you get an off-night in MTL; at TB/FLA in November because it's a short, relatively cheap Southwest flight between Tampa and Ft. Lauderdale or a 3-hour drive; at San Jose (squeeze in Napa if you can)/Glendale in December (weather!) and at Winnipeg in February because you really, really, really should experience what I'm going to have to experience (actually, more than likely, my backup). smiley

On schedule-release day, I always realize how lucky I am to have this job. I mean, get paid to cover hockey AND travel for what's about to be my 20th year (10th covering the Wild)!!!

Who came up with this idea?

This morning I got an email from a Mankato student who's a hockey/journalism fanatic. He happened to mention he has never been out of the state of Minnesota besides North Dakota once and Wisconsin.

I couldn't get it out of my head for a few hours.

It was a great reminder how lucky I am to see the continent annually on the Star Tribune's dime (actually, the paper invests a lot more than a dime to our sports coverage) and then build the miles/hotel points to see the world during the offseasons fairly cheaply.

Of course, remind me of everything I just said when I undoubtedly whine to you on Twitter during travel delays and complain from Winnipeg this upcoming February (Brrrr).

-- If you missed, here's a Chuck Fletcher feature from today's paper mostly from the eyes of Craig Leipold.

2013-14 Minnesota Wild schedule

SEPTEMBER (PRESEASON)

Mon.     22                           at Winnipeg        7:00 p.m.            

Thur.     25                           at Pittsburgh      6:00 p.m.

SAT.       27                           WINNIPEG          7:00 P.M.

MON.    29                           PITTSBURGH      7:00 P.M.

Thur.     2                              at St. Louis          7:00 p.m.

SAT.       4                              ST. LOUIS             7:00 P.M.            

OCTOBER (REGULAR SEASON)

THUR.   9                              COLORADO         7:30 P.M.            

Sat.        11                           at Colorado         8:00 p.m.

Fri.          17                           at Anaheim         9:00 p.m.

Sun.       19                           at Los Angeles   3:00 p.m.

THUR.   23                           ARIZONA             7:00 P.M.

SAT.       25                           TAMPA BAY       7:00 P.M.            

Mon.     27                           at N.Y. Rangers 6:00 p.m.

Tue.       28                           at Boston             6:00 p.m.

THUR.   30                           SAN JOSE             7:00 P.M.

NOVEMBER

SAT.       1                              DALLAS 7:00 P.M.

TUE.       4                              PITTSBURGH      7:00 P.M.

Thur.     6                              at Ottawa            6:30 p.m.

Sat.        8                              at Montreal        6:00 p.m.

Tue.       11                           at New Jersey   6:00 p.m.

THUR.   13                           BUFFALO             7:00 P.M.

Sat.        15                           at Dallas               1:00 p.m.

SUN.      16                           WINNIPEG          4:00 P.M.

Thur.     20                           at Philadelphia  6:00 p.m.

Sat.        22                           at Tampa Bay     6:00 p.m.

Mon.     24                           at Florida             6:30 p.m.

WED.     26                           LOS ANGELES     7:00 P.M.

Fri.          28                           at Dallas               7:30 p.m.

SAT.       29                           ST. LOUIS             7:00 P.M.

DECEMBER

WED.     3                              MONTREAL         6:00 P.M.            

FRI.        5                              ANAHEIM           7:00 P.M.

TUE.       9                              N.Y. ISLANDERS                7:00 P.M.

Thur.     11                           at San Jose          9:30 p.m.

Sat.        13                           at Arizona            7:00 p.m.

Tue.       16                           at Chicago           7:30 p.m.

WED.     17                           BOSTON               7:00 P.M.

SAT.       20                           NASHVILLE         7:00 P.M.

TUE.       23                           PHILADELPHIA  6:00 P.M.

SAT.       27                           WINNIPEG          6:00 P.M.

Mon.     29                           at Winnipeg        7:00 p.m.

Wed.     31                           at Columbus       6:00 p.m.         

JANUARY

FRI.        2                              TORONTO           7:00 P.M.            

Sat.        3                              at Dallas               7:00 p.m.            

TUE.       6                              SAN JOSE             7:00 P.M.

THUR.   8                              CHICAGO            7:00 P.M.

SAT.       10                           NASHVILLE         1:00 P.M.

Sun.       11                           at Chicago           7:00 p.m.

Tue.       13                           at Pittsburgh      6:00 p.m.

Thur.     15                           at Buffalo            6:00 p.m.

SAT.       17                           ARIZONA             8:00 P.M.            

MON.    19                           COLUMBUS        7:00 P.M.

Tue.       20                           at Detroit             6:30 p.m.

Sun.       25                           NHL ALL-STAR GAME (Columbus, Ohio)

Tue.       27                           at Edmonton      8:30 p.m.

Thur.     29                           at Calgary            8:00 p.m.

FEBRUARY

Sun.       1              at Vancouver     2:30 p.m.

TUE.       3              CHICAGO            7:00 P.M.

SAT.       7              COLORADO         7:00 P.M.

MON.    9              VANCOUVER     7:00 P.M.

Tue.       10           at Winnipeg        7:00 p.m.

THUR.   12           FLORIDA              7:00 P.M.

SAT.       14           CAROLINA           7:00 P.M.

Mon.     16           at Vancouver     9:00 p.m.

Wed.     18           at Calgary            8:30 p.m.

Fri.          20           at Edmonton      8:00 p.m.

SUN.      22           DALLAS 7:00 P.M.

TUE.       24           EDMONTON       7:00 P.M.

Thur.     26           at Nashville         7:00 p.m.

Sat.        28           at Colorado         9:00 p.m.

MARCH

TUE.       3              OTTAWA             7:00 P.M.

Thur.     5              at Washington   6:00 p.m.

Fri.          6              at Carolina           6:00 p.m.

SUN.      8              COLORADO         5:00 P.M.

TUE.       10           NEW JERSEY       7:00 P.M.

FRI.        13           ANAHEIM           7:00 P.M.

Sat.        14           at St. Louis          7:00 p.m.            

Tue.       17           at Nashville         7:00 p.m.

THUR.   19           WASHINGTON  7:00 P.M.

SAT.       21           ST. LOUIS             1:00 P.M.

Mon.     23           at Toronto           6:30 p.m.            

Tue.       24           at N.Y. Islanders               6:00 p.m.

FRI.        27           CALGARY             7:00 P.M.                                                            

SAT.       28           LOS ANGELES     7:00 P.M.

APRIL

THUR.   2              N.Y. RANGERS   7:00 P.M.            

SAT.       4              DETROIT               6:00 P.M.            

MON.    6              WINNIPEG          7:00 P.M.

Tue.       7              at Chicago           7:30 p.m.

Thur.     9              at Nashville         7:00 p.m.            

Sat.        11           at St. Louis          6:30 p.m.

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Tennessee 10 4th Qtr 14:14
Jacksonville 14
Philadelphia 12/20/14 3:30 PM
Washington
San Diego 12/20/14 7:25 PM
San Francisco
Minnesota 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Miami
Baltimore 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Houston
Detroit 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Chicago
Cleveland 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
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
Pittsburgh
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
Oakland
Indianapolis 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Dallas
Seattle 12/21/14 7:30 PM
Arizona
Denver 12/22/14 7:30 PM
Cincinnati
New York 97 4th Qtr 0:11
Chicago 101
New Orleans 85 4th Qtr 5:42
Houston 77
Milwaukee 25 1st Qtr 0:30
Sacramento 29
Oklahoma City 9:30 PM
Golden State
Florida 2 FINAL(SO)
Philadelphia 1
Colorado 0 FINAL(OT)
Pittsburgh 1
Toronto 1 FINAL
Carolina 4
Washington 5 FINAL(OT)
Columbus 4
Anaheim 2 3rd Prd 7:34
Montreal 1
St. Louis 9:30 PM
Los Angeles
Edmonton 9:30 PM
San Jose
St Thomas (TX) 61 FINAL
Rice 72
Stony Brook 59 FINAL
Canisius 60
Temple 82 FINAL
Delaware 62
FIU 58 FINAL
Long Island 69
Lehigh 65 FINAL
Quinnipiac 80
South Alabama 54 FINAL
Richmond 65
Seton Hall 89 FINAL
South Florida 69
Ga Southern 76 FINAL
Stetson 67
Yale 57 FINAL
Vermont 56
Cleveland State 54 FINAL
Virginia 70
Wright State 69 FINAL
Western Carolina 56
Nicholls 54 FINAL
Louisiana Tech 79
Morgan State 48 FINAL
Rider 62
Idaho State 72 FINAL
South Dakota St 75
Oakland City 52 FINAL
Austin Peay 76
Eureka 38 FINAL
Bradley 80
Appalachian St 65 FINAL
Charlotte 75
Connecticut 56 FINAL
Duke 66
Southern Miss 46 FINAL
Jackson State 66
Coastal Carolina 68 FINAL
Ole Miss 71
Montana State 53 FINAL
South Dakota 55
LSU 65 2nd Half 6:26
UAB 62
Ohio 57 2nd Half 7:35
Evansville 54
CS-Dominguez 15 1st Half 4:28
Cal State Fullerton 21
Walla Walla 16 1st Half 5:19
Idaho 38
DePaul 17 1st Half 8:33
Oregon State 28
Nevada 11 1st Half 7:20
Pacific 19
Portland State 13 1st Half 6:16
San Francisco 25
CS-Bakersfield 8 1st Half 13:35
Utah State 11
Nevada 12/20/14 10:00 AM
Louisiana
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
Memphis
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
Rice
Niagara 76 FINAL
Cleveland State 58
High Point 59 FINAL
VA Commonwealth 81
Towson 64 FINAL
Wake Forest 74
Presbyterian 50 FINAL
Charlotte 66
Chicago State 62 FINAL
Bradley 59
Northwestern Coll 58 FINAL
Drake 102
Vanderbilt 67 FINAL
Marquette 80
Temple 78 FINAL
Howard 48
Southern Miss 66 FINAL
Ole Miss 68
UMBC 55 FINAL
Rider 67
Miami-Florida 74 FINAL
UCLA 67
St Mary-KS 51 FINAL
South Dakota 115
William & Mary 71 FINAL
Wofford 51
Troy 82 FINAL
Evansville 94
Loyola Marymount 54 FINAL
USC 96
St Francis-PA 52 FINAL
Duquesne 92
Indiana-Southeast 45 FINAL
IUPUI 95
Delaware State 52 FINAL
Detroit 74
Tenn Temple 48 FINAL
Gardner-Webb 68
West Virginia St 58 FINAL
Radford 52
Fairfield 47 FINAL
Seton Hall 79
Dartmouth 44 FINAL
New Hampshire 60
Ball State 47 FINAL
Pittsburgh 59
Jacksonville 61 FINAL
Tennessee St 64
Trine 45 FINAL
Western Mich 81
Tenn Tech 53 FINAL
Lipscomb 72
Samford 56 FINAL
Tulane 57
New Orleans 55 FINAL
Tulsa 78
Incarnate Word 61 FINAL
TX-Pan American 65
Ark-Little Rock 42 FINAL
South Dakota St 67
CS-Northridge 77 FINAL
Northern Ariz 71
Santa Clara 67 2nd Half 6:14
Oregon 53
(19) Oklahoma St 45 2nd Half 6:50
Weber State 38
Washington 60 2nd Half 3:48
San Diego State 40
Cal Poly 54 2nd Half 7:24
New Mexico 62
(10) Louisville 56 2nd Half 7:56
Grand Canyon 35
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