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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Wild to go with same lineup tonight, Barker scratched vs. old team

Posted by: Michael Russo under Wild pregame skate Updated: October 30, 2010 - 12:22 PM

Afternoon from Minny, where the Wild's prepping to take on the Blackhawks tonight at the X.

Looked like former Wild defenseman John Scott won't play his old team. He was getting bagged this morning by Mike Kitchen, along with defenseman Brian Campbell, who's working his way back from a knee injury. The Blackhawks took the morning off after playing last night at home. Corey Crawford was taking shots, so I don't know if that means he'll get the start.

Most starters like to feel pucks in the morning, although Marty Turco has started before in the second of back-to-backs against the Wild after not taking shots in the morning.

Coach Todd Richards said he'll go with the same lineup tonight that played against Washington. That means Cam Barker, who's missed the last three games with a groin injury, is essentially a healthy scratch vs. his old team. He's ready to return, but with the Wild coming off a big win and rookie defensemen Justin Falk and Clayton Stoner playing great, Barker will have to wait at least one more game to play.

Richards had former veteran John Madden address the Wild this morning in terms of what to expect tonight. He made it crystal clear, Richards said, that Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville will have his team more than ready to play after being trounced on home ice last night by the young Edmonton Oilers.

Madden's looking forward to playing Chicago, where he won a Cup last year. He may be a longtime NHL vet, but playing former teams is not old hat for him. Remember, he spent his entire career before last year with New Jersey. So he said tonight will be weird.

Richards will be looking for consistency tonight. Remember, the Wild's looked like a different team from game to game this year, so Richards will be asking his team to turn three good periods against Washington into six good periods for the first time this season.

No new news or updates with injuries. Richards didn't have an update yet on Antti Miettinen, but like it was reported today, they think it's a concussion.

That's really about it. I put it on Twitter yesterday, but if you have the DISH Network, the dispute with Fox is over. You'll be able to watch Wild games against on Fox Sports North, although tonight's game is on KSTC.

Talk to you after the game.

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