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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If Kobasew returns, who do you take out?

Posted by: Michael Russo under Wild pregame skate Updated: December 4, 2010 - 12:22 PM

Afternoon from Dallas. Hope you all back in Minnesota are safe after last night's snowstorm.

The Wild, after last night's shootout loss to Calgary, was delayed on the ground at Minneapolis due to the weather and de-icing procedures. Because of that, the team didn't arrive at its Dallas hotel until shortly before 3 a.m. Because of that, coach Todd Richards naturally scrapped the morning skate.

I'll update the blog after we speak to Richards before the game, but Chuck Kobasew is ready to return.

Does it happen tonight though?

I'm sure the Wild could use some fresh legs in the second of back-to-backs.

Normally, I'd say Brad Staubitz would be the odd man out, but would Richards take him out against Dallas with Steve Ott running around and laughing at the Wild bench like usual.

This could be the type of game Richards wants Staubitz on the ice. So maybe Kobasew returns only if Richards wants to send a message to a struggling forward or if somebody else pulled up hurt from last night. We'll see.

I've second guessed myself into confusion here. I'd think you'd want Kobasew back, but I'd think you'd want Staubitz in. After all, Cal Clutterbuck had to fight Ott twice in a game last year. Didn't go well for Clutter.

What to do? What to do?

And, does it even matter in a building the Wild hasn't won in since the year in went to the conference finals?

Brent Burns is apparently fine from his collision with Greg Zanon in the final seconds of overtime. Rachel Blount reports he had a fat lip, and that's all.

Jose Theodore in goal. I'll be back before the game

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