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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Kobasew in, O'Sullivan out

Posted by: Michael Russo under Wild news Updated: December 4, 2010 - 6:36 PM

Chuck Kobasew plays for the first time since Nov. 2 tonight at Dallas, having missed 14 games. He'll skate Matt Cullen and Cal Clutterbuck.

"Chuck’s ready to go. He’ll add some speed and some grit. I don’t think we played a bad game last night, but it’s getting somebody in and giving them an opportunity to turn things around and change it," coach Todd Richards said.

The surprise scratch is Patrick O'Sullivan. He's healthy, Richards said, and I do believe that because he was playing in the pregame soccer warmup with his teammates.

Why O'Sullivan? Because of Steve Ott and guys like that.

"There’s certain elements that we need down here for sure," Richards said. 

I pointed out because of Ott: "[Ott] going after Clutter. Absolutely.”

Last season, Ott fought Clutterbuck twice here Feb. 2, 2010, so Richards wants Eric Nystrom and Brad Staubitz in the lineup. I would have picked somebody else to be scratched than O'Sullivan personally, but I do get wanting Staubitz in the lineup.

Richards says no "symptoms" with Brent Burns, so he's in. And by symptoms, you know what I mean. He does have a very fat lip

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