Programming note: Because of travel schedule this week, "Russo Radio" will be tonight at 6:20 p.m. on KSTP as opposed to the normally-scheduled Wednesday night.
Good afternoon everybody. Appreciate Brian Stensaas coming to my rescue yesterday as I'm under the weather.
The Wild, winners of two in a row over Buffalo and St. Louis, didn't practice today, so no news from practice.
As for injury updates, via email with the front office, goalie Niklas Backstrom continues to be out with a groin injury and won't be rushed back. Against Edmonton on Tuesday, Josh Harding will make his fourth straight start. Defenseman Shane Hnidy is also out with a leg injury.
The following are day-to-day: Derek Boogaard (being called a sore nose), Brent Burns (hip, may be able to return vs. Oil) and Owen Nolan (lower body, may be able to play through the pain).
The Wild's 10-3-2 in its past 15 at the X and has beaten Edmonton in 12 consecutive home games. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the streak is tied for second among current home win streaks against an opponent in the NHL. Nashville has beaten Columbus in 13 straight at home, and yes, Dallas has beaten the Wild in 12 straight home games.
The Wild is hoping to dip into the college free-agent market as teams start to sporadically be eliminated. They're interested in a couple players still playing. The big player whose school has been eliminated already that they're waiting on is Casey Wellman, the UMass forward who tied for sixth in the nation with 23 goals.
The Wild is one of several teams interested, however, and he's expected to make a decision within the next few days. There is no news today yet. I hear Nashville's very much in this. According to Hockey Night in Canada's Elliotte Friedman, Ottawa, Philadelphia, San Jose and Columbus are also interested.
Lastly, I'm still miffed at what Cam Janssen's talking about from the quote St. Louis Dispatch writer emailed me last night (see previous blog post). I wasn't at the game because I was sick, but from what I watched on TV, Boogaard and DJ King drop the gloves in the faceoff circle and King wanted to skate Derek Boogaard out to center-ice.
Boogaard just stood there. That's showboating? That looked to me like you want to fight, skate back over here.
And when Janssen talks about respect, I just laugh. This is a player with a laundry list of disrespectful plays on the ice. This is a player who once while playing for the St. Louis Jr. Blues stuck the butt end of his stick into the face mask of a Culver Academy player. That high school player suffered a serious eye injury that took two months to heal.
Not a whole lotta respect there.