Greetings. Kent Youngblood here, filling in ffor tonight's game.

Before tonight’s game, in his meeting with the media, Colorado coach Patrick Roy took the opportunity to go off on a rather strange tangent.

Rather than talking about the game, which is very important for his team’s fading playoff hopes, he instead took issue with a story our reporter Michael Russo wrote for today’s Star Tribune. In it Russo pointed out how the rivalry between the two teams is growing more intense.

 To illustrate the point, Russo – who was away today on a previously-planned trip out of town – wrote about the end of the game Feb. 28 in Colorado. Late in that game, with the result already decided, Avalanche forward Cody McLeod jumped Wild center Mikael Granlund, then fought with the Wild’s Charlie Coyle. As it turns out, both McLeod and Colorado winger Gabriel Landeskog were ultimately fined for their behavior in that game.

Instead of talking about any of that, Roy took some shots at Russo, saying the article suggested a Wild player should go after McLeod, which of course it did not. But that didn’t stop Roy from calling the article “garbage.”  “I hope this guy has good lawyers,” Roy said. “Because if somethingg happened to Cody tonight, if I was his agent, I would be not nervous to give him a nice call.’’

Roy then went on to depict McLeod as some sort of noble warrior who was getting a bad rap. “If he puts Charlie Coyle (on the ice), I have to put somebody on the ice,” he said, referring to that late faceoff Feb. 28.

Right. Like Coyle is some sort of NHL-renowned enforcer.

Russo was having none of it. “Patrick must be mistaking my story with somebody else’s,” he said. “There was no suggestion ‘of someone going after Cody McLeod.’ There is no place where I advocated the Wild to harm anyone. It was an objective look at a rivalry between two good teams with core players who will face each other for years.’’

One wonders if  Roy actually read the story. Instead he called McLeod  a player that 29 other teams would love to have. “He’s a leader on this team …,:” Roy said. “He is a great role model for our young players. Is he going to compete out there? Yes. But nothing major happened. I mean, I don’t know, I’m looking at their lineup and Granlund seems to be in there tonight, isn’t he?’’

Like that’s the point. I suspect this was just a coach trying to deflect attention and pressure away from his team, which has yet to beat the Wild in a hockey game this season. But we’ll see how this plays out tonight.

If you’re interested here is a link to the story:

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