MINNESOTA SPORTS ROUNDUP: Wild open season tonight against Los Angeles
ST. PAUL -- The Wild start the 2013 season tonight at home against the Los Angeles Kings. Wild defenseman Ryan Suter says he is excited to get the season after a grinding training camp, which included a two-day stop in Duluth earlier this week. The Wild finished with 55 points last season and grabbed the eighth seed in the playoffs but lost in the opening round to Chicago. The Kings were fifth in the West last year with 59 points. The puck is slated to drop tonight at 7 p.m. Minnesota will then host Anaheim on Saturday before heading to Nashville on Tuesday.
The Timberwolves continue training camp today in Mankato. Head coach Rick Adelman says he was thrilled with how well Kevin Love and Kevin Martin were making the three-point shot yesterday in practice. Adelman says the way the game is played in the NBA now, a successful needs multiple players to hit the long distance shot and he thinks the Wolves have that. Minnesota opens exhibition play at home on Monday against a team from Moscow.
The Minnesota Lynx continue to prepare for the WNBA Finals. Minnesota will host the Atlanta Dream on Sunday in Game One of the best-of-five series. The Lynx are making their third straight trip to the Finals. The Lynx swept the Dream in 2011 to win the title before losing to Indiana last year. Here is the 2013 WNBA Finals slate:
Game One (Sunday, October 6th): Atlanta at Minnesota, 7:30pm
Game Two (Tuesday, October 8th): Atlanta at Minnesota, 7pm
Game Three (Thursday, October 10th): Minnesota at Atlanta, 7:30pm
Game Four (Sunday, October 13th): Minnesota at Atlanta, 7pm (if necessary)
Game Five (Wednesday, October 16th): Atlanta at Minnesota, 7pm (if necessary)
The Vikings players are off this week with the pending bye week. The Vikings coaches, however, continue to work hard. They are self-scouting this week, meaning they will go over game film of themselves to see if there are obvious areas of concern. Minnesota returns to the field a week from Sunday when it hosts Carolina at the Metrodome.
A Minnesota Senate panel gets an update this afternoon (1pm) on Vikings stadium progress and later in the day (5pm) the Sports Facilities Authority votes on a proposed stadium use agreement with the Vikings. Senate lawmakers also get an update today from the Gambling Control Board on e-pulltab revenues for the new stadium, but Governor Dayton says as far as he's concerned, "e-pulltabs is history." Lawmakers plugged this year's e-pulltab revenue shortfall with a one-time infusion from the cigarette tax increase. In future years, the money will come from closing what Democrats call a business tax loophole.
Golden Gopher quarterback Phillip Nelson of Mankato knows he didn't play his best game in last week's home loss to Iowa. He says he spent most of his Sunday trying to learn from some of his mistakes in that game, then turned the page to this weekend. Minnesota visits No. 17 Michigan for a Saturday afternoon game in Ann Arbor. Nelson says once Sunday was over, his full attention turned to figuring out ways to beat a very good Wolverine defense.
The Twins outrighted four players to Class AAA Rochester yesterday, freeing up space on their Major League 40-man roster. Outfielder Clete Thomas and pitchers Cole DeVries, Shairon Martis, and Josh Roenicke were the four players impacted. DeVries is an Eden Prairie native who pitched college baseball for the Golden Gophers.