Chad Graff / St. Paul Pioneer Press
BUFFALO, N.Y. — Jason Pominville knew nothing of St. Paul or the Minnesota Wild when he arrived in a 2013 trade, yet he found himself sentimental when discussing both this week. "I really didn't know what I was getting into (in Minnesota), but from top to bottom, it was awesome," he said. "It's a great bunch of guys, the organization treats you really well, and the city was great. I really enjoyed it and have nothing bad to say about it. When you win, and have the group that we had, it was pretty cool."
MINNEAPOLIS — Before Richard Pitino's 14th-ranked Gophers improved their unbeaten mark to 4-0 Sunday afternoon, Nov. 19, the fifth-year head coach preached to his team the importance of guarding the 3-point line, a key to their success in reaching the NCAA tournament a year ago. No longer, he told them, can we let teams win from the outside. Then a Western Carolina team with talent that didn't rival Minnesota's came out and shot 50 percent on their 22 3-point tries.
MINNEAPOLIS — At the end of the latest Gophers men's basketball win, head coach Richard Pitino loosened the knot on his tie as he stood alongside his victorious team and took a sigh of relief. His team that carries high expectations and a plethora of talent was tested Sunday afternoon, Nov. 19 — and yet still won by 28 points over Western Carolina, a testament to their talent on one hand, and a concerning lethargic effort on the other. "It was a win," Pitino said, "but we've got to learn from it."
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — Even after a four-touchdown game from Case Keenum helped lift the Vikings to a fifth straight victory on Sunday, Nov. 12, head coach Mike Zimmer played coy again on his quarterback situation. On Monday, Zimmer declined to name a starter for Sunday's game against the Los Angeles Rams until Wednesday. The question now is whether, and perhaps when, Zimmer will turn to Teddy Bridgewater, who was active Sunday for the first time since suffering a gruesome knee injury that had him off the field for the previous 14 months.
MINNEAPOLIS — As Reggie Lynch walked around town this offseason, fresh off a record-setting season that made him the Big Ten defensive player of the year, fans often approached him with one of three sentiments. About 20 percent of the time, he estimated, fans congratulated him on his 114 blocked shots last season, a Gophers men's basketball record. Occasionally, too, the message was a simple good luck for a Gophers season that continues Monday with their second game, a visit to Providence. But the rest of the time?
MINNEAPOLIS — The Twins announced that center fielder Byron Buxton and second baseman Brian Dozier have been named Gold Glove winners. This marks the first time that either player has earned the award. Buxton, 23, played 137 games in centerfield this season, committing just five errors with six outfield assists in 400 total chances. Dozier, 30, played in 152 games this season, committing just five errors at second base in 674 total chances. Molitor finalist for managerial honor
MINNEAPOLIS—At times, Amir Coffey admits, the message Minnesota Gophers men's basketball coaches have been stressing to him all preseason can grow old. Throughout each practice, coach Richard Pitino is in Coffey's ear with the same tip. Be more aggressive, Pitino tells Coffey, pleading that the sophomore from Hopkins shoot more. "He's been stressing that to me since last year," Coffey said. "And now that I'm a little older, he's really been on me for that."
MINNEAPOLIS — As the Vikings enter their bye week atop the NFC North standings, coach Mike Zimmer said he is "prepared" to activate quarterback Teddy Bridgewater from the physically unable to perform list, the first step in ushering back their 2014 first-round draft pick after a 14-month absence. Even with a 6-2 record and six surprisingly effective starts from Case Keenum, the Vikings could welcome Bridgewater to their starting lineup as soon as their next game, Nov. 12 against the Redskins in Washington, D.C.
MINNEAPOLIS — In the offseason following the best Gophers men's basketball regular season in two decades, coach Richard Pitino sought out ways to demonstrate "the human nature" of complacency, he said. His team returns nearly every player, welcomes one of its highest-rated recruits ever, and is a popular pick for a Sweet Sixteen run.
ST. PAUL — The Wild on Friday, Oct. 13, placed forward Charlie Coyle on long-term injured reserve after he underwent surgery to repair a broken leg, the team announced. He is expected to miss six to eight weeks. In addition, Nino Niederreiter will miss at least three weeks due to a high ankle sprain, and Marcus Foligno has been scheduled for a medical procedure because of a left facial fracture suffered during a fight in Thursday night's 5-2 victory at Chicago. He is expected to miss at least a week, the team said in a release.