Chad Graff / St. Paul Pioneer Press
By the time the Wild's regular season was over, Marco Scandella was eager to turn the page. Happy that his team recorded the best season in franchise history, the defenseman was ready to move on from what was an underwhelming individual performance. Scandella's ice time was the lowest in any season during which he played at least 20 games, and his four goals were the fewest since his first season as an everyday player in 2013-14.
MINNEAPOLIS — The Twins aren't ready to send Byron Buxton to the minors, Paul Molitor said, but the manager admitted he's heard the debate over whether the center fielder's excellent defense is worth his dismal performance at the plate. Buxton was 0 for 2 on Thursday afternoon in the Twins' 6-2 loss to the Cleveland Indians, leaving him with four hits in 49 at bats to go with an American League-high 24 strikeouts.
MINNEAPOLIS - Carlos Santana had three hits, including a pair of RBI doubles, and Trevor Bauer had his best outing of the season for the Cleveland Indians in a 6-2 win over the Minnesota Twins on Thursday afternoon. Bauer (1-2) pitched 6 1/3 innings and struck out seven batters while allowing two runs on three hits and two walks. Abraham Almonte had two hits for Cleveland, which swept Minnesota in the three games of the series after Wednesday's game was postponed.
MINNEAPOLIS — The Twins' postponed game Wednesday means they'll pitch their ace Thursday afternoon in the series finale against Cleveland while missing the Indians' best starting pitcher. Adalberto Mejia was scheduled to start for the Twins on Wednesday, but the game was postponed because of weather. The Twins decided to skip Mejia's start and put Ervin Santana on the mound for Thursday's 12:10 p.m. start.
ST. PAUL — A year ago after the Minnesota Wild were bounced from the first round of the NHL playoffs, the organization's most anticipated prospect since Mikko Koivu sat down with general manager Chuck Fletcher to pick up the pieces from a disappointing season. Three full seasons into his NHL career, 25-year-old Finn Mikael Granlund still hadn't produced more than 13 goals or 44 points in a season. Yet he drew optimism and a chuckle out of Fletcher when the two discussed moving Granlund from center to wing for good.
MINNEAPOLIS — Case Keenum was only a practice squad player with the St. Louis Rams in 2014, but he remembers sharing video study sessions with Sam Bradford, who sat out all of that season with a knee injury. Impressed by Bradford, Keenum watched from afar the next season as his former teammate passed for 3,725 yards in 14 games with the Philadelphia Eagles. And now that he has signed a one-year, $2 million contract with the Vikings to become Bradford's backup, Keenum said he can't wait to be reunited with his former teammate.
MINNEAPOLIS—On the eve of Opening Day, Brian Dozier, the lone bright spot on a 103-loss Twins team a year ago, admitted that extra attention will be paid to the way this remarkably similar team begins the 2017 season Monday afternoon when they host the Kansas City Royals. Part of that is because the Twins buried themselves and foreshadowed a grueling season a year ago when they opened with nine losses their first nine games on their way to the worst record in Major League Baseball.
While he remains unsigned more than two weeks from the start of NFL free agency, longtime Vikings running back Adrian Peterson said he's "in no rush" to sign with a new team. The market for running backs has dwindled now that several have found new teams, including Latavius Murray, who the Vikings signed to replace Peterson. But in a post on Instagram, Peterson wrote he's confident that he will sign with an NFL team before next season.
MANCHESTER, N.H. — As Notre Dame celebrated a first-round upset in front of its net, Gophers men's hockey coach Don Lucia approached a few of his downtrodden seniors on the ice, their college careers, which began with a national championship-game berth, now over without an NCAA tournament win since. Lucia offered a few words and patted the players on the back while they stood stoically, their once-promising season that offered dreams of a return to the Frozen Four over because of another early exit on college hockey's biggest stage, a 3-2 loss Saturday to the Fighting Irish.
MANCHESTER, N.H. — Gophers men's hockey coach Don Lucia doesn't make much of his team's turnaround, entering Saturday's NCAA Northeast Regional as a No. 1 seed after not making the tournament at all last year. Even while a fan base accustomed to sustained success grapples with the newfound parity of today's college hockey landscape, Lucia said there were signs Minnesota would be able to make its absence from the national tournament a year ago a distant memory.