Zach Parise looking for more offense under John MacLean

Parise.jpgLast season was one to forget for the New Jersey Devils, after a
blockbuster trade for Ilya Kovalchuk never panned out and the team’s
star players clashed with the coach and the playing system. While we’ll
never know exactly what happened between Jamie Langenbrunner and Jacques
Lemaire, there’s no doubt that the team’s early demise in the playoffs
were due in part to an outdated defensive system.

Zach Parise, for
one, hopes that changes with new coach John MacLean.
From Rich Chere of The Star Ledger:

“He’s younger so hopefully he’ll bring some new ideas and some
changes. Because we need it.”

MacLean, 45, spoke of getting back to Devils hockey. I asked Parise
what he thought that might be.

“Who knows? I sure hope he brings more offense, more of an aggressive
style,” he said. “I hope we play a more aggressive, puck-possession
style. You look at the teams in the (Stanley Cup) finals and that’s the
way winning teams play. They’re a lot more aggressive.”

With the scoring talent the Devils have, it’s hard to picture another
season where the team just sits back in the same defensive system
they’ve been using for so long. While this style of play has certainly
led to some continued success over the years, it’s been a long time
since the Devils made any noise in the postseason.

The Chicago Blackhawks and the Philadelphia Flyers both proved this
year that teams can be solid defensively and yet still play an uptempo
and aggressive offensive system. The question is whether GM Lou
Lamoriello will give MacLean the go ahead to instill whatever system he
feels is best.

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    John Tortorella had no time for questions after blowout loss (Video)

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    Since being hired by the Columbus Blue Jackets John Tortorella has seemed to be a kinder, gentler coach.

    The blow ups and battles with the media don’t seem to happen as much. We don’t get as many rants.

    He just does not seem as angry all the time.

    Losing 7-2 at home to the Edmonton Oilers, however, might change a few things.

    That it was happened to the Blue Jackets on Tuesday night and Tortorella was in no mood to answer question about the game.

    His press conference consisted of him stepping to the podium, saying there is no point in answering questions about the game, then leaving.

    Here it is in all of its glory.

    The only question we have: Is this shorter than the night he said the New York Rangers “sucked from head to toe?”

    (Oddly enough, that game was also against the Edmonton Oilers).

    That press conference lasted, roughly, 14 seconds from the time he started talking until the time he walked away (and also included the line “I know you have a job to do”).

    Tonight’s comes in at just around 12 seconds. So we might have a record for the shortest John Tortorella press conference of all time.

    Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.

    Former NHL defenseman Zarley Zalapski dies at 49

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    CALGARY, Alberta (AP) Former NHL defenseman Zarley Zalapski has died at age 49, according to the Calgary Flames. No cause of death was given.

    Zalapski, a native of Edmonton, played 637 NHL games for Calgary, Pittsburgh, Hartford, Montreal and Philadelphia from 1987 to 2000.

    He was with the Flames from 1993 to 1998.

    “We are proud that Zarley wore the Flames jersey, made Calgary his home following his playing career, represented our alumni executive and we will always remember him as a member of the Flames family,” Flames president and chief executive officer Ken King said Tuesday in a statement.

    “This is a terrible loss of a man with great character who truly loved the game of hockey. We express our sincere condolences to the Zalapski family.”

    Zalapski was a member of the Canadian team that finished fourth in the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary.

    He had 99 goals, 285 assists and 684 penalty minutes in the NHL. Zalapski was named to the all-rookie team in 1989 and participated in the NHL All-Star Game in 1993.

    Zalapski played stints in Austria and Switzerland after his NHL career and appeared in 11 games for the United Hockey League’s Kalamazoo Wings in 2004-05.

    He was the fourth overall pick by the Penguins in the 1986 entry draft.

    Taylor Hall puts on a show as Devils end Kings’ winning streak

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    The New Jersey Devils put an end to the Los Angeles Kings’ eight-game winning streak on Tuesday night with a rather convincing 5-1 win.

    The Devils dominated in pretty much every aspect of the game, limiting the Kings to just 17 shots on goal and scoring five goals against a team that had not allowed more than two goals (and never more than three) during its winning streak.

    The star of the game for the Devils was most certainly forward Taylor Hall.

    Hall continued what could be a career year with a pair of goals, including this highlight reel play in the second period that saw him force a turnover, split through the Kings’ defense (including Drew Doughty!), then beat Jonathan Quick with a backhander.

    With that performance on Tuesday Hall is now up to 11 goals and 31 total points on the season.

    His first year with the Devils wasn’t quite what he or the team wanted, but he has bounced back in a big way this season. His performance, along with the development of young players Nico Hischier, Will Butcher, and Jesper Bratt have the Devils back on track to make the playoffs for the first time since the 2011-12 season.

    Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.

    WATCH LIVE: Tampa Bay Lightning at St. Louis Blues

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    CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE

     

    PROJECTED LINES

    Tampa Bay Lightning

    Forwards

    Vladislav NamestnikovSteven StamkosNikita Kucherov

    Ondrej PalatBrayden PointTyler Johnson

    Alex KillornYanni GourdeCory Conacher

    Chris KunitzCedric PaquetteRyan Callahan

    Defensemen

    Victor HedmanJake Dotchin

    Mikhail SergachevAnton Stralman

    Slater KoekkoekDan Girardi

    Starting goalie: Andrei Vasilevskiy

    NHL On NBCSN: Lightning, Blues Square Off In Battle Of NHL’s Best

    St. Louis Blues

    Forwards

    Vladimir SobotkaPaul StastnyVladimir Tarasenko

    Alexander SteenBrayden SchennDmitrij Jaskin

    Ivan Barbashev – Patrik BerglundMagnus Paajarvi

    Scottie UpshallOskar SundqvistKyle Brodziak

    Defense

    Joel EdmundsonColton Parayko

    Carl GunnarssonRobert Bortuzzo

    Jordan Schmaltz – Vince Dunn

    Starting Goalie: Jake Allen