It’s been a surprising first month for winger Zach Parise and the New Jersey Devils.
Instead of assuming their typical perch atop the Atlantic Division, the Devils are making themselves comfortable in the league’s cellar. Rather than worrying about re-signing Parise to a contract extension after benefiting from his bargain $3.1 million annual salary cap hits for years, they now must wonder about their young star’s health.
Doctors say MRIs showed it is not related to cartilage or ligaments. Surgery will be performed as quickly as possible and there is no timetable on his return.
Obviously, this is wretched news for a Devils team that is simply reeling during a horrible 3-8-1 start. Parise began the season a bit slow (three goals and three assists for six points in 12 games after scoring 38 goals and 44 assists for 82 points in 81 games last season), but he’s clearly a vital cog in the Devils’ top-heavy machine.
Perhaps this bit of injury-related adversity might actually help New Jersey, though. The team needs a cause to rally around, so maybe doing without their best player will force the guy who’s supposed to be their best player – Ilya Kovalchuk – into taking the reins.
If not, this season could continue its current trajectory of being long and painful. Which, sadly, might be the same way you could describe Parise’s recovery from whatever ails his knees.
Marner’s brilliant passing powers uplifting night for Leafs
Devan Dubnyk already showed signs of having a hot start to 2016-17, but Thursday made that point abundantly clear.
For the second straight game, Dubnyk generated a shutout, with the Minnesota Wild beating the Buffalo Sabres 4-0 in this instance.
It’s not as if Dubnyk is just leisurely turning aside the occasional chance, either; he made 38 saves to blank Buffalo and needed to stop 65 shots on goal considering the 27 he turned aside in a 5-0 win vs. Boston.
There are plenty of differences between Alex Ovechkin and Patrik Laine, including obvious things like one being from Russia and the other from Finland.
Still, there are moments when Laine inspires comparisons to his idol, even this early in his rookie season.
Thursday presented one of those moments. It wasn’t just that Laine fired a 3-0 goal home for the Winnipeg Jets against the Dallas Stars with such moxie; it was also that he showed some swagger with a celebration afterward.
This GIF captures the moment brilliantly, while you can also watch the goal in video form.
Early this season, Dmitry Orlov delighted onlookers and angered Matt Duchene with a mind-blowing, throwback hip check. People really seemed to enjoy it.
While you’d struggle to top that hit, Philadelphia Flyers forward Sean Couturier must have sensed the void in checks that almost seem to flip opponents, doing so against Anthony Duclair during Thursday’s contest.
Rate this as you will:
Want another look at the Orlov one for comparison’s sake or to chuckle in disbelief? Why not: