Zach Parise

New Jersey’s Zach Parise will play tonight vs. Montreal

It’s been over five months of waiting for Devils fans, but they’ll finally get to see Zach Parise back on the ice once again. While the Devils are essentially out of the playoff race, getting Parise back in the lineup is a big thrill for both Devils fans and for American hockey fans that fell in love with him during the Olympics.

Parise is coming back from a torn meniscus suffered back in November and while he’s been out the Devils were on a roller coaster fun slide to hell and back both reaching the absolute bottom of the standings and rebounding to get back into the playoff picture only to come up short.

One thing Devils fans can keep an eye out for is seeing Parise end up on the same line with old running mate Travis Zajac. Not for nothing Fire & Ice’s Tom Gulitti might just be the guy to thank for that.

When I asked Lemaire if Parise would play with Zajac, he replied, “What do you think?”

I thought Lemaire was asking what I thought he would do, so I said, “Yes.”

“Yeah. OK, he’ll be with him,” Lemaire said laughing.

“Because I said so?” I asked.

“Yeah.” Lemaire said. “Anything else you want?”

Jacques the jokester. How do you not love that?

Devils fans will get an idea of what could’ve been tonight on Hockey Night in Canada as the Devils get to deal with the Montreal Canadiens. Montreal will be looking to keep the heat off from the Sabres and Rangers who each trail them by two points in the East.  We’re pretty sure Lemaire and the Devils would like to close out their season being the monkey wrench in everyone’s playoff plans and expect this one to be as low scoring as possible as both Lemaire and Jacques Martin aren’t exactly gung ho with the offensive game plans.

As for Parise, we’ll be excited to see him back out there and to see if he can help prove to the Devils that he’s more than worth a major contract at the end of the season. Parise is an impending restricted free agent and the Devils will need to figure out what a superstar coming off a major knee injury is worth. Oh, the eventual drama.

Price placed on injured reserve; Yakupov to miss 2-4 weeks with sprained ankle

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Two injury updates in one post.

First, the situation with Montreal goalie Carey Price, who was hurt last night versus the Rangers.

According to Canadiens coach Michel Therrien, Price has been placed on injured reserve with a lower-body injury. That means he’ll be out at least a week, though no exact timeline was provided.

“We don’t know how long Carey will be out, but for us it’s business as usual,” said Therrien.

Mike Condon will get the start tomorrow in New Jersey.

As for Oilers forward Nail Yakupov, he’ll be out 2-4 weeks after spraining his ankle last night in Carolina while getting tangled up with a linesman.

Getzlaf didn’t love the ‘dead’ atmosphere at Coyotes game

Martin Erat, Ryan Getzlaf
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Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf wasn’t impressed with at least two things last night in Arizona:

1. His team’s performance in a 4-2 loss to the Coyotes.
2. The atmosphere inside Gila River Arena, where the announced attendance was just 11,578.

“It’s hard. When you come into a building … it’s dead,” Getzlaf told the O.C. Register. “Nothing against the fans. It’s hard to fill a big building like this and have the amount of people in it to build your energy. So you have to do it yourself. You have to be ready when you step on the ice. I thought we came out flat.”

Anaheim’s record fell to 8-11-4 with the defeat.

The Coyotes’ average attendance also fell, to 13,144 in eight games.

Jarred Tinordi becomes the latest youngster to be sent to the AHL for ‘conditioning’

Jarred Tinordi, Brendan Gallagher
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Like Frank Corrado (see here), Tomas Jurco (see here), Stanislav Galiev (see here), and Patrik Nemeth (see here) before him, Canadiens defenseman Jarred Tinordi is off to the AHL for a conditioning stint.

Tinordi, 23, has yet to play a single game for the Habs this season; however, because he’s no longer exempt from waivers, the former first-round pick has remained on Montreal’s roster.

It’s an issue that’s received a good deal of attention lately. Some believe the league should do something about it, lest more young players get “stuck” in the NHL.

Tinordi will only be allowed to spend two weeks in St. John’s, as per the rules of his conditioning loan.

Safe to say, if you’re an NHL general manager who thinks Tinordi still has potential, Marc Bergevin would welcome your best offer.

Stars place Lehtonen on IR, call up Campbell and Nemeth

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Kari Lehtonen will miss at least a few games with the upper-body injury he suffered the other night against Ottawa. The Dallas Stars announced today that they’ve placed the 32-year-old goalie on injured reserve, retroactive to Tuesday.

With Lehtonen out, Jack Campbell has been called up from AHL Texas to be Antti Niemi‘s backup. The Stars host Vancouver Friday, with a game at Minnesota Saturday.

Campbell, the 11th overall pick in the 2010 draft, has struggled in the AHL this season, going 3-3-0 with an .873 save percentage.

The Stars have also recalled defenseman Patrik Nemeth after the 23-year-old completed his 14-day conditioning assignment.

Related: Campbell credits ECHL stint for turning his game around