The New Jersey Devils aren’t the elite team they once were when Scott Niedermayer patrolled their blueline, but they sure put on a show as his No. 27 ascended to the rafters. It only makes sense that a Devils first-round pick ran with that game, too, as Zach Parise dominated the action. Parise scored four points as the Devils overwhelmed the Dallas Stars 6-3.
Usually a goal is the highlight reel fodder, but my favorite Parise moment was one of his three assists. He fouled up Stephane Robidas next to the Stars’ blue line and then sent a perfect pass to Adam Henrique for an impressive shortie.
It’s starting to look like Parise is over his knee injury, by the way. The talented winger has points in all but one of his last 10 games, including eight in his last three.
Parise picked a great time for his best game of the season as this was the Devils’ first sellout since opening night, according to Tom Gulitti. New Jersey is heating up, as well, as they’ve ridden good shootout work and improving high-end scoring to a 5-1 record in their last six games.
It’s hard to tell what these 17-13-1 Devils are really capable of, but one thing seems clear: Parise’s back.
The NHL wants to take an educational approach — not a punitive one — to deter its players from using illicit drugs like cocaine.
“My interest is not to go around punishing people,” Bettman told Sportsnet today.
“My interest is getting players to understand the consequences of doing something that could jeopardize this great, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that they’ve been given, to play in the NHL.”
While some players have expressed surprise at hearing that cocaine use is growing, the anecdotal evidence of substance abuse has been very much in the news, from Jarret Stoll‘s arrest to Mike Richards’ arrest to, more recently, Zack Kassian‘s placement in the NHL/NHLPA’s treatment program.
“We don’t have the unilateral right to do things here. We need the consent of the Players’ Association,” Bettman said. “It’s not about punishment. It’s about making sure we get it to stop.”
Related: Cocaine in the NHL: A concern, but not a crisis?
News and notes from around the crease…
Jones goes for San Jose
Martin Jones, acquired by the Sharks this summer, will make his first regular-season start for the club tonight against his old team — the Los Angeles Kings.
Jones, 25, spent the last two years in L.A. as Jonathan Quick‘s understudy. He was flipped to Boston at the NHL Entry Draft, then shipped to San Jose. Sharks GM Doug Wilson wasted little time locking Jones in — signing him to a three-year, $9 million extension — and Jones wasted little time locking up the No. 1 gig, putting together a stellar preseason.
For the Kings, Quick will get the start in goal.
Markstrom out for Vancouver
Jacob Markstrom wasn’t scheduled to start for the Canucks tonight — No. 1 Ryan Miller is getting the call — but the Swedish ‘tender won’t even dress when his club takes on the Flames in Calgary.
Markstrom suffered a lower-body injury at practice this week and is being held out of tonight’s action. In his place, the Canucks called up AHL netminder Richard Bachman, who’ll serve as Miller’s backup.
For the Flames, Karri Ramo is the opening-night starter.
Habs at Leafs: Carey Price vs. Jonathan Bernier
Rangers at ‘Hawks: Henrik Lundqvist vs. Corey Crawford