Zach Parise

Being down 0-3 in the playoffs nothing new for the Parises


While most people wrote the Devils off after falling behind 0-3 in the Stanley Cup finals, team captain Zach Parise knows one person that’s confident a comeback can happen:

His dad, J.P. Parise.

The elder Parise was a member of the 1975 Islanders team that rallied from a three-games-to-none deficit to stun the Penguins in the second round of the playoffs. That series is cemented in hockey lore, but what many forget is the Islanders fell behind 0-3 again in the next round against Philadelphia, and pushed that series to a seventh game as well (the Flyers won, and would go on to hoist Lord Stanley’s mug.)

The younger Parise was asked about that during Game 4’s pregame media availability:

Q. I think your dad probably told you, but has it come up in the last couple days that he was on a team that came back from 3-0 and how they did it?

ZACH PARISE: Yeah. He said him and Chico [Resch, former goalie and current Devils color man] are living proof that it can happen. He said they did it twice in the one season. Obviously, they won the one and lost the other one. He said with Team Canada, they went into Russia, had to win three games, won three games there. He said it can happen. He said things like this can happen.

He just said that, just from watching the games, the margin for error right now is really, really slim. All three of the games, we felt like we could have won. He just said, You got to start with the one tonight and then see what happens.

Historically speaking, the Devils do have a few things going for them heading into Game 4:

— L.A.’s had three opportunities to complete a sweep at home, losing twice (to Vancouver and Phoenix.)

— The Devils won both elimination games (G6/7) against Florida in the opening round.

— In 2000, the Devils fell behind 3-1 to the Flyers in the Eastern Conference finals, but rallied to win three straight and take the series. Players still with New Jersey from that year are Patrik Elias, Petr Sykora and Martin Brodeur.

Devils send ’15 first-rounder Zacha back to junior

2015 NHL Draft - Round One

Pavel Zacha was this close to making his NHL debut.

Just days prior to opening their season against the Jets, the Devils returned Zacha — the sixth overall pick at this year’s draft — back to his junior club in OHL Sarnia.

The move comes after Zacha, 18, impressed throughout training camp and the preseason. He appeared in four exhibition games for New Jersey, scoring one point while endearing himself to the organizational brass, coaching staff and players.

“He understands the game. He plays with a maturity. It’s crazy to think an 18-year-old coming out of high school is up here and playing with the maturity and understanding of the game with the new system,” Kyle Palmieri told “I think he’s got a lot of raw talent there as a power forward. He’s got the body for it, the puck-handling skills and the nose for the net.”

At 6-foot-3 and 210 pounds, Zacha has the frame and physical stature to play at the NHL level, and looked the part for long stretches of the exhibition season, getting turns on New Jersey’s top line.

The decision to send him back to junior is probably the right one, however.

Zacha only turned 18 in April and has limited experience even at the OHL level; ’14-15 was his first year with Sarnia, though he did appear in 38 Czech League games (for Liberec) the season prior.

Raffl coverts PTO into one-year, $575K deal with Jets

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There’s another Raffl in the NHL.

On Tuesday, the Jets announced that Thomas Raffl — the older brother of Flyers forward Michael Raffl — has signed a one-year, one-way deal worth $575,000.

Raffl, 29, was in Winnipeg’s camp on a PTO after a lengthy career in Europe. He spent time playing in Sweden and his native Austria, most recently with powerhouse EC Red Bull Salzburg — last year, Raffl scored 53 points in 52 games for Salzburg and three in seven games for Austria while serving as team captain at the World Hockey Championships.

“We would like to recognize and express our appreciation to the EC Red Bull Salzburg organization for allowing Thomas and the Winnipeg Jets this opportunity,” Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff said in a statement.

With the Jets, Raffl projects to play in the bottom-six forward group, where he can utilize his 6-foot-4, 215-pound frame in a checking-slash-energy role.

For now, though, he’ll start out with the club’s AHL affiliate in Manitoba.