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.