At one point during the third period of Game 4, it seemed like things were going from bad to worse for the New Jersey Devils.
A ton of observers were emphatically stating Ilya Kovalchuk hasn’t looked right (the go-to conjecture says back injury) and it appeared Zach Parise tweaked his ankle in the final frame, too.
The Devils eventually won the contest 3-1 to avoid elimination, yet the concern was that the team’s two most dangerous weapons might be holstered to some extent.
Tom Gulitti asked Parise if he suffered an injury, but the Devils’ captain was adamant that he’s OK.
“I just went into the boards funny,” Parise said. “I’m fine.”
Gulitti noted that Parise walked around without effort, too, which might be a bigger stamp of approval than Parise’s words. Hockey players and teams are (quite reasonably) protective about details when it comes to injuries, so beat writers can often shed more light on these situations.
Then again, hockey lore states that Mario Lemieux famously lit up the league despite dealing with back problems that were so bad he struggled to lace up his skates, so maybe being 100 percent isn’t a requirement anyway.
Still, Devils fans should find comfort in Parise’s claims of good health.