Parise goal

Video: Parise skates around goalie MacDonald


The Wild would probably rather forget Sunday’s 4-1 loss to the Calgary Flames, but the one goal Minnesota scored was impressive.

Charlie Coyle and Mikko Koivu did an impressive job of setting things up for Zach Parise, who found himself in a one-on-one situation with Flames goaltender Joey MacDonald. Parise outmaneuvered MacDonald to score his 17th goal of the season:

If we can take a step back from Minnesota’s recent struggles and look at the season as a whole, it’s easy to argue that Zach Parise is a big part of the reason that they’re even in a position to potentially make the playoffs.

The 28-year-old forward leads the team in goals and with 36 points. He’s also meshed well with Mikko Koivu, who has shared a point with Parise on 24 occasions this season.

Parise’s latest goal came on the same day that the New Jersey Devils were officially eliminated from the playoff race. Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur cited the loss of Parise over the summer as one of the main reasons the Devils have gone from the Eastern Conference champions to a team that fell short of the postseason in the span of just one season.

Kassian suspended without pay, placed in Stage 2 of Substance Abuse Program

Anaheim Ducks v Vancouver Canucks
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Zack Kassian may have avoided major injuries stemming from his Sunday car accident, but it likely sent the signal that he may need help.

The response: he was placed in Stage Two of the Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health Program (SABH) of the NHL and NHLPA on Monday.

According to the league’s release, Kassian “will be suspended without pay until cleared for on-ice competition by the program administrators.”

Speaking of being suspended without pay, here’s a key detail:

The 24-year-old ended up with a broken nose and broken foot from that accident. The 2015-16 season was set to be his first campaign in the Montreal Canadiens organization after a tumultuous time with the Vancouver Canucks.

Kassian spoke of becoming more mature heading to Montreal, but the Canadiens were critical of his actions, wondering how many wake-up calls someone can get.

In case you’re wondering about the difference between stage one and two:

Add Lecavalier to list of expensive Flyers healthy scratches

Vincent Lecavalier

Are the Philadelphia Flyers aiming for some sort of record when it comes to expensive (potential) healthy scratches?

While lineups are obviously subject to change, notes that Vincent Lecavalier appears to be among a rather rich group of Flyers who are expected to sit during their season-opener.

Also likely to be in street clothes: Sam Gagner and Luke Schenn.

That’s $11.3 million in cap space rotting on the bench.

“I really don’t know what to say,” Lecavalier said. “I’ll practice hard and be ready when they call me up.”

The quotes from Lecavalier, Gagner and Schenn only get sadder from there, a reminder that there are human beings attached to these numbers – whether you focus on disappointing stats or bloated salaries.

Flyers fans with the urge to reach for an Alka-Setzler can at least take some comfort in knowing that the team will see $6.8 million in savings after this season, as both Gagner and Schenn are on expiring deals.

It could be a long season, though, and this Lecavalier headache may not truly end until his contract expires following the 2017-18 campaign.