Minnesota Wild Introduce Zach Parise and Ryan Suter - Press Conference

Parise expecting boos in first game back in New Jersey


Former Devils captain Zach Parise will play in New Jersey tonight for the first time since leaving two years ago — and he’s not expecting a warm reception from the Prudential Center faithful.

From NorthJersey.com:

Parise said if he is booed, “I’m fine with it.”

“I’m expecting it,” he said. “It’s fine. They’re passionate about their team and it’s understandable. I guess if they wouldn’t even care to acknowledge that I was back, that would be a little different.”

Parise’s good friends Andy Greene and Travis Zajac joked that they hope the crowd does boo him.

“They’re not really helping out my cause,” Parise said.

Parise bolted during the summer of 2012 by signing one of the largest deals in NHL history with Minnesota. It was a contentious split — just months prior to signing with the Wild, Parise helped the Devils reach the Stanley Cup final for the first time in nine years.

The departure also came after Parise was named the ninth captain in franchise history. He was awarded the “C” with the idea he’d be part of the franchise long-term, something Martin Brodeur referenced when Parise’s captaincy was announced.

“He’s got to stay here. That’s the bottom line,” Brodeur said, per the Star-Ledger. “That’s how we’re going to know how good he is as a captain.”

Devils GM Lou Lamoriello has remained tight-lipped about Parise’s departure, saying “it’s unfortunate, but it’s part of the business.” Some have blamed Parise for a lack of loyalty to the organization (Lamoriello said the team’s offer was “competitive” to the 13-year, $98 million deal Parise signed with the Wild) while others have blamed the Devils for not doing enough to retain their captain’s services.

All that said, New Jersey still sounds as though it’s a big part of Parise. He sounds like he cherished his time with the Devils and expects tonight to be an emotional one — even if there are boos.

“You’re going to see a lot of people I haven’t seen in a long time as far as their staff and their players. I’m looking forward to that. I have a lot of good friends there,” he explained. “I think it will be pretty emotional for me at the start, just a lot of really good memories from playing here.”

Oilers get Kronwall’d – in more ways than one

Niklas Kronwall
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When someone gets clobbered by Niklas Kronwall, they get Kronwall’d.

(His detractors may insist that the definition require the words “dirty” or “illegal,” but that’s a debate for another day.)

It’s easy to get lost in those thunderous hits and forget that the  Swedish defenseman also brings some skill to the table.

He made a big impact – literally and figuratively – in Detroit’s 4-3 overtime win against the Edmonton Oilers on Friday.

First, the Kronwalling:

Next, Kronwall’s overtime-winner:

It hasn’t always been pretty, but the Red Wings are leaning on guys like Kronwall and Dylan Larkin to stick with it.

Tonight’s win extends their point streak to six games (4-0-2), with five of those contests going to overtime.

Dubinsky – Crosby’s nemesis – gets the last laugh on Friday

Sidney Crosby, Brandon Dubinsky

Brandon Dubinsky isn’t a household name like Sidney Crosby is, yet for all the hype that Crosby vs. Alex Ovechkin gets, Dubinsky is the sort of guy who truly rankles No. 87.

It’s been getting that spotlight since the Columbus Blue Jackets faced off against the Pittsburgh Penguins in a brisk playoff series, though it wouldn’t be surprising if the bad blood stemmed to Dubinsky’s days with New York.

To some, Dubinsky’s cross-check on Crosby will resonate far more than the end result of this game:

The bottom line is that he’ll get the last laugh, at least for now. (In-game, that moment merely drew a minor penalty.)

That’s because Dubinsky set up the overtime game-winner, and the cherry on the top of that spite sundae came with Crosby being on the ice when it happened:

They’re not just rubbing the Penguins the wrong way.

Even Dubinsky kind of sort of admits that he may have been in the wrong.


More and more, the Blue Jackets are looking like a nuisance … possibly one that will grind their way to an unlikely playoff berth. They improved to 8-4-0 in November after a disastrous 2-10-0 October.

In other words, there’s at least a chance that we may see these increasingly bitter rivals butt heads in another playoff series.

Eichel’s sweet snipe helps Sabres snap six-game skid

Jack Eichel
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The Buffalo Sabres probably deserved better during at least some chunks of their six-game skid, yet Jack Eichel swooped in on Friday to remind fans that there’s a light shining at the end of the tunnel.

You can watch his goal from tonight’s eventual 4-1 win against the Carolina Hurricanes in the video above.

That’s not necessarily the absolute height of his on-ice magic, yet it clearly gave his team a lift:

Call this a healthy reminder that Eichel has the ability to change games, something Buffalo fans hope to get used to.

Report: Likely no suspension for Matt Beleskey’s hit on Derek Stepan


Alain Vigneault went there in comparing Matt Beleskey‘s hit on Derek Stepan to the notorious check Aaron Rome delivered on Nathan Horton many moons ago, but the league seems to disagree.

While Rome sat through that memorable Stanley Cup Final between Boston and Vancouver, it sounds like Beleskey won’t face any further discipline, according to ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun.

In the unlikely event that anything changes, PHT will make note.

The next game between the Rangers and Bruins takes place at Madison Square Garden on Jan. 11. Will these bad feelings linger?