Tag: Zach Parise

Buffalo Sabres v New York Rangers

Stewart to open with Vanek, Koivu in Minnesota


Upon acquiring Chris Stewart from Buffalo yesterday, Wild GM Chuck Fletcher said the 27-year-old power forward would be able to play up and down the Minnesota lineup.

To start, though, he’ll be near the top.

Stewart will open on a line with Thomas Vanek and Mikko Koivu, head coach Mike Yeo told KFAN radio on Tuesday. The Zach Parise-Mikael Granlund-Jason Pominville line will remain intact, meaning the club’s other new forward — Sean Bergenheim — will play with Nino Niederreiter and Charlie Coyle (Bergenheim had debuted on the Koivu-Vanek line.)

It’ll be interesting to see how Stewart fits with his new running mates. It’s clear by both his and Fletcher’s comments that the goal is to provide a physical element and more size; it’s also likely Stewart will be a net-front presence and feed off the offense generated by Vanek (who has nine points in his last 11 games) and Koivu (12 in his last 14.)

“Adding my size and my physicality to that lineup, I think that’s something they’re looking for,” Stewart said, per the Star-Tribune. “I’m a big guy, a power forward, I have some pretty good speed and I like to play a hard-nosed game and get in the corners there and on the forecheck and create turnovers.

“It’s going to be a great challenge. I look forward to it.”

Wild’s Parise after loss to Oilers: ‘We’ll be fine’

Zach Parise

It’s a tight playoff race in the Western Conference, with every point crucial.

Nothing is ever guaranteed, but the Minnesota Wild had as good an opportunity as ever to move three points up on the Calgary Flames and San Jose Sharks for the final Wild Card spot. Only problem is the Edmonton Oilers, intent on playing the role of spoiler.

Minus the first period, the Wild controlled the play. Minnesota outshot Edmonton by a wide margin through the final periods, but couldn’t find that one necessary goal to at least squeak out a single point.

The Wild surrendered only 10 shots on goal through the final 40 minutes but lost to the Oilers, the last-place team in the West, 2-1 on Tuesday.

“We’re going to lose again before the season ends. Tonight, one bad period cost us the game. We’ll be fine,” said the Wild’s Zach Parise, as per Chad Graff of the Pioneer Press.

Apologies for stating the obvious, but it’s not a desired result. That’s where a break on the out-of-town scoreboard comes into the conversation. The Flames lost to the New York Rangers on Tuesday and the Sharks were not in action.

The Wild drop to 7-2-1 in its last 10 games. Despite this setback, Minnesota still has aspirations of the post-season and added a piece to its roster just for that goal.

Earlier in the day, the Wild acquired forward Sean Bergenheim from Florida. The NHL’s trade deadline is next Monday. He’s a veteran and his experience appears to be a valuable asset for the Wild.

“The sooner the better,” Minnesota’s GM Chuck Fletcher told reporters. “No sense waiting until the deadline.

“Simply looking for a guy with some experience, looking for depth. Right now, we have three forwards out and playing with 12 guys up front that are playing pretty well for us but if you get one or two more injuries, we’ll start to really need to get into issues.”

Putting Wild in wild card: Minnesota topples Dallas late


It’s almost hard to believe that the Dallas Stars had a 1-0 lead against the Minnesota Wild on Sunday. Things changed sharply in the third period, as the Wild crushed Dallas 6-2 overall to keep their red-hot run alive.

As much as this hot streak revolves around acquiring Devan Dubnyk, this game was largely about guys who’ve been in Minnesota a little longer.

Zach Parise (two goals) and Mikael Granlund (one goal, two assists) probably stood out the most as the Wild scored six goals in the third period, the most of any team in the NHL so far this season.

Here’s video of those six Minnesota goals:

Minnesota on a mission

The numbers all smile for the Wild, as they’ve won six in a row at home. They’ve come a long way since falling below .500 (18-19-5) following a dispiriting 7-2 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Jan. 13.

This win places the Wild eight overall for at least the moment:

7. Winnipeg – 71 points in 61 games played (24 regulation/OT wins)
8. Minnesota: 69 points in 59 GP (29 ROW)

9. Calgary: 68 points in 59 GP (29 ROW)
10. San Jose: 68 points in 61 GP (28 ROW)

Stars falling

Dallas is now starting to lag behind the pack with 63 points in 60 games played. They’ve now lost three games in a row and four of their last five, a stretch that might just be deadly for a Stars team that really needs an epic run to make it to the playoffs (after doing something similar last season).

For much of this game, it seemed like these two teams were evenly matched. That changed in a stark way in the almost-brutal final 20 minutes, though.

Lamoriello won’t ‘tear it down’ in New Jersey

Lou Lamoriello

Even with the oldest roster in the NHL, and even with that old roster languishing near the bottom of the league standings, Devils GM Lou Lamoriello doesn’t think a full rebuild is the right way to go in New Jersey.

“I don’t think you tear it down by any means; that’s not in the philosophy of this organization nor do I think that’s something that can be done in this day and age,” Lamoriello said, per the club’s website.

Instead, he believes the Devils are in a “transition” phase, with a young defense corps that’s going to need time to develop.

“Unfortunately one of our young defenseman [Damon Severson] gets hurt but that’s nobody’s fault,” he said. “They are growing and gaining experience and in the big picture it’s going to be something that’s a foundation. … When our young defense gets more mature, it will help us create offensively.”

That may be true. What’s more, when “transitioning” a team, it can be smart to develop the young defensemen first, then bring in the young forwards, who typically take less time to make a positive impact at the NHL level. (In Chicago, for example, Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook were drafted before Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane.)

But it’s also true that the Devils have few, if any, blue-chip forward prospects. In fact, they haven’t drafted a forward with a pick below No. 20 since Zach Parise was selected 17th overall in 2003. Surely there’s a relation between that and the Devils’ roster today. And surely it’s a concern going forward, even with the opportunity to maybe draft Connor McDavid in June.

Related: Canucks trusting rookie Horvat with some tough assignments

Wild lose 2nd-leading goalscorer Zucker (broken collarbone) for three months

Colorado Avalanche v Minnesota Wild

The Minnesota Wild received some tough injury news on Tuesday, as the club announced Jason Zucker would be sidelined for three months with a broken collarbone.

Zucker, who sits second to Zach Parise on the team in goals (18 to Parise’s 21), was hurt during Monday’s 5-3 win over the Canucks. This marks his second major injury in as many years; last season, he required tendon surgery on his right quadriceps that prematurely his the campaign.

Zucker’s offense will be missed. The Wild are a mediocre goalscoring team to begin with — currently ranked 17th in the NHL in goals for — and he’s the club’s top sniper at even strength. All but one of his goals have come at evens this season, putting him in a tie for 10th-most in the NHL.