Tag: Zack Parise

The Wild don’t want to stress themselves out thinking about the standings


Zack Parise could’ve made it easy on himself and just said the Minnesota Wild, seven points out of a playoff spot coming out of the All-Star break, need to take things one period at a time.

Instead, he delved a little deeper into that old hockey cliché.

“We can’t put ourselves in an every-game’s-a-win-or-season’s-over type scenario,” Parise said, per the Pioneer Press.

“You stress yourself out, and all of a sudden, mentally, you’re making the game a lot harder.

“You try to put it in small things where (Tuesday) night we’ve got to win the first period and then go from there. We can’t win the game right away, but we’ve got to win the first period. That’s got to be our approach as we go on through this road trip and the rest of the season.

“We know what the standings look like. That’s no secret. But we can’t make up all those points this week. We’ve got to start small.”

The Wild play tonight in Edmonton, Thursday in Calgary, and Sunday in Vancouver. That’s three winnable games right there, the last two against teams Minnesota could possibly run down for a playoff spot.

One period at a time, though.

One period at a time.

‘Shaken’ Wild have seen playoff chances dive

Ryan Suter, J.T. Miller

“You can tell that confidence is shaken right now with individuals and as a group. When they scored the first goal, we tightened up a little bit. When they scored the second goal, we tightened up completely.”

That was Minnesota coach Mike Yeo after yesterday’s 4-1 loss to the Rangers, per Michael Russo of the Star Tribune. Since starting the season 15-5-4, the Wild are 5-8-1 and have fallen out of a playoff spot in the tough Western Conference.

If you think there’s anything to possession stats like Corsi and Fenwick (hint: there definitely is), this is what the Wild’s chart looks like, per Extra Skater:


And when a team’s giving up 30-plus shots a night and its goalie is doing this, that’s not a good formula for success.

“When things aren’t going well, when you put yourself in a hole, it’s hard to get out of it when goals have been tough to come by and just overall not feeling good about the way we’ve been playing,” forward Zack Parise said, per the Star Tribune.

For Wild fans hoping for a second postseason appearance, an even more disturbing chart may be this one, courtesy Sports Club Stats:


Minnesota is in action again tonight (on NBCSN) versus the Flyers in Philadelphia.

USA Hockey announces 48-player Olympic camp roster

Patrick Kane

First came Russia. Then Canada. Now, the United States.

Following is the list of 48 players that have been invited to the U.S. Olympic orientation camp from Aug. 26-27 in Arlington, Va.

Goalies (6): Craig Anderson, John Gibson, Jimmy Howard, Ryan Miller, Jonathan Quick, Cory Schneider.

Defensemen (18): Zach Bogosian, Dustin Byfuglien, John Carlson, Dan DeKeyser, Justin Faulk, Cam Fowler, Jake Gardiner, Erik Johnson, Jack Johnson, Seth Jones, Nick Leddy, Paul Martin, Ryan McDonagh, Brooks Orpik, Kevin Shattenkirk, Ryan Suter, Jacob Trouba, Keith Yandle.

Forwards (24): Justin Abdelkader, David Backes, Beau Bennett, Nick Bjugstad, Dustin Brown, Ryan Callahan, Alex Galchenyuk, Patrick Kane, Ryan Kesler, Phil Kessel, Trevor Lewis, Kyle Okposo, TJ Oshie, Max Pacioretty, Kyle Palmieri, Zack Parise, Joe Pavelski, Bobby Ryan, Brandon Saad, Craig Smith, Paul Stastny, Derek Stepan, James van Riemsdyk, Blake Wheeler.

Goaltending is expected to be a major strength of the Americans, who fell in overtime to Canada in the gold-medal game in 2010. The U.S. also boasts tremendous speed, particularly up front — and remember that the 2014 Games will be played on the larger international ice.

While the Americans still may not have the defensive depth that Canada will bring to Sochi, they’re arguably deeper than they were three-and-a-half years ago in Vancouver.

Five Q’s: Blackhawks-Wild series preview

Corey Crawford

1. Is Corey Crawford a Stanley Cup-caliber goalie?

Most of the time, people don’t question a goalie tandem that just won the Jennings Trophy for allowing the fewest goals during the regular season. But 28-year-old starter Corey Crawford is 0-for-2 in career playoff series and really struggled last season, so people are bound to question this one. Crawford, along with backup Ray Emery, combined to give the Blackhawks a .923 save percentage in 2013, the second highest in the NHL. There were a couple of hiccups in March, but April was solid again. If Crawford isn’t up to the challenge, it will be interesting to see how quickly Joel Quenneville is willing to switch to Emery. It’s been a while, but Emery did backstop the Senators to the finals in 2007. That “what if” scenario, of course, assumes Emery is healthy enough to play. He’s been ruled out for Game 1 with a lower-body injury.

2. Can the Blackhawks get the power play going?

This might’ve been a bigger issue if Chicago hadn’t been so dominant five-on-five this season. Even with the likes of Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, Marian Hossa and Duncan Keith, the ‘Hawks finished with the 19th-ranked power play, scoring on just 16.7 percent of their man-advantage opportunities. It’s a bit perplexing given all the top-end offensive talent they have, but the PP was a problem last year, too.

3. Will Dave Bolland be able to play? (And if he can, will he play well?)

Bolland missed the last three games of the regular season with a groin injury and has been ruled out for at least the first game against the Wild. The 26-year-old center has had a tough season, scoring just 14 points in 35 games despite opportunities to play with talented forwards. It appears the Blackhawks will enter the postseason with veteran Michal Handzus as their second-line center, which — no offense to Handzus — is hardly ideal. Bolland has proven himself in past playoffs and has 37 points in 49 games while playing well defensively and getting under the opponents’ skin. Chicago needs him to be that player again.

4. Can the Wild build on the last game of the season?

The pessimist may file this under “congratulations for not choking against a terrible team,” but Minnesota’s playoff-clinching victory Saturday in Colorado showed resolve, especially after Friday’s disaster against the Oilers. The Wild head into the playoffs with a 6-9-1 record in their last 16 games. Obviously, that’s not good. But head coach Mike Yeo — who may have been looking for a new job if the Wild hadn’t beaten the Avs — was feeling positive about his team after getting it done in Denver. “Let’s make it clear: We’re not done,” Yeo said. “We’re not going to sit on cloud nine and say this is a huge accomplishment. This is a step, a big step, a difficult step for us. Now that confidence is there.”

5. Can Ryan Suter shut down Chicago’s top guns?

OK, maybe “shut down” is unrealistic. How about “somewhat contain”? No NHL defenseman played more minutes than Suter did this season. The 28-year-old Norris Trophy candidate who (along with forward Zack Parise) signed for big money in the summer has so far been all his new team could ask for. Suter averaged 27:17 in ice time, scoring four goals and adding 28 assists. The rest of Minnesota’s defense will have to overachieve if the Wild have any hope of pulling an upset. Younsters Jared Spurgeon and Jonas Brodin have zero playoff experience, so it’ll be up to Suter to lead the way.

For all the first-round playoff previews, click here.

One to watch: Minnesota rookie Jonas Brodin

Jonas Brodin

Earlier today, we had a commenter complain about our lack of Minnesota Wild coverage. Apparently, the team is doing quite well. And did you know Marian Gaborik doesn’t play for them anymore? We were so focused on the Penguins and Flyers we didn’t even notice.

Indeed, save for the thousands of posts we wrote about Ryan Suter and Zack Parise signing with the Wild this summer, we’ve practically ignored Minnesota here on PHT.

So we’re going to throw all you Wild fans a bone by giving what the kids call a “shout out” to a player everyone should watch tonight when the first place team in the Northwest Division (Minnesota!) plays the Red Wings (on NBCSN!) in Detroit.

Jonas Brodin.

Brodin is Minnesota’s 19-year-old rookie defenseman from Sweden. The Wild drafted him 10th overall in 2011.

On Monday, Brodin played a whopping 27:19 in the Wild’s 3-1 victory in Vancouver. And just for good measure, he scored his second goal of the year on a sweet point shot.

As much attention as the Wild received for signing free agents Suter and Parise to big contracts, general manager Chuck Fletcher knows that drafting and developing is just as, if not more, important.

“In today’s day and age you have to develop your own talent,” said Fletcher, per NHL.com. “It’s just too hard to find top talent. I mean, we were fortunate to sign Parise and Suter, but you can’t expect to go into the market and get the top players every summer; it just doesn’t work that way — so you really have to draft well and you have to develop your own talent. In a salary-cap system you have to make sure you have good young players that can contribute playing every year. It’s just a necessity in the salary cap world.”

For more on Brodin, the Star Tribune did a story on him recently.

Now, if you’ll excuse us, we have to see if Sidney Crosby said anything.