It’s been evident in the Minnesota Wild’s first two outings this season that Zach Parise is a vital player if they’re to have a strong season.
Across the first two games this season, Zach Parise is one of just two goalscorers in the Minnesota Wild line-up (the other being Matt Dumba).
The New Jersey Devils’ first round pick (17th overall) in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft is also an even plus/minus for the season so far, despite the team giving up 5 goals to their return of just 2 for.
Across his NHL career, Zach Parise has scored at a pace that at its’ lowest guarantees a point every second game (0.5 points per game).
Whilst this may not be quite befitting of the contract he is signed to with the Minnesota Wild; if he stays fit, he is a vital component in the make-up of the side.
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He brings pace and puck-handling skills to top-six and isn’t the same sort of ‘boring’ player as one might view Nino Neiderreiter or Charlie Coyle, for example.
His value lies in his ability to score vital points at times when the Minnesota Wild need them most. Think back to last years’ playoff series; after the injury to Zach Parise, the Wild failed to score again.
Some players turn up just when you need them to, and Parise is one of them.
He is going to be absolutely vital not just in the next few games as the team look to correct a poor start, but also as the team set course for the next eighty games, in general.
If Bruce Boudreau is wise, he’ll continue to deploy Zach Parise on the second line, not bumping him to the first regardless of performances.
That way he’ll benefit from a slightly lower calibre of opposition and likely pot a few more goals.
He’s got 8 shots in 2 games and one goal to show for it, equating to a very maintainable 12.5% shooting percentage – second line usage could ensure he maintains such form.
Whatever happens this year, it’s vital that Parise maintains his fitness because more than ever, he’s key to the Wild’s hopes.