With the New Jersey Devils ready to head into Minnesota, the home of Wild Alternate Captain Zach Parise, I thought it would be fitting to compile a list of some of Parise’s best moment’s while he was still wearing a Devils sweater. While he still gets viciously booed every time he makes an appearance at Prudential Center there’s no doubt that he made a tremendous impact on the organization, which unfortunately is still being felt today from his absence.
But nevertheless, Parise still contributed many great moments while with the Devils and here are my top 5 starting with Parise’s dramatic overtime breakaway goal Vs Montreal.
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What’s so great about this goal is not only the call by ‘Doc,’ but the fact that Parise’s stick broke earlier in the play, which made him have to get a new stick from the bench. Then Travis Zajac makes a fantastic heads up play to lob the puck to Parise, who had to reach out, catch it to knock it down, and then go in to make a marvelous move on Jaroslav Halak.
I was there personally to see this goal, but the reason this is on the list is because this exemplifies everything that Parise is as a player. Even with a big, strong, defenseman like Brent Burns on him, Parise was still able to muscle his way to the net to make Burns commit the penalty.
What’s so great about the penalty shot itself is that we’ve always known Parise as a grinder kinda guy who has a pretty good shot and decent hands. Just the way Parise slides the puck through Niemi’s legs shows the fantastic skill that Parise possesses.
The Devils dominated from start to finish in this game, but what Parise did here is everything the Devils miss here today. On the first goal, it’s his ability to score from anywhere on the ice at any time even on the goal line.
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With the second goal, sure, it was just a tap-in off a shot from Kovalchuk, but it’s that drive to the net that the Devils also seem to be missing in their game as well.
Then the last goal is just his ability to finish on a great scoring chance where Henrique feeds him a great pass and he doesn’t miss the net or hit the post, he buries it.
The 2012 Stanley Cup Finals wasn’t the brightest moment from Zach Parise as the LA Kings shut the Devils down for most of the series including their power play. However, while not conventional, Parise came out of hiding and made good on a rare misplay from Playoff MVP Johnathan Quick.
The Devils ended up winning game five of the Stanley Cup Final with the help of that goal, but then fell in game six in-part to a particular play we all remember, but either way it was a great moment for Parise and the last goal he would end up scoring as a New Jersey Devil.
This might have been Parise’s defining moment’s as a Devil as in game four of the Eastern Conference Finals, with the Rangers leading the series 2-1, Parise put on a great show. He scored the third goal of the game right in his wheelhouse being the front of the net and then sealed the win with an empty-netter.
This win catapulted the Devils to a great 4-3 win in game five, and we all know what happened in game six as the Devils advanced to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time in nine years.