Zach Parise’s Return Game Draws Rave Reviews; Gives Wild Much-Needed Depth

Zach Parise during the pregame warm ups. Parise is playing for the first time this season after missing 39 games due to an injury (Photo: CARLOS GONZALEZ – STAR TRIBUNE)

Zach Parise during the pregame warm ups. Parise is playing for the first time this season after missing 39 games due to an injury (Photo: CARLOS GONZALEZ – STAR TRIBUNE)



In Zach Parise’s first official NHL action since April, 2017, the Minnesota Wild had what FSN’s Kevin Gorg called “arguably their best performance” of the 2017-18 campaign.

Their 5-1 victory over the Florida Panthers on Tuesday night marked their 40th game of the season (21-16-3).

The pre-game smelling salts had to have been just for good measure. You’d imagine the Wild players had plenty of blood pumping through their veins, prior to, and throughout, the dominate victory. Parise (661 career points) returning from back-surgery DEFINITELY seemed to boost his teammates.

In regards to Parise, well, they threw him right into the interview gauntlet after the first period. He discussed how his legs felt good. If he is anything like me with his time off, I’m not very confident his lungs felt that way, but conditioning will only improve.

As for how he actually played, the reviews were solid. Star Wars: The Last Jedi esque.

In his 13:35 of action on Tuesday, the former All Star had 3 shots on goal and 1 takeaway. Outside of Jason Zucker, Zach Parise had the most ice time out of the Wild’s wingers. Despite the team scoring a handful of goals, Parise was unable to find his way onto the scoresheet.

Even without registering a point, the overwhelming theme around his return is the WONDERS he does for the team’s depth. With Bruce Boudreau now having number 11 at his disposal, he isn’t nearly as handcuffed when setting his lines.

Minnesota is now 10-1-1 in their last 12 at Xcel. Knock on wood, but things are starting to trend in the right direction. However this season ultimately plays itself out, let’s hope the newly returned MN Native is along the ride. The fact we are about to parlay his return with Nino Niederreiters, seems to have the State of Hockey pretty optimistic.

Finally, earlier, I compared Zach Parise’s return performance to Star Wars reviews. However, Zach Parise is no Jedi. No, no, no. The man is more of a wizard type:

Johnny Minnesota @TheJohnnyMN
Minnesota Sports Fan MinnesotaSportsFan.com