Devils Parise to return against Habs

stu1

The Canadiens travel to New Jersey for Saturday’s game and the Devils will have a valuable addition to their lineup — Zach Parise.

The 26-year-old left winger and former All-Star has been out of the lineup since Oct. 30. He had difficulty with his right knee skating before the season began and underwent surgery repair a torn meniscus in early November. His absence was a big part of the Devils’ disasterous first-half which cost them a playoff spot. New Jersey has not only missed his on-ice performance (three seasons of 30-plus goals and one of 45), but also the example he set in work ethic and leadership.

Parise has been skating with the team since last Thursday. He’s not anticipating Devils coach Jacques Lemaire to use him as he did prior to the injury. “I’m not expecting 20 (minutes) but I know I’m capable of playing a regular shift and power play. So, we’ll see. I don’t know how (Lemaire) wants to run it. I’m sure I’ll find out tomorrow.” Parise said.

First, the Devils have a game on Friday against the Flyers — Parise won’t play — and here’s how they lined up in practiced on Thursday — with Parise (courtesy of Tom Gulitti of The Bergen Record). This may what they look like Saturday:

Zach Parise-Travis Zajac-Nick Palmieri
Brian Rolston-Patrik Elias-Mattias Tedenby
Ilya Kovalchuk-Jacob Josefson-Dainius Zubrus
Adam Mair-David Steckel-David Clarkson
(extras) Vladimir Zharkov-Rod Pelley-Mark Fraser

Henrik Tallinder-Mark Fayne
Anssi Salmela-Andy Greene
Jay Leach-Anton-Volchenkov

Martin Brodeur
Johan Hedberg

Hedberg plays against Philly so the Habs will face Brodeur. Veteran defenceman Colin White probably won’t play. He’s missed the last three games with a leg injury.

It’s been a tale of two seasons for the Devils. They were 10-29-2 in the first half, and that cost Coach John MacLean his job on Dec. 23rd. Lemaire took over and after some adjustments — including reinstalling a trapping defensive system — they produced a 25-7-3 second half record thus far.

Devils winger Ilya Kovalchuk said Thursday (quoted by Rich Chere of The Newark Star Ledger), “This season is going to make us stronger. I think we became closer to each other as a team. When you go through a lot, you start to share more with each other. It builds character. I think we’ll be good next year. We have a lot of young guys who will be in the second year of their career.”

With the Devils no longer in playoff contention, much of the talk around the team has been whether Lemaire, the former Canadiens coach and a Hall of Fame player, will return next season. Kovalchuk endorsed his return, saying, “Yes. I think he’s really good. He’s very experienced. He knows how to use guys to be successful. As soon as we started to stick to his game plan we started to win.

“Whoever becomes our coach, it will be important. Look at this year. I’m not saying who is good or who is bad, but I think (Lemaire) makes a big difference. The start of the season is important. It seems like everybody thinks, ‘We’ll be OK later,’ but it’s very important right from the beginning.”

Kovalchuk had a much better second half under Lemaire than he did under MacLean. Kovalchuk was rumoured to not get along with MacLean, who made him a healthy scratch at one point early in the season for missing a team meeting. In the first three months of the season, Kovalchuk scored nine goals and added 11 assists and was a minus-26. Since January, he has 19 goals, 15 assists and is plus-4.

Brodeur also would like to see Lemaire back next season, but doubts he will. “Regardless of whether it’s Jacques or not, it should be someone similar,” Brodeur told Chere. “(His style is) a proven success in New Jersey. That’s the bottom line. He’s a good coach. Going like this for eight months, I don’t know how (Lemaire) would be able to get that energy. It’s tough….

“Hopefully it will be him,” Brodeur added. “But if it’s not, you have to respect what Jacques has done for us and that he was able to step in and changes things like attitude and preparation for the game. I’m sure Lou (Lamoriello) knows to keep moving in the same direction. That’s the important thing in the selection or else keep the status quo with this coaching staff.”

Chere wrote: “No matter who is coaching the Devils when they open training camp next September, it must be someone who will get the most out of three key players– Kovalchuk, Zach Parise and goalie Martin Brodeur.”

Parise is a restricted free agent after this season. He made $3,125,000 this season and one of the reasons he worked hard to get back for the last few games was to show what he could do coming off his injury. The game against the Canadiens is his first audition.

94 Comments

  1. habstrinifan says:

    While I hate to see players injured, I am not at all upset at the news that Milan Lucic may be OUT for 4 to 6 weeks after that fight against the Leafs guy.

    I listened to the Boston commetary of that fight on team 999. They called the Leafs enforcer every name in the book. The same guys who showed absolutely no sympathy for Max Pac. And I still get boiling mad when I hear Lucic’s smirking response dismissing the suggestion that HABS will be calling Chara to account during the last Btown game. It was one of the low points of the season hearing Lucic laugh us off. I hope next year we have someone in the lineup who will shove their gangsterism down their throat. Maybe PG will get daring and bring up a goon for theplayoffs… if we make it.

    • Fig Newton says:

      Maybe you should dial 9-1-1. Or maybe you can bring up Loof Lirpa from the minors to be your enforcer. Isn’t he the one who put Lucic out?

      GO DEVILS!!!

  2. HabsFansince49 says:

    4 games left – 3 away, 2 against teams also fighting for playoffs (don’t count Leafs out – I watched them beat the Bruins), 1 against a team who would love to spoil the Habs chances and the only home game against a better team who is playoff bound.
    To state the obvious, we need to pull out all stops. Can we?

    BTW for a solid assessment of the Martin era, read JT’s blog “Aftermath: the Aristocracy”.

    I don’t pretend to be an expert; just a die-hard Habs fan passing my opinion

  3. Muckbringer says:

    it just occured to me.

    how can you be expected to score during practice against carey?

    that will effect a team in practice.

    thats my grenade for tonight

    • Habfan4lfe says:

      If you can score on the best, bring on the rest. Right?

      The question is why isn’t the million dollar players scoring? That’s why they were brought to this team no?

    • habstrinifan says:

      I hope you are kidding … please. Am I reading you right? The team does not score because they have to practise against Carey and hence it affect their ability to score in real games?

      OK DOKEY!

  4. Muckbringer says:

    weve been here many times as well.
    we have grown as much and more of the best..
    philly, boston, nucks….any.

    we have the number of any team in the league.

    were small, yes…

    our hearts match that of the biggest

  5. Muckbringer says:

    in lieu of my avatar “if you dont smoke Tarrlytons …F_YOU!!!!!”

  6. Bugs says:

    There once was a wee ole Alaskan
    Happily Manhattanly baskin
    When without word or cry
    And a paycheck sky-high
    He lands here without no one askin!

    Chillin like MacMillan, potty-boy says he’s L. B. Potter, esq.

  7. Say Ash says:

    How many goals did we give up tonight?

    • Clay says:

      We didn’t give up any…but on the other hand, we were shut out.

      __________________________
      The only interesting answers are those which destroy the questions. ~Susan Sontag

  8. RiverviewCanadien says:

    Boobirds. Relax.

    1 game to win.

    Habs will go 3-0-1. Starts tomorrow with an Auld SO.

    P.S. Blue Jays kick ASS!

  9. HardHabits says:

    Maybe Jacques Martin can coach the devils next season.

    • SeriousFan09 says:

      And we can get Lemaire back… it’s been a while since an ex-Hab came in to coach the team and chased off a franchise player.

      - I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.

      • punkster says:

        Ahhh, good times.

        ***Subbang Baby!!!***

      • Clay says:

        Let me know when we have a franchise player to chase out ;)
        I know you’re going to come back and say ‘Price’, but I don’t think he is one. Unless he can pull a Roy in the playoffs, that is (we will see, and I hope so).

        __________________________
        The only interesting answers are those which destroy the questions. ~Susan Sontag

        • SeriousFan09 says:

          Price and Subban are potential franchise players. Are they definitely that? No but this season would be a draft lottery year without them.

          - I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.

          • Clay says:

            I would prefer this season to be a draft lottery though, Robert. Do we have a real shot at a championship this season? I think not…We need to build a team through the draft, and being middle of the pack for decades now is hurting more than helping. I want our team to be serious contenders year in and year out. Having a top 1 or 2 pick would go a long way towards accomplishing that.

            __________________________
            The only interesting answers are those which destroy the questions. ~Susan Sontag

        • Funny, nearly everyone else in and around the NHL thinks Price is one. Ryan Miller and Henrik Lundqvist are considered that as well, yet they’ve never “pulled a Roy in the playoffs” not even close.

          • Clay says:

            Funny? How so? Ryan Miller and Hendrik Lundqvist do not play for a team with the tradition and storied history of the Habs. We expect more.
            With all due respect, Andrew, we’ve seen this movie before with Price. I am ecstatic at the season he has had, but I remain unconvinced about his greatness until he does it consistently, and in the playoffs. And this is precisely why Ryan and Hendrick are NOT franchise players. Crosby is though, and we need someone like that.
            I’m not saying he needs to win a cup with this weak crop of players on our current team. I’m just saying he has to show he can handle the pressure, and not melt down like he did in his last full playoff series – one in which he had a much better supporting cast who dominated the series in every aspect, save goal-tending.

            __________________________
            The only interesting answers are those which destroy the questions. ~Susan Sontag

        • Lawrencetown Liquor Pigs says:

          No matter how much all 30 teams want a cup, there is only one. No matter how many teams want the first pick there is only one. You mention Crosby, who by most accounts is a once a generation kind of player, so again there is only one.

          PK and Price have the potential it seems to be the best at their positions during their careers, so let’s try to be pleased with that. Let’s also hope that one of our current prospects, or a prospect from the next couple of drafts develops into a consistent top flight scorer. Then, most likely, we will be one of the perennial contenders….

          “Sorry for being obnoxious, props for being generous,
          y’all down, we booze hounds, take two drinks and pass.”

      • habstrinifan says:

        While I would prefer a different coac than Lemaire, I would accept that trad eof coaches.. Martin to NJ for Lemaire.

    • observer says:

      martin can stay home and get paid. just like carbonneau. gauthier exactly like his partner gainey sure take care of their friends from the past WITH THE OWNERS MONEY!

    • observer says:

      LOU IS NOT THAT DUMB.

    • Jim Edson says:

      Trade JM’s contract to Jersey for a dozen sticks and a gross of new jockstraps!

      …..My empire is crumbling, my international sponsors are deserting me, my authority is questioned, I am held in contempt wherever I go.

      Who am I: Mohamar Ghadaffi or Gary Bettman.

  10. observer says:

    the New Jersey Devils kept their faint playoff hopes alive with a 4-2 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers on Friday night.

    Must win out!

  11. Exit716 says:

    Who wrote the headline? The Lawyers are going to get involved.

  12. observer says:

    Matt D’Agostini scores #21 tonight.

    Goodbye Gauthier nears!

    • _Habsoloutly_ says:

      Awesome!! and just like the Maple LAffs, St. Louis won’t be making the playoffs this season. Pierre Gauthiers team will be. Wake up.

      • observer says:

        D’agostini will be in the league next year – 4 and out in the playoffs if Habs get that far and Gauthier won’t be.

        NHL for Gauthier will mean Not Hany Longer

      • habstrinifan says:

        The waking up needs to be done by Geoff Molson so that next year this WILL NOT be Pierre Gautheir’s and JM’s team but WILL be on the way to being once again Larry Robinson and Henri Richard and Yvan Cournoyer and the Rocket’s and Guy Lafleurs and yes Chris Nilan and Pierre Bouchard’s team.
        … And yes P.K’S and Lars Eller and Max Pac’s team not Gomez and Hammrlik’s team.

    • t1tan5 says:

      There’s no guarantee that he would have done that with us. He had his chance and he blew it.

      • habstrinifan says:

        He had his chance and SK had his chance and maybe Maxwell and when JM destroys Eller and he move son we will say and Eller had his chance too.

  13. 24 Cups says:

    Great read on why the Gazette site had to change it’s name.

    http://fourhabsfans.blogspot.com/

  14. Yeats says:

    Stu,
    How are things going at Katonah on Tuesday night? I pulled a muscle on my right arm and it looks as bad as a hammy tear. Charlie suggests that I finally convert to a composite twig. What are you shooting with these days? Charlie says that if I make the switch from wood I will never look back. All the best, Brian

    • Ian Cobb says:

      Yeats, long time, how are you doing?

    • Stu Hackel says:

      Hi Brian,

      We’ve had good turnouts lately. Pretty much full, which is usual for this time of year. It normally slacks off in May, although two summers ago we were full all through summer.

      I am the last hockey player on the planet still using aluminum shafts. I don’t like the feel of the composite (not to mention the price) and I haven’t found a wooden stick lately where I like the blade, although I’m always searching.

      Sorry to hear about your arm. When you’re better, grab your bro and come some Tues. Tell him hi for me.

  15. rocketsglare says:

    Apparently the Devils see the importance of this game by starting
    Brodeur and Parise. I hope the Habs see it the same way and more.
    The Habs need to get points from this game and preferably 2. This
    game could go a long way in helping the team regain confidence in
    their game and momentum in their playoff push.

    • Clay says:

      Or…Parise is starting against a struggling and soft team to ease in to playing and get some early confidence…

      __________________________
      The only interesting answers are those which destroy the questions. ~Susan Sontag

  16. ProHabs says:

    Remember 2 weeks ago when all the stats were saying the Habs have a 98% or 99% chance of making the playoffs. I would say we are now down to a 50-50 chance. I hate that this organization always does that to us great fans. Cammy and Gomez are really sucking big time.

  17. dre1744 says:

    We will finally beat Marty tommorow and he will retire after this season!!!!!!

  18. HabFanSince72 says:

    More hilarity. This is from the Leaf website pension plan puppets:

    “2) I want Clark MacArthur and Grabovski to reach the 60pt mark. Why? So the Leafs can boast having three 60 point players, the hallmark of a good team.”

    http://tinyurl.com/3jwpvth

    Dude, there is another hallmark of a good team. Playing past the first week of April.

    • 24 Cups says:

      Paul – I hate to say it, but there’s an outside chance that not even one Hab will reach 60 points this year. And if Pleks does, he will be the only one. Not being picky, but Tanguay is already there.

      Gainey’s 18.3M yearly investment on three players isn’t looking very good right now.

    • habstrinifan says:

      I cant laugh at hilarity of other teams cause I am crying at hilarity of my team!

  19. habs365 says:

    I noticed the lines martin put together for tomorrow night
    two more points for the Devils.

  20. Bill says:

    It’s never easy against Marty and the Devils, especially when they’re the hottest team of the second half AND now Parise is coming back. Lovely.

    Well, the Habs need to dig up a few points in the next four games, it would be best to start with two tomorrow. They’ve had a couple of days to rest their bones, and hopefully it makes a difference for the obviously injured Plekanec.

    Full Breezer 4 Life

  21. SeriousFan09 says:

    Habs Michael Bournival has led his Shawinigan Cataractes to a series win in their first-round playoff series against PEI Rocket in the QMJHL.

    Bournival scored a goal and assist tonight, the assist was on the eventual game-winning goal in the 4-1 victory. He scored 3G, 3A in the series, two of those goals were game-winners. The team captain of the Cataractes chose a very opportune time to return from injury. Good clutch-time production, pretty sure he’s in for the 2012 WJC team, hopefully Gallagher will be with him.

    - I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.

  22. Ian Cobb says:

    Just a heads up.!

    We can now click onto each others picture, and see who we are talking to.

    The new HIO is getting better.!

  23. HabFanSince72 says:

    This is hilarious.

    Look at the t-shirts behind Alain Vigneault.

    And listen to the commentary from 0.30′ on.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7g8s9non1cU&

  24. Propwash says:

    Sonova….

  25. observer says:

    Saving Brodeur for Habs game, putting Parise back in lineup tomorrow of all games – Lemaire wants to give it good to Gauthier!

  26. Fred D says:

    We need this game, so I will just hope that the Win happens and that the guys all have their heads in the right place.
    We certainly have the skill level.
    What is in doubt is the collective mental outlook of this team and the fact that we need a degree of desperation. Why are we so damn predictable?

  27. MICP says:

    How many points and what star for Parise?
    Im guessing first star will be Martin F. with a shutout and maybe Parise the second star with a gaol and an assist.


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