Welcome Back, Zach – Parise Rejoins the Devils
The New Jersey Devils have now had two home games at the Prudential Center. One win, one loss, and for the fans in New Jersey, one huge gain. The crowd boomed in welcoming back superstar Zach Parise in the home opener. In the second game his two goals for the devils drew plenty of positive attention as well.
Parise was sorely missed by the Devils last year. How do you replace a player who’s scored over 30 goals in four previous seasons? A player who contributed 83 goals in the previous two years? The short answer is that you can’t. That was one of the glaring reasons that New Jersey missed the post season last year with only 81 points. The last time the Devils had fewer was in the 94-95 season, which was only 48 games long. In other words this franchise has had boatloads of success…until last year that is.
Now I’m not saying that Parise’s absence was the only flaw in the team’s roster. Jersey was once one the deepest teams in the league, but today it’s a different story. Even with Parise back in the line-up the team is not even close to what it used to be. Adam Larsson led all Devils in ice time last game and was second to only Ilya Kovalchuk in game one. The significance is that if a rookie skater, good or not, leads your team in minutes you probably don’t have much else to go on.
Getting back on topic, Zach Parise will definitely improve the chances this team has for a bounce back season. There is no doubt in my mind he should return back into the goal scoring machine that he was. 40+ goals on any team is like hitting the jackpot. Nonetheless, I’m predicting that New Jersey doesn’t have what it takes to win the battle in the Eastern Conference for the last two playoff spots. Basically, Zajac is injured, Brodeur is getting old, the 3rd and 4th lines are weak and the defence is non-existent. No wonder Devils fans are so glad to welcome back Zach Parise – they’re going to need him now more than ever.