NEWS

Parise status still unknown for Wednesday

Tuesday, 03.29.2011 / 2:22 PM ET / News
By Eric Marin
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Parise status still unknown for Wednesday
Parise confident he'll play this week. GETTY IMAGES
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It turns out Zach Parise will need a little more time to determine whether he’ll play Wednesday against the Islanders.

He planned on discussing it with team staff Tuesday afternoon, and said he would know sometime before Wednesday morning. He expects to play this week, when the Devils play three home games in four nights.

Philadelphia visits on Friday, followed by Montreal on Saturday.

“One of these next three I think I’ll be able to play,” Parise said after Tuesday's practice. He underwent arthroscopic knee surgery in November and has missed 63 games.

He reported feeling good after his third full team practice, and skated with Travis Zajac and Nick Palmieri.

“It was OK,” Parise said. “It was definitely nice to get another practice in. It felt good. I felt good out there. Again, the pace, I think I’m adjusting a little better to it. We’ll see.”

Even though the Devils trail the eighth-place Sabres by 12 points with seven games to go, Parise's counting on getting back in the lineup when he can.

“I would like to, just for your own state of mind, peace of mind, it would definitely be nice to play,” he said. “That’s what I want to get out of the last few games, just to feel good about it going into the summer.”

Still, Parise doesn’t want the injury to be in the back of his mind when takes the ice for his next game.

“My biggest thing is wanting to be able to play a game and only concentrating on the game and not worrying about my knee, not worrying about my timing,” he said. “I understand that the pace is going to be tough to start with, of course. But I want injury to be the last thing on my mind because you can leave yourself pretty vulnerable when you’re concerned with things like that. So I don’t want that to be a worry.”

As every player will attest, practices are different than games, when they have to be ready for anything.

“I guess what it comes down to is, when you’re playing a game, not so much in practice, but when you’re playing a game, you put your body in positions that you normally don’t do and you don’t do in practice. Everything is so much reaction, you have to make sure you’re comfortable and your body’s OK with if you get knocked down funny. You have to make sure it’s not going to hurt like that. That’s my biggest concern right now.”

He sounded certain of at least one thing: that the decision wouldn’t wait until morning.

“For my own sake, I would know today,” he said. “Whether that means you guys know today, I don’t know. But I would know, personally, today. I like to know the day before, I don’t see myself ever waking up, ‘Well, let’s go and see how it feels in pre-game skate,' because pre-game skate’s nothing really. I think I’ll know today, how it feels a few hours after we skate, how my body reacts to skating.”

Jacques Lemaire doesn’t have to see any more of Parise to make up his mind, and thought his left winger has looked sharp. That’s not to say Parise wouldn’t take the chance to practice again Thursday and push back his return to Friday.

“He’s getting better and better,” said Lemaire. “I don’t know if he’s going to play [Wednesday].”

If he had to guess?

“If I had to guess, I think it’d be his guess,” said the coach. “I would have to talk to him and see what his guess is, and I would take the same guess.”

For Parise, there’s nothing at stake except the opportunity to see game action without having to wait until October.

“I don’t think if I don’t play the rest of the year it’s going to hurt anything,” he said. “If I do play, I don’t think it’s going to help anything either way. I guess right now it’s just to get myself feeling good about playing again.”

As for whether or not this experience has given him a better appreciation for what’s involved with long-term injury, Parise responded, “Yeah, and I don’t want to appreciate it anymore. That’s enough. I prefer not to do that again.”

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 252 192 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 221 189 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 262 211 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 242 203 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 252 230 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 235 221 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 238 215 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 221 210 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 213 211 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 206 223 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 236 250 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 215 234 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 181 216 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 188 226 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 211 262 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 161 274 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
A. Henrique 75 16 27 -6 43
M. Cammalleri 68 27 15 2 42
P. Elias 69 13 21 -20 34
S. Gomez 58 7 27 -10 34
S. Bernier 67 16 16 2 32
T. Zajac 74 11 14 -3 25
A. Larsson 64 3 21 2 24
A. Greene 82 3 19 1 22
E. Gelinas 61 6 13 -2 19
M. Ryder 47 6 13 -1 19
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Schneider 26 31 9 .925 2.26
K. Kinkaid 6 5 4 .915 2.59