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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EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 x - MTL 76 47 21 8 200 169 102
2 x - NYR 74 47 20 7 226 172 101
3 TBL 76 46 23 7 244 198 99
4 PIT 75 41 23 11 207 188 93
5 NYI 76 44 27 5 230 211 93
6 DET 74 40 22 12 216 201 92
7 WSH 75 40 25 10 218 186 90
8 BOS 75 37 25 13 199 195 87
9 OTT 74 37 25 12 216 199 86
10 FLA 75 34 26 15 186 205 83
11 PHI 76 30 29 17 198 219 77
12 CBJ 75 36 35 4 207 232 76
13 NJD 75 31 32 12 167 192 74
14 CAR 74 28 36 10 173 202 66
15 TOR 76 28 42 6 198 244 62
16 BUF 75 20 47 8 144 254 48

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
A. Henrique 68 16 24 -3 40
M. Cammalleri 61 25 13 4 38
P. Elias 62 11 20 -17 31
S. Gomez 51 7 24 -7 31
S. Bernier 60 13 14 3 27
T. Zajac 67 11 12 -3 23
A. Larsson 57 3 19 2 22
A. Greene 75 3 17 2 20
M. Ryder 47 6 13 -1 19
E. Gelinas 55 6 11 -2 17
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Schneider 26 27 8 .928 2.19
K. Kinkaid 5 5 3 .918 2.47