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Parise not frustrated by series deficit

Sunday, 05.20.2012 / 9:57 PM / News
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Parise not frustrated by series deficit

NEWARK, N.J. -- Zach Parise has been accommodating to the media after wins and losses since long before being named captain of the New Jersey Devils prior to this season. So, when Parise doesn't come out to address the press, as was the case following Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Saturday, it becomes a story based solely on the shock value of it.

Parise, though, said after practice Sunday that he didn't talk following the Devils 3-0 loss to the Rangers because, "I probably would have said some things I would have regretted. I was just upset about how the game went."

He further defended being absent following Game 3 by saying, "I feel like I've done a pretty good job of making myself available for almost 100 games this year that if I took one night off, it would be OK."

His teammates and coach stand behind him.

"I've done it. Scott Stevens has done it. Mario Lemieux has done it," Devils goalie Martin Brodeur said. "It's one thing that you can't judge somebody or overthink certain things that happen. He had his reasons. At this time of the year, emotionally and physically it's a grind, and sometimes you're not ready to show it to people. I'm all good with it. If you do what you do all the time you should have a little break once in a while. That's the bottom line."

Added Ilya Kovalchuk: "He's a grown man and that's his decision. He's a great captain and he's our leader. I'm very sure you guys all know him as a great human being, a great leader and sportsman. He decided to do that and we support him 100 percent."

Parise's absence, though, could be seen as a sign of his frustration at the way things are going in this series. He has one assist and is a minus-4 heading into Game 4 Monday at Prudential Center (8 p.m. ET, NBCSN, CBC, RDS). The Devils trail 2-1 after Henrik Lundqvist stopped all 36 of their shots on goal Saturday.

However, when asked if he's getting frustrated, Parise talked about the team.

"We controlled a lot of the game and a lot of the play (in Game 3); we just didn't execute when we had the chances and that was it," Parise said. "That was really what the game came down to. I think that was the difference. It was the same thing in the first game, too. But, we're playing well, we're playing very well. We just gotta capitalize."

When asked again if he's getting frustrated, Parise responded with one word:


Devils center Travis Zajac said it's not frustration with the captain. It's competitiveness.

"He wants win every game. He wants to score every shift," Zajac told "He's a guy that comes to the rink, prepares, battles hard every game, and is more determined than anyone I've seen. I think it's his competitive nature more than anything. You don't see him get frustrated. He's a guy that is always encouraging his team throughout games, telling us to stay positive, stay focused. He's definitely the leader on this team on and off the ice."

To Devils coach Peter DeBoer, Parise is the least of his concerns heading into Game 4.

"Zach always gives you the same thing, 100 percent effort, 100 percent team play," DeBoer said. "He could easily have two or three goals in this series and we'd be praising him for how well he's playing like he did against Philadelphia. It's going to come with him. I've got no concerns with Zach or his play."

Parise also didn't seem too bent out of shape by it, either.

After sitting down in his locker stall and answering every last question posed to him Sunday, he started joking around with some of the local reporters that cover the Devils on a daily basis. And, just before he left the dressing room, he turned around and said to a few reporters within an earshot, "I'll talk to you after the game tomorrow night."

He usually does.

"As a player, I understand it more than you guys because you guys live on that stuff," Brodeur said, referring to the media. "We understand more about the feeling and frustration that could happen. I'm not saying it's that, I haven't talked to him about it so I don't know, but there is a reason why he didn't want to address it and I think he should have a pass."

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter: @drosennhl




1 MTL 63 41 17 5 171 139 87
2 NYI 65 41 21 3 207 182 85
3 NYR 62 39 17 6 196 153 84
4 TBL 65 39 20 6 213 171 84
5 DET 61 35 15 11 180 159 81
6 PIT 62 36 17 9 181 155 81
7 WSH 65 35 20 10 193 162 80
8 BOS 62 31 22 9 165 161 71
9 FLA 64 28 23 13 156 181 69
10 PHI 64 27 25 12 170 186 66
11 OTT 61 27 23 11 173 166 65
12 NJD 64 27 27 10 144 165 64
13 TOR 64 26 33 5 173 195 57
14 CBJ 63 26 33 4 163 201 56
15 CAR 62 24 31 7 144 167 55
16 BUF 64 19 40 5 123 215 43


M. Cammalleri 52 24 10 5 34
A. Henrique 57 12 20 -2 32
P. Elias 54 10 17 -12 27
S. Gomez 40 5 19 -10 24
M. Zidlicky 63 4 19 -7 23
T. Zajac 56 10 10 -3 20
S. Bernier 49 10 9 0 19
A. Larsson 46 3 16 5 19
M. Ryder 44 6 12 -2 18
A. Greene 64 2 13 7 15
C. Schneider 24 23 6 .928 2.17
K. Kinkaid 3 4 3 .915 2.59