Wild’s Parise still ailing, sits out game in Calgary
CALGARY, Alberta — He practiced but could not play.
Wild left wing Zach Parise was sidelined for Saturday night’s game against the Flames, giving veteran right-winger Matt Read a shot at another shot.
“Probably a better chance there,” coach Bruce Boudreau said of Parise playing Sunday, March 3, against Nashville at Xcel Energy Center.
Parise was injured blocking a Jacob Trouba shot with his right foot in Tuesday’s 3-2 victory over the Jets in Winnipeg. He practiced Friday before the Wild traveled to Calgary, but the team decided to keep him off the ice at least one more day as a further precaution.
Shot blocking is universal in the modern NHL. It is not the sole duty of defensemen or checking forwards. But it begs the question whether Boudreau shields his eyes whenever he sees a star player like Parise doing his due diligence.
“Yeah, I do,” he said. “It’d be interesting because I know in Anaheim we made everyone wear the shot blockers, and we didn’t have any trouble with anything there. But it’s the player’s option.”
Boudreau was referring to protective accessories that surround the tongue-and-laces portion of skates.
Meanwhile, Read returned to the Wild for the first time since playing five games in October. He has 15 goals among 31 points in 50 games with AHL Iowa. The journeyman has 87 goals and 187 points in 442 NHL games over eight seasons with Philadelphia and Minnesota.
Because the Wild are heavy with left-handed forwards, Boudreau said he wanted to bring up Read because of his right-handed shot and experience.
“I thought at this point of the year it’d probably be better for him to be up here than somebody else,” Boudreau said. “Plus, every time we bring somebody else up it’s a left-handed guy and it means two guys play out of position. So Matt being right-handed, knowing what he has to do and being through this before I thought was the best call.”
Read, 32, who was called up for just such an emergency, was thrilled to get another look during the playoff drive.
“I’m excited. I’ve been waiting for another opportunity to get back up here,” he said. “This is the most fun time of the year. Obviously it’s crunch time. Every shift matters out there. Now you’ve got to go out there and earn your ice time, have fun with it and do what you need to do to help the team win.”
Jarome Iginla was known as the Wild killer for his propensity for tormenting Minnesota when the teams were in the old Northwest Division.
In 84 games, he scored 39 goals among 72 points. Only Nashville yielded more goals to the man they called “Iggy.” The future hall of famer with more than 1,200 career points tormented them again in a different way Saturday.
A pregame ceremony to retire Iginla’s No. 12 Flames jersey pushed the faceoff back to 9:15 p.m. Central time. The Wild’s flight home was scheduled to land in the Twin Cities about 4:30 a.m. Sunday — just 14 hours before Sunday’s scheduled game against the Predators.
But the Wild graciously watched the festivities from the visiting bench at Scotiabank Saddledome before their warm-ups as Calgarians paid tribute to Iginla’s 16-year career with the Flames.
“He’s one of the dying breed as guys who could play hard, physical, fight and score 50 goals,” said Wild center Eric Fehr. “You don’t see that very often. He was a player I grew up watching and idolizing. He’s one of the best.”
Donato settling in
Ryan Donato expects to move out of the Intercontinental Hotel in downtown St. Paul and into more permanent housing as he tries to get settled in his new home after being traded Feb. 20 from the Boston Bruins for Charlie Coyle.
He had one goal and five points in his first four games with the Wild, so things are falling into place on the ice. But his car remains in Boston. He’s driving a rental. And tired of eating hotel food.
“It makes me feel more comfortable if I can cook some meals for myself,” said Donato. “That’ll make a huge difference.
“I just want to make sure I worry about the hockey as much as I can and not worry about anything else on the outside so much. It’s all about the hockey and always will be. It’s a business. I think that’s the best way to help the team.”