Parise looking to give the Devils a home heartbeat

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Parise looking to give the Devils a home heartbeat

NEWARK, NJ Two days between Game 4 and Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Finals along with a cross-country trip from Los Angeles to lovely Newark could definitely put a crimp in New Jerseys momentum. But the Devils showed life in making it a 3-1 series after their victory over the Kings in Game 4, and Devils captain Zach Parise is looking forward to building on that momentum.

We were pretty anxious to get it going right after the last game. So were excited to play right now, said Parise. Especially since were at home in front of our crowd who has been great to us through the entire playoffs were excited to get it going for them.

The first goal is important, but I think as has been the case in most games in this series the least amount of mistakes is going to decide who wins or loses. Thats the way things have gone.

Parise hasnt registered a point and is a minus-2 in four games against the Kings thus far, and tried out some new sticks during an optional Saturday morning skate as he blasted a few hundred pucks at the net.

With that kind of work ethic Devils coach Pete DeBoer isnt concerned about his captain breaking through and helping bring the series back to Los Angeles for a very important Game 6.

Zachs game is so much more than the stat line, said DeBoer. Hes the heart beat of our team. Hes the identity of our team. He forechecks. He backchecks. He kills penalties. He plays in all situations. Hes our barometer and hes what makes us go whether hes scoring or not. I dont measure his game on goals and assists. Hes creating opportunities and eventually theyre going to go in."

Its tough right now for everybody to score and Im not concerned about his game. I know its going to come.

All that being said the DeBoer-proclaimed heartbeat of the team knows that its time for him to stand and deliver like that the guy thats scored 30 plus goals for the Devils in each of the last five healthy seasons for the New Jersey club.

The opportunities are there. Theyre just not going in, but were executing. Thats the difference. Trust me; wed all love to be racking up the points right now. But were doing other things well and thats how we judge our game.

But its always better if you can score and wind up on the scoresheet. You just try to leave it alone and not switch things up. Dont over analyze. All three of us have scored a lot of goals in this league and well continue to score a lot of goals in this league. But I think the more you think and critique it keeps going down and downworse and worse. You just leave it alone.

The Kings have to hope that Parise continues going down and down in the series, but hes generated 15 shots on net in the four games and will eventually break through if given enough time and space to attack. Thats what the heartbeat of a Cup-winning team would do with untold free agent riches waiting on the horizon.

Morning Skate: Pronger on his way to a GM job?

Morning Skate: Pronger on his way to a GM job?

*Chris Pronger takes a job in the front office of the Florida Panthers and wants to be a GM in the NHL someday.

*It sounds like Alex Radulov is playing contract chicken with the Montreal Canadiens while demanding pretty massive term and salary demands.

*Tampa Bay Lightning GM Steve Yzerman has a top-nine winger on his wish list after dealing away Jonathan Drouin to the Habs.

*A good look from FOH (Friend of Haggs) Jon Rosen into what the draft outlook is for the Los Angeles Kings entering this weekend.

*Ryan Strome is ecstatic about moving on from the New York Islanders and heading to the Edmonton Oilers where he’ll get a chance to fully utilize the skills that went under the radar in Brooklyn.

*Even without a high pick, the Buffalo Sabres and Jason Botterill will be making some moves at the NHL Draft.

*You want some talk about the Bruins prospects and their potential draft targets for the Black and Gold this weekend. Here’s FOH (Friend of Haggs) Kirk Luedeke on with a podcast up in Maine called the Bruins Diehards talking all of that good stuff just a couple of days ago.

*Philadelphia Flyers GM Ron Hextall is going searching for another goalie after once again deciding that Philly needs more help between the pipes. This seems to be a perpetual situation for this group, doesn’t it?

*Jeff Marek has his final 2017 NHL Mock Draft up and running, and he has St. Cloud State forward Ryan Poehling headed to Boston with the No. 18 pick.

*Apparently Linda Cohn wants to push out Gary Bettman and take over as NHL Commissioner when her contract is up with ESPN. Well, okay then.

*It was a little emotional and totally uplifting to see Denna Laing getting saluted at the NHL Awards ceremony. I’m so glad that my daughter has strong role models like Denna that show young women what courage and character are all about.

*The rumor mill is getting worked up at NHL Draft weekend, and it sounds like the Minnesota Wild are going to be busy potentially dealing Jonas Brodin, Marco Scandella or Jason Pominville in the next week or two. Certainly, the Bruins have been front and center in those discussions, but it remains to be seen if something gets done.

*For something completely different: The glowing reviews are coming in for the new Netflix series, GLOW, and it doesn’t sound like a fun concept.

 

Report: Bruins among several teams interested in Wild's Scandella

Report: Bruins among several teams interested in Wild's Scandella

CHICAGO – The Bruins missed out on the first flurry of defensemen traded on Friday morning, but they may be in on the second wave of quality D-men expected to be made available around the NHL Draft.

The Bruins are one of several teams actively in discussions with the Minnesota Wild about defenseman Marco Scandella, who fits the profile of what the B's are looking for to fill a top-four role. TVA’s Ren Lavoie was the first to report the latest interest but the Bruins have long been watching the Minnesota back-end situation waiting for one of their defenders to become available.

Scandella, 27, is big, at 6-foot-3, 205-pounds, he’s got a few years of NHL experience, he’s a left-handed shot and he’s already proven he can be a top-four defenseman in the NHL. Scandella is coming off a so-so season with the Wild where he posted four goals and 13 points along with a minus-2 rating in 71 games. and for the first time in three seasons, he averaged under 20 minutes of ice time for the first time in the past three seasons.

RELATED: Haggerty's Mock Draft 4.0: Expect a frenzy of pre-draft trades 

Scandella would be a good potential fit on the left side in a top-four role playing in a pairing with Charlie McAvoy as the B's look for a good, mobile partner that can play at both ends of the ice. Unfortunately for the Bruins, they are clearly not the only team in the running for the Montreal-born Scandella. One of those teams is his hometown Montreal Canadiens, who are hungry for a few D-men after losing several in the past couple of weeks.

There are other names filtering out of Chicago as the draft gets underway tonight. One of the more interesting D-names is Massachusetts native Noah Hanifin. The former Boston College standout is rumored to be available as the Carolina Hurricanes look to bring some star power in at the forward position. He was the player Boston initially wanted in the draft a couple of years ago before standing pat and selecting Jakub Zboril as one of three consecutive first-round picks.

There doesn’t seem to be a match for Hanifin with David Pastrnak as the only realistic option to be going to Carolina in return and that’s not something the Bruins are going to entertain with one of their cornerstone roster pieces. Still, it’s encouraging that so many quality D-man names are emerging on the trade market with Don Sweeney and the Bruins looking to get down to business this weekend.