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Parise: Wild need to show willingness to do right thing consistently

Jan 29, 2013, 10:27 AM EDT

Zach Parise #11 of the Minnesota Wild looks on during the third period while playing the Detroit Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena on January 25, 2013 in Detroit, Michigan. Detroit won the game 5-3.
(January 24, 2013 - Source: Gregory Shamus/Getty Images North America) Getty Images

With major summer acquisitions Zach Parise and Ryan Suter making their season debuts and top-tier prospect Mikael Granlund playing in his first game, the Minnesota Wild won their season opener and then followed it up with a 1-0 victory against the Dallas Stars on Jan. 20.

They haven’t won since and while that’s not cause for panic, certain aspects of their recent struggles are concerning.

Parise has done his part with five goals and nine points in five games this season. The 28-year-old forward doesn’t see a problem with his team’s system, but he added that the team needs to be willing to consistently do the right thing, according to the Star Tribune.

“It’s good for us to see it on video and watch a team like St. Louis,” Parise said following the Wild’s 5-4 overtime loss to the Blues on Sunday. “They play the right way. They kept making our D go back and retrieve pucks all night. They made it hard on our D and hard on our team. It’s good for us to see them doing it and see how well it works.

“It’s more important for us to not allow ourselves to keep making the same mistakes over and over again, especially in a shorter season. We have to recognize what we’re doing wrong, what’s not working, and start doing things on a more consistent basis. We haven’t seen that yet.”

Another issue for Minnesota early this year has been a lack of secondary scoring as Parise, Dany Heatley, and Mikko Koivu have netted 10 of the team’s 13 goals.

There’s also been criticisms of defenseman Ryan Suter, who ranks last in the team with a minus-five rating, but Wild coach Mike Yeo defended Suter and alluded to the fact that he currently ranks fourth in the NHL with an average of 27:44 minutes per game.

“He’s coming to a new team and a new system,” Yeo added. “He’s done so many good things, yet there’s still talk about some of the bad things that have happened for him. A lot of them, most of them, almost all of them are out of his control. With a guy like that, let’s be fair with our expectations.”

The Wild will look to end their current slump when they take on the Columbus Blue Jackets tonight.

  1. illogic87 - Jan 29, 2013 at 10:46 AM

    Parise was definitely worth every penny. I love how he’s not afraid to say how he feels. I think Suter will turn things around, hes been in the league 8 years and has already proven himself. We are only 6 games in….

    • steelpenbucs87 - Jan 29, 2013 at 11:32 AM

      Parise has always been a strong leader and I expected him to assert himself wherever he went. He’s a great player and you’re lucky to have gotten him.

      I wouldn’t share quite the same level of optimism regarding Suter however. He’s a talented guy, but he did have the benefit of playing next a Norris Trophy contender as well. I don’t think he’s as bad as the way he’s started the season but I think you won’t get every penny out of him..

      All in all though its a Zero-sum game from a $$ perspective in my mind.

      • lostpuppysyndrome - Jan 29, 2013 at 4:03 PM

        Suter tied for 1st with Toews in +/- during the 2010 Olympics, and led all D in ATOI. No Weber there.

      • steelpenbucs87 - Jan 30, 2013 at 9:08 AM

        Yeah you’re right – there was no Shea Weber there. There was, however, 2010 versions of Jack Johnson, Brooks Orpik, Ryan Whitney, Brian Rafalski, Erik Johnson, and Tim Gleason all playing in front of an OUT OF HIS MIND Ryan Miller…

  2. thecheeman - Jan 29, 2013 at 10:48 AM

    It’s really cute when a team signs a superstar to a mega-contract and that player needs to be protected. “Almost all of them are out of his control”. I watched some of that Blues game and noticed enough bad plays from Suter to know that’s a lie in the service of protecting Suter from scrutiny.

    It would be nice if the $98 million alternate captain just stood up and said “Yeah I’ve been playing poorly, but it’s early and I just need to adjust and we’ll be fine.” Instead the coach has to spend time worrying about the fragile feelings of one of the few guys on that roster he shouldn’t have to worry about.

    Having said all that it’s highly probable Suter will turn it around sometime soon and stop sucking, but it would be best if this guy had the kind of personality where he would actually get upset if his coach was out there skewering the truth to protect him.

    • cardsandbluesforever - Jan 29, 2013 at 12:03 PM

      i think the wild’s real problem is that they blew roughly 1/3 of thier 67mil payroll on 3 players. suter, parise and heatley combine for 22,575,000 of thier 67,711,000 payroll for 2012-2013. all that cash is basically wrapped up into one line. they have one great line, and 3 below average lines, and little to no cap space left to upgrade those remaining 3 lines. the other night against my blues that top line did all the scoring, while the other 3 were almost ineffective against a very strong 4 line team.
      even if suter plays to his full ability he’s only one guy on the blue line and he cant be on the ice for all 60 minutes.

      those guys cant do it all by themselves no matter how good they are, they still need help from the rest of the lines.

      • greatminnesotasportsmind - Jan 29, 2013 at 3:08 PM

        Short term your right. They need more scoring from their 2nd and 3rd lines. However, where that little cap space the Wild did have was filled by cheap players, however they are all on their rookie deals with big upside.

        Everyone has seen the Granlund goal vs Russia. However, for some reason Finnish players take a year or two to get accustomed to the NHL style of play. Jonas Brodin had played 2 NHL games and is now being paired with Suter on their top D pairing tonight. The biggest problem the Wild have is a lack of 2 way contracts. Which I’m sure why Setoguchi is being rumored in trade talks.

        The Wild are set up nicely to either bring in more free agents next summer and the summer after. Next summer Backstrom’s 6 million, Bouchard’s 4 million, Cullen’s 3.5, and Parrish’s buy out is nearly 1 million all come off the books. The following summer Heatley’s 7.5 comes off the books.

        Backstrom’s 6 million will be spent else where as Harding has a team friendly deal and Hackett who already had an NHL player of the week under his belt is still on a rookie deal.

  3. jpelle82 - Jan 29, 2013 at 11:09 AM

    wild need to sign shea weber now so they can get the suter they paid for…

    • illogic87 - Jan 29, 2013 at 11:30 AM

      He played great in the Winter Olympics without Suter…

      • illogic87 - Jan 29, 2013 at 11:30 AM

        I mean without Weber*

      • lordfletcher - Jan 29, 2013 at 11:34 AM

        true… but his linemate wasn’t little spurgeon in the Olympics. just saying :) no one should be worried in MN or Nashville with these two guys. Both just need more time to get it all figured out

      • nvandy42 - Jan 29, 2013 at 1:54 PM

        Spurg has also been out of the lineup the last 2 games. Suter just needs some time. I’m not concerned

  4. lordfletcher - Jan 29, 2013 at 11:31 AM

    Clearly you can tell that Weber and Suter miss each other, and or are accustomed to one in anothers play. Suter is clearly showing signs of playing with Weber his career due to the fact when he is on the ice, no one is clearing out the skater infront of Backstrom or Harding. Suter if paired with little Spurgeon needs to push out any forward from the crease, something that Weber could easily do with his size. Weber is missing Suter’s great play against he boards. Suter and Gilbert are really helping the break out with their passing from the net / boards… Suter needs time to adapt to the new style / lack of a huge D pairing. At this point, and this is a crazy thought, but I would have Suter and Stoner play together – Brodin and Gilbert – Spurgeon and who ever as the bottom 6…. Granlund is having a hard time adjusting to the speed of the NHL but should have it all figured out within the next 5 games or so. Setoguchi needs to start scoring.. if not, look for Zucker to get the call up sooner than later.

    • sknut - Jan 29, 2013 at 1:04 PM

      Yeah it looks like Suter will be paired with Brodin which should be interesting. I think he will figure it out soon and start to show how good he is.

      As far as the secondary scoring yes they have had some chances but not capitalizing yet, hopefully that changes soon. And Setoguchi is on notice but he seems more active this year at least.

      • lordfletcher - Jan 29, 2013 at 1:40 PM

        very true. Seto has been throwing his weight around, which is fine and dandy but he needs to be scoring at the same time. He is showing that he is a great 3rd lind winger, but nothing more can be expected…. I am guessing that if Seto doesnt light the lamp often in the next 5-7 games, he will be getting heavily shopped around the league. Russo confirmed that Seto has been shopped before and if he keeps this pace up, you need to sell him asap while he still has any value…. I would package him and Phillips or Falk / Prosser for future picks, whatever and call up Zucker and Coyle would be the next man if PMB doesnt work harder and get points every other night.

      • nvandy42 - Jan 29, 2013 at 1:58 PM

        I would rather see Coyle on a line with Granlund than Zucker. Our 2nd line needs a power forward who can play in front of the net and get some scrappy goals. Zucker is a great player, but our 2nd line would be so soft with him, PMB, and Granlund.

      • lordfletcher - Jan 29, 2013 at 2:26 PM

        I would love to see Coyle up as well but I don’t want to rush him as I do not think he is ready (but extremely close) … Coyle has an issue with being very noticeable and invisible in a weeks worth of games. I am guessing he gets called up only if (when) someone gets injured or seto and pmb are not scoring and seto / clutterbuck gets traded… Zucker is scoring well in Houston and would add much needed speed to our line up…. I always thought that Seto or Clutter, one would be traded this summer but by the way both are playing, either could be gone as late as the deadline.

  5. mp1131211 - Jan 29, 2013 at 2:49 PM

    With this kind of discipline, this team will be set for western conference domination within a few seasons. Hope they stay healthy and stay focussed.

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