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Parise thinks big, international ice makes the game worse

Feb 27, 2014, 7:17 PM EDT

ZachParise2 Getty Images

Fresh off his stint with the United States’ Olympic team, Minnesota Wild captain Zach Parise is happy to be back to playing on NHL-sized rinks.

There was a time where he thought that the bigger ice surfaces they use internationally would led to a better game, but his experience in Sochi seems to have altered that view.

“I’m not a fan of the Olympic rink…I’m more comfortable on this (NHL) sheet. It’s a better game,” said Parise, according to the Edmonton Journal.

“Everyone plays so much more passive in Europe because the rink is so much bigger (at least wider). Everybody plays a one-4 (one forechecker, four guys back). The D control the whole play…it’s all neutral zone play. Controlled forechecks. It’s a different game.

“You’d think with more room there would be more speed and I guess there is to a degree because there’s not the stopping and starting (NHL game). You can loop over there, but shots from the wall aren’t good shots anymore so you don’t shoot.”

That meshes with what NHL commissioner Gary Bettman recently said when it comes to the difference in rink sizes. Bettman argued that the smaller ice leads to more “offensive intensity.”

Bettman and Parise are also both dispute the notion that the larger ice leads to fewer injuries. On that note, Parise would sooner see shoulder and elbow pads shrink rather than the ice expand if the goal is to make the game safer.

The United States’ Olympic run ended on a sour note, but Parise has an opportunity to put that behind him as the Wild battle for a playoff spot.

  1. terrier92 - Feb 27, 2014 at 7:27 PM

    Totally agree on his point about elbow and shoulder pads Used more as weapons than protection Also good th see MHL games again Big ice borrrrring

  2. flash8910 - Feb 27, 2014 at 7:36 PM

    It is so much harder to sustain offense in the large ice. It is ridiculously hard for 2 defensemen to cover the entire blue line. Clear the puck out of the zone is so much easier.

    • elrock7 - Feb 27, 2014 at 8:19 PM

      Doesn’t matter what ice they play on, could be a frozen Walmart parking lot, Canada beats US every time.

      • flyerspsu - Feb 27, 2014 at 10:13 PM

        last 3 games they have played:

        US won
        Canada won in OT
        Canada won 1-0

        not all too dominating, Canada is certainly better but to assert Canada will win every time is pretty ridiculous

    • pfhockey - Feb 27, 2014 at 10:27 PM

      That’s why we saw TC plug the blue line with 5 skaters at times, lol.

      • elrock7 - Feb 27, 2014 at 10:54 PM

        ok, 85% of the time, just trying to make a point.

  3. flyerguy73 - Feb 27, 2014 at 7:47 PM

    He is just mad his team sucked it up in Sochi. Sore loser is what I see.

    • strictlythedanks - Feb 27, 2014 at 8:53 PM

      than you must be looking in the mirror.

  4. alliceishome - Feb 27, 2014 at 7:54 PM

    More sour grapes

  5. atwatercrushesokoye - Feb 27, 2014 at 8:25 PM

    The wider rink isn’t the problem it’s the shorter offensive zones and the net being further from the boards. Because of that you have less room in front of the net and it pushes everything out sideways. If they used international size ice (or the hybrid ice used in 2002) but kept the NHL scoring zones and distance between net and boards you’d see a more exciting game.

  6. idonthavethebloodyoucrave - Feb 27, 2014 at 8:44 PM

    I see he showed up for an interview.

  7. sumkat - Feb 27, 2014 at 10:11 PM

    I agree with him. In theory, the bigger ice means that playmakers have more room to operate. But in practice, what happens is, the other team knows that. Every team plays a passive defense that allows you to throw it around the outside but not get quality chances, and a passive forecheck that keep slight pressure on the opposing D, but is more concerned with not getting beat going back the other way.

    I honestly can’t say I watched a single Olympic game this year and thought “Wow, this is a heck of a hockey game”. Don’t get me wrong, they competitiveness was there, but it just wasn’t an exciting brand of hockey

  8. opattytheirishrover - Feb 27, 2014 at 11:18 PM


    This is the announcement for the first ever “Frozen Wal-Mart parking lot series”. International team rankings in a round-robin tourney. Prior to the game you’re encourages to stop inside and browse the Duck Dynasty clearance items while shopping for toe socks.

    Sponsors pending.

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