When asked about his decision to make Zach Parise a healthy-scratch in Friday night’s game against the Anaheim Ducks, Dean Evason said, “we obviously evaluate and make decisions, and that was our choice for tonight.”
But this might be an indication of what a healthy Minnesota Wild roster will look like going forward, as Parise will be a healthy scratch for the second night in a row;
Talbot (11-2-2 at home) starts tonight's #mnwild regular-season home finale— Michael Russo (@RussoHockey) May 8, 2021
Parise scratched 2nd in a row
Kaprizov league-best 11 goals since April 17 (11 games), 3 from 30; his 13 3rd pd/OT goals are 2nd-most in NHL
When asked about the choice Evason felt like it was a difficult, but ultimately correct decision.
Evason on Parise: "It's numbers, and we have to make a decision. It's a tough call, obviously, but you've got to make that decision." #mnwild— Michael Russo (@RussoHockey) May 8, 2021
Parise has had a so-so year. At times, he’s been an effective forechecker and a key piece of the bottom six. But his ice-time has slowly declined since the first game of the season, where he logged 21 minutes in a 4-3 overtime win over the Los Angeles Kings. He hit a season-low of just 7:14 in his last game, one which even had an overtime period of its own. His seven goals and 18 points in 44 games are by far the lowest of his career, and his 8.0 Sh% is well below his career average of 11.7%.
The likelihood of Parise drawing in the playoffs grows smaller by the day, as Nick Bjugstad is finding his stride with Nick Bonino and Nico Sturm with the bottom unit, and standout 2019 draft pick Matt Boldy now has four goals and 12 points in 10 games with the Iowa Wild in the AHL. With the lack of playoffs in the AHL — at least for the Iowa Wild’s Central Division — the Wild’s season will end on May 15th. This will make Boldy a tantalizing option to draw in if Evason wishes to make any roster changes.
After this season, Parise still has another four years remaining on his contract at a cap hit of $7.53 million, and with the surprising success of this squad, he’s slowly being worked out of a winning lineup.