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Devils struggle without Parise

It's a Canadian Game


blog-0741220001417729871.jpegThe New Jersey Devils haven’t made the playoffs since the 2011-12 when they fell to the Los Angeles King in six games and there seems to be a simple reason for that.

The Devils have been absent from the post-season the last two seasons and why is that, it could simply be because they no longer have star left winger Zach Parise. It’s hard to put so much on one player and of course one player doesn’t make a team, but you have to at least consider the numbers.

Here is a list of the years when Parise played and how the Devils finished in the standings (The first number is how they finished in the NHL, the second is how they finished in the Eastern Conference:

Year-----------------Place in the League------------Place in the Eastern Conference

2006-07----------------------7th --------------------------------------------2nd

2007-08 ----------------------6th --------------------------------------------4th

2008-09 ----------------------5th --------------------------------------------3rd

2009-10 ----------------------6th --------------------------------------------2nd

2010-11 ----------------------23rd -------------------------------------------11th

2011-12 -----------------------9th --------------------------------------------6th

Since the 2011-12 season the Devils have finished 10th and 12th in the Eastern Conference without the Minneapolis, MN native.

The success the team had with Parise in the lineup is kind of incredible, never finishing lower than sixth in the eastern conference. “Yea, but what about in 2010-11?”

Well this is what makes the argument even more concrete; during the 2010-11 season Parise was limited to just 13 games after suffering a devastating knee injury. In that year Martin Brodeur also missed 13 games of the season with an injury, but in doing so Johan Hedberg filled in and he ultimately finished the season with a higher winning percentage, goals against average, and save percentage with half the amount of starts as Brodeur, who still started 59 times. So, once again the loss of Parise seems like the key factor.

What has also plagued the Devils the last few years is that they have had one of the worst shootout records in the league. This season they are 1-4 in the skills competition, last season the Devils didn’t win a single shootout, and the year prior to that the team had a shootout winning percentage of 22 per cent.

Once again, you can’t put that all on the shoulders of the 5-foot-11, 197 pounder, can you? Well Parise is currently tied for the most shootout goals since the shootout was introduced back in the 2004-05 season.

Parise has taken the second most shootouts all-time only one behind Alex Ovechkin and Minnesota teammate Mikko Koivu with 85 attempts.

The Devils all-time have the seventh most shootout wins and are tied for first with the most games in which they’ve gone to a shootout with 109. The Devils have a career winning percentage of 52 per cent.

Since Parise has left, the Devils have a 3-24 record in the shootout, a winning percent of just 11.1 per cent. Prior to Parise leaving, the Devils were 45-25 in the post-overtime shenanigans (dating back to 2006-07, Parise’s first year with the Devils), a winning percentage of 64 per cent.

In fact Parise actually has much worse shootout numbers since he left for the Wild. In three years with the Wild he has gone 8-for-22, a success rate of 36 per cent, while with the Devils he went 29-for-43, capitalizing on 67 per cent of his attempts.

Then straight up Parise had 410 points in 502 games with New Jersey good enough for a very respectable 0.81 points per game. During his seven years with the team that drafted him in the first round in 2003, he recorded 51 powerplay goals was a plus-57, and the former team captain. He was twice named the team MVP and during his time also amassed 37 game-winning goals, speaking to just how important he was with the team.

What really stings is knowing last year New Jersey missed the playoffs by just five points, giving up 13 points in the shootout while in 2012-13 they missed out by seven points; points that could have been attained if they had gone perfect in the shootout.

Parise was always a big part of the Devils during his seven seasons with the team, but as the Devils sit 12th in the East one really starts to see just how important he really was.

Follow me on Twitter @Craig_Hagerman


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