One of the larger storylines heading into this shortened season was going to be the play of the two new superstars for the Minnesota Wild, after they managed to sign both Zach Parise and Ryan Suter in the offseason.
Many wondered how the two would perform. Could Parise still be a star outside of the system he had played in with the New Jersey Devils? Could Suter survive without Shea Weber? In the case of Parise, that question is quickly becoming one that is very easily answered. Yes, he can.
Parise has been absolutely outstanding for the Wild in the early going this season. Even as the Wild have stumbled out of the gate, failing to live up to the hype so far, Parise has been terrific.
Coming off of a season in which he posted 69 points and led the Devils to an appearance in the Stanley Cup Finals, you wouldn’t be out of line to wonder if he could have that same type of success with the Wild. But not only does it look like he can live up that success, he could make a run at his career mark of 94.
In five games this season, Parise has nine points. That’s good for sixth in the league. His five goals are second best, trailing only Patrick Marleau and his absolutely torrid pace. His past two performances have been his best, with back-to-back games that featured at least two goals.
Parise’s presence on Minnesota’s top line has helped to wake up Dany Heatley, who already has four goals on the season. That unit of Parise, Heatley, and Mikko Koivu has been among the best groups in the entire league.
It’s been very impressive to watch Parise succeed so far in Minnesota. This is a club starved for some star power, and they look to have it in Parise. If he keeps up this type of performance, and the Wild are in the playoff hunt, he could end up in the Hart Trophy discussion before long.