The Minnesota Wild put up an embarrassing effort in their final game of the 2013 season, as the fell to the Chicago Blackhawks by a 5-1 score in the fifth game of their opening-round playoff series. The Blackhawks took the series 4-1, as the Wild struggled to find any kind of offensive rhythm and injuries decimated their goaltending.
One of the most disappointing players in the series was Zach Parise, who the Wild spent a lot of money on to bring in over the summer. In the loss, Parise failed to register a shot on goal – the first time in 244 games that has happened. Parise finished the series with just one goal, which was his first and only point of the playoffs. He managed 17 shots on goal in the first four games of the series, but also finished the five-game set with a horrible minus-7 rating. After scoring 18 goals and posting 38 points in the regular season, this was a surprising and disappointing turn of events for the veteran winger.
Parise had 15 points in 24 playoff games for the New Jersey Devils, which only adds to the intrigue of why he is suddenly not a go-to player in the postseason. The Wild made a huge gamble to bring him and Ryan Suter in, and while they got to the playoffs the expectations for this team were much higher than what they were ultimately able to achieve. Parise will be with the team for many years to come, and the Wild have to be hoping that his poor playoff performance was a fluke and not the new norm.