Heading into the 2013-14 season, it was no secret that something was different about this Minnesota Wild club. A team that made significant changes in the summer of 2012, the Wild spent the last calendar year adding multiple marquee players, none coming with more notoriety than Zach Parise.
The hometown kid had a solid first season with the Wild, and has helped this team make the transformation from Western Conference bottom feeder to a legitimate threat. While they may not be ready for a Stanley Cup title quite yet, they’re clearly a team to be taken seriously, and they’ve been showing it recently.
In trying to build on a strong first season with the Wild, the club was hoping to get just a little bit more out of Zach Parise this season. The expectation for him as a superstar forward is at least a point per game, and he’s nearly on that pace so far this season. Yet, it seems like he’s off to a bit of a quiet start.
In the first dozen games for Minnesota this season, Parise has nine points, including six goals and a trio of helpers. That’s not a disappointing start by any means. At the same time, though, three of his six goals came in the first three games of the season, and he fell pretty silent over the next stretch of games for the Wild.
Over the last three games, though, it would appear that Parise is starting to find his rhythm, just as the Wild are as a team. They’ve won three in a row, and Parise has recorded points in each of those three games, including a Saturday night tilt this weekend in which they ran circles around the defending Stanley Cup champions.
Parise has recorded four points in his last three games, and has found the back of the net in each of the last two. It certainly looks like he’s gaining traction, and could be on the verge of going on quite the run. If Parise can catch fire, this Wild team becomes a very large threat out of the West as the season wears on.