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New York Islanders

Parise Plays Roles to Perfection, Continues to Lead by Example

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Zach Parise

Throughout the 2021-22 season, the versatility of 37-year-old Zach Parise has been on display on a nightly basis. Whether it’s minutes five on five alongside the talented Mathew Barzal as of late, blocking shots on the top penalty kill unit, or working down low on the power play, Parise has done it all for head coach Barry Trotz this season.

This season, Zach Parise has played a total of 1,902:04 minutes, 867:21 coming at even strength. 117:07 minutes have come on the power play, while 103:49 minutes have come on the penalty kill.

Yes, he’s done it all.

Not only that, in a year full of chaos regarding injuries and COVID-19, Zach Parise is the only player to dress for all 72 New York Islanders games this season.

Zach Parise has 13 goals and 18 assists on the year, with five goals and two assists over his last 12 contests.

And that includes his two-goal performance against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday night in the 5-4 shootout win, one coming on the power play and the other coming on the penalty kill.

His power-play goal at 9:10 of the first period tied the contest at one apiece as he sniped Penguins netminder Casey DeSmith over the glove from inside the right circle.

Under three minutes later, Parise notched his shorthanded goal, his second of the season, as he finished off a strong feed by Jean-Gabriel Pageau to give the Islanders a 2-1 lead.

“Just to see him score two tonight for us, it’s amazing. He’s been good all year. And now the pucks are starting to go in,” Jean-Gabriel Pageau said. “I think it’s just really good for his confidence, and when he’s playing with that confidence, he’s a true goal scorer. ”

Was that the first time Parise has scored on both sides of the special team’s coin in a game? Enjoy my funny interaction with Parise last night when I asked him (6:05):

Parise was indeed correct…it was a good question.

His two-way game and reliability in all zones is why New York Islanders general manager Lou Lamoriello offered Zach Parise a one-year extension. Parise, who’s enjoyed every minute on the island, happily accepted it.

“You’re happy for him because he plays multiple roles for our team and important roles,” Trotz said on Parise’s productive night. “You want those guys to get rewarded.”

“I hate cherry pickers. I really do. In this league, I think that you got to play both sides of the puck. You gotta. You can’t cheat in areas where you’ve got to move, your teammates got to rely on you. So he plays the right way. And that’s, to me, why he’s had success, why he’s a good pro and why he’s here.”

Pageau, who plays a similar role to Parise, spoke on what it has been like to have him on the island this season.

“He’s been great. I played with him for the most part this season, and I’ve learned a lot, not only off the ice but on the ice.” Pageau said. “His work ethic is outstanding. He never quits on pucks. You would ask anyone, the way he works every day, it’s contagious when you play with him, and I love that.”

With just one goal and five assists in his first 28 games as a member of the New York Islanders, Zach Parise’s play was going unnoticed. Yes, professional sports are a production-driven business, and when a player is not producing, fans are quick to turn on them.

But if you watched Parise the entire season, his game has not changed. The results are just coming at a higher rate. His tenacity, his work ethic, and his eagerness to do whatever it takes has fit in perfectly with the New York Islanders brand.

Parise’s $1.5 million deal this season and next season is a steal for what he brings to the table.

“He’s always fit in you know with the guys and the role,” Trotz said Tuesday night. ” Where his production started, you just look at the stats. I think once he got a little bit of confidence then he, you know, hit the back of the net a little bit. I think it started growing from that. He’s just been a really reliable player all year. I don’t have a specific date.”

“This whole year reminds me of about four years in one, so pick one of them, and I’ll agree with you on it.”