The Zach Parise injury will be a tough test for the Minnesota Wild. The team is reporting that the forward will miss two-to-three weeks with a contusion on his foot. As per the Wild’s official website:
The forward suffered a foot contusion last night against the St. Louis Blues. During the first period, he blocked an Alexander Steen slap shot. He returned for a portion of the second, but left the bench and didn’t return.
Parise joins Josh Harding, Mikael Granlund, Torrey Mitchell and Keith Ballard on the IR, and presents Minnesota with a different sort of challenge. Minnesota has already proven its goaltending depth so far this season. When Niklas Backstrom was injured early in the year, it was Harding that stepped in and played out of his mind for the Wild.
Now that Harding is on the shelf, Backstrom has elevated his game.
Minnesota has also struggled to maintain a healthy blue line, but has received incredibly strong play from Ryan Suter and Co. With Parise heading to the IR for a few weeks, now it’s time for the forwards to step up and show that they can fill in with their leading scorer out with a bad bruise.
The Wild have been among the stronger teams in the NHL over the last month, but missing Parise will be a stern test of this squad’s grit and determination. Regardless of which way things go for the team, we’ll know more about the mental makeup of the Wild by this time next month.