Wild star Zach Parise played with broken right foot for final month
ST. PAUL -- If the lingering knee injury didn’t make playing hard enough, Wild star Zach Parise was battling much more as he attempted to will his team into the NHL playoffs in the final weeks of the season.
As it turns out, Parise hadn’t been 100 percent since he blocked a shot during a Feb. 26 road game against the Winnipeg Jets.
“I broke my (right) foot on that,” Parise confirmed at Tuesday’s locker room clean out. “That didn’t feel too bad, I guess. I think it’s one of those that will just eventually heal on its own.”
Parise missed just one game because of his broken right foot. He returned to the lineup after that and played in every game until injuring his knee during a March 22 road game against the Washington Capitals.
“The timing wasn’t great with the spot we were in, trying to get into the postseason,” Parise said. “That wasn’t an easy one to swallow.”
Parise missed four games because of the the knee injury before returning to the lineup in the April 2 home game against the Winnipeg Jets. He scored two goals that game, a victory, to keep the Wild’s playoff hopes alive.
“I felt good enough and I felt I could skate well enough to play in that game,” Parise said. “We were still playing for something, so that was important to hurry and get back in there without the risk of making it worse.”
As soon as the Wild were officially eliminated from playoff contention, though, Parise shut it down for good.
Back by training camp?
Both Matt Dumba and Mikko Koivu are expected to be ready by training camp next fall as they recover from significant injuries that derailed this season for the Wild.
Dumba suffered a torn right pectoral muscle, while Koivu suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament and torn meniscus in his right knee.
“I’ve got my range of motion,” Dumba said. “It’s kind of just building up to strength over the last couple of weeks. I’m happy about that.”
While both injuries were unfortunate for the Wild, the injury to Dumba was especially hard to swallow because it came during a mindless fight with Calgary Flames winger Matthew Tkachuk.
“It definitely still lingers,” Dumba said, referencing the fight he never wanted to have. “I have tried my best to kind of suppress that and look forward. That’s all we can really do right now. Just try to come back even better.”
Wad Dubnyk playing hurt?
There was a specific play during a Nov. 13 home game against the Washington Capitals in which Wild goaltender Devan Dubnyk got run over by hulking Caps winger Tom Wilson.
While he didn’t miss a game after that, Dubnyk did struggle between the pipes for the next month and a half. He went 5-10-1 in that span with a 2.87 goals-against average and .897 save percentage.
It raises the question: Was he playing hurt?
“It’s tough to say,” Dubnyk said, admitting there was some pain in his neck and upper back. “It was hard to pinpoint, because they were also just strange games, the way they were ending up. I couldn’t say I was going out there and not feeling right, or feeling like something was off, because it was just the games were strange that way. But I did make sure I got the right people to come in and take care of it. There were certainly some issues lingering with it when I was able to get it taken care of.”