WASHINGTON – Controversy is brewing inside the Wild dressing room.
Zach Parise is trying to weed out the post-goal celebration “flyby,” where the goal scorer leads the players on the ice with him by the bench for high-fives with teammates.
“I’ve never been a fan of it, but we couldn’t get a majority vote to completely rule it out, so I guess it depends on who scores and what they want to do,” Parise said.
Tuesday against Calgary, Parise finished off a tick-tack-toe scoring play with Mikko Koivu and Ryan Suter. Parise opened his mouth wide because he couldn’t believe what just happened.
“After it went in, all I could think was, ‘That was a pretty goal,’ ” Parise said. “It was just one of those where you knew that was a nice goal, just the way it developed, everyone on the ice touching the puck.”
Yet after celebrating, Parise led his teammates to center ice, not to the fired-up Wild bench for a flyby.
“We didn’t do it because it’s a 5-1 game and it’s a disrespectful thing,” Parise said. “I think it’s kind of disrespectful to do any time, but especially 5-1. I want to get rid of it here, but some guys are on board, some guys aren’t.
“Maybe disrespectful isn’t the right word. I think it looks cheesy, to be honest.”
As the word left Parise’s mouth, teammates caught wind.
“Some guys score too much and think they should just big-wheel to center afterward,” cracked Torrey Mitchell.
Chimed in Kyle Brodziak, “Yeah, I scored again, no big deal.” Joked Mitchell, “Yeah, just a game-winner.”
Justin Fontaine, a 26-year-old rookie, has done the flyby after all five of his goals, saying, “You’re excited, so you want to fly by the boys.”
“Like Z was going for sure,” interrupted Dany Heatley, causing the locker room to roar with laughter because he was referring to Zenon Konopka’s first goal in almost two calendar years.
There’s much debate as to where the flyby originated, but like Parise, former NHL forward Ray Ferraro was never a fan, saying, “It felt junior-ish, and I always thought it was awkward.”
Heatley, who has scored 362 goals, said simply: “It should be the goal scorer’s choice and the importance of the goal.”
Backstrom needs work
Goalie Niklas Backstrom has started two games since getting hurt Oct. 8 and Josh Harding subsequently catching fire. Coach Mike Yeo is at least contemplating starting the veteran Saturday at Carolina.
“There’s no question I want to get Backy in there, especially [after] that [33-save] game he played in Chicago [Oct. 26],” Yeo said. “I thought he was outstanding and would like to get him playing at that level consistency. We’re a better team if we have both guys going, and we’re going to need both guys.”
A team guy
Yeo was impressed by defenseman Clayton Stoner standing up to Calgary’s Tim Jackman on Tuesday. Jackman, who hurt Jared Spurgeon with a check in the second period, slashed and cross-checked leading goal scorer Jason Pominville after a faceoff in the third.
“That’s a team guy,” Yeo said of Stoner. “There’s a lot of debate about fighting right now, but bottom line, regardless of how you do it you have to be there for each other.”
Stoner left Thursday’s game because of a first-period leg injury.
• Defenseman Jonas Brodin will have to wear the full face shield to protect his broken cheekbone for up to three more weeks. He said he is getting used to it, but at times it fogs up, which has led to a few glaring turnovers since returning to the lineup four games ago.
• Rookie defenseman Matt Dumba was scratched for a fourth consecutive game Thursday against the Capitals. Nate Prosser replaced injured Keith Ballard.