Bruce Boudreau feels it’s only a matter of time before the best of Zach Parise re-emerges.
The Wild’s frothing dog of a winger played for only the fourth time in 11 games Wednesday night against the Winnipeg Jets because of what turned out to be a knee injury, then strep throat.
In the 3-1 win, Parise had five shots, scored an empty-net goal and looked energized after battling strep throat recently.
“The last couple games he played only at about 50 percent,” Boudreau said. “All he has to do is do what he’s done his whole life, and success will follow that.”
Parise’s goal Wednesday was his third. His two previous goals came in the same game, and he has four assists in 12 games.
His shooting percentage is at 7.7 percent, down from 11.8 percent when he averaged 32 goals a season from 2005-10 and 11.2 percent when he averaged 29.8 goals from 2011-16.
Parise hopes to get back into a rhythm by staying in the lineup and practicing. There should be a bunch of practices coming up on the team’s upcoming five-game trip.
“I feel like I’ve been chasing it for a little bit, but finally at least [Wednesday] I feel good and back to normal,” Parise said. “It’s just a bad month. What do you do? It’s just a little bit of bad luck.
“Strep knocked me out pretty good for a few days, too, so it’ll be good to get some rest and some practices and also get some reps and hopefully spend a little time with Charlie [Coyle] and Eric [Staal] and form a little bit of chemistry.
“I thought we started the season well. We got good chances, so hopefully we can stay together and get better as a line.”
That line looked great in training camp. The trio had chances the first five games until Boudreau broke them up at the Islanders in hopes of sparking Parise after he went the first five games without a goal. He scored two goals on 10 shots that night.
“His practice [Tuesday] was 100 percent better than his game [Monday in Dallas],” Boudreau said. “He had just no energy, no legs in that game. I expect him to be the Zach Parise that I know of.”
Defenseman Marco Scandella was activated off long-term injured reserve and played for the first time in 11 games. He logged 12 minutes, 20 seconds in his first game since sustaining a high ankle sprain Oct. 27.
Defenseman Mike Reilly was reassigned to Iowa.
Boudreau told Scandella before the game to keep things simple because “usually [players are] so ramped-up about playing if you haven’t played in a while, you try to do too much.”
“He’s practiced hard for a week, it’s not like he just became available healthwise,” the coach added. “He’s been practicing hard for a few good practices now, so he should be ready.”
• Winger Mikael Granlund continued his terrific play of late. He assisted on two goals against the Jets, and now has at least a point in nine of his past 11 games.
“I don’t want to talk to him because I just want him to keep doing what he’s doing,” Boudreau said. “Every time he touches the puck, you think he can beat a guy. He’s a pretty special player for me.”
• Boudreau, in his previous coaching stops, was used to the Ducks-Kings and Capitals-Penguins rivalries. Wednesday was his second look at the heated Wild-Jets rivalry.
“Hopefully both teams got a hate-on for each other,” Boudreau said. “I know in the other places I’ve been, it was quite a rivalry. I know everybody in our rooms hated the opponents on the other team.”