SAN JOSE, CALIF. – Bruce Boudreau met with Wild winger Zach Parise on Tuesday to discuss his game of late. It seemed to work as Parise looked like the Zach Parise of old against the San Jose Sharks on Thursday night, scoring a goal and two assists.
“I told him I have complete faith in him, and I know his head is down because he wants to do so well so badly,” the Wild coach said. “I just said, ‘I think you’re pressing a little bit.’ ”
Parise has scored seven goals and 11 assists in 28 games. Before Thursday, in the three games since Parise returned from strep throat and Nino Niederreiter was taken off the first line, center Eric Staal had no goals and two shots. He scored two goals and had an assist Thursday.
“We just hope that quite frankly Zach gets a couple goals, whether they go off his butt or whatever, and it turns it around a little bit,” Boudreau said Wednesday. “That’s what I’m hoping right now because we need him and we depend on him.
“Let’s not forget, Zach’s been hurt, he’s been sick, he’s missed practices. He hasn’t had that steady diet of hockey for a while, and hopefully that takes place now and his game improves.”
If it didn’t, Boudreau vowed there may be times during games he moves Niederreiter back to Staal’s wing. He did Thursday, only moving Niederreiter onto the Parise-Staal line, not replacing Parise. That’s when the line took off Thursday
“Look, during every game I told Zach, as I’ve told every player, I just think of what do we have to do to win that night,” Boudreau said. “It doesn’t click to me who they are as far as their feelings. If I think that this guy’s not playing as good, I’ll mix and match and move those guys around.”
In from the cold
Kirill Kaprizov, the Wild’s 2015 fifth-round pick, scored a tournament-leading nine goals during the world junior championships, the most goals by a Team Russia player in world juniors history.
Wild brass hoped to meet Kaprizov for the first time this week, but Team’s Russia’s security wouldn’t allow it. Assistant GM Brent Flahr said management did have a “good meeting” with Kaprizov’s agent.
He is under contract one more year in the Kontinental Hockey League. That means he won’t be permitted to attend this July’s development camp, Flahr said, but the team remains confident they’ll sign him after next season.
Young old man
Mikko Koivu, 33, the Wild’s all-time leader in games, assists (410) and points (582), played his 800th game Thursday.
In his previous 18 games, he had seven goals and 10 assists, was plus-19 and had a .569 faceoff winning percentage.
“I feel great. I think the biggest key is to stay healthy and take care of your body,” Koivu said. “If you ask any individual, when the team’s winning, players feel better as well. You want to do your part as good as you can, but when the team’s winning, life’s easier.”
Koivu said it helps playing with Jason Zucker and Mikael Granlund since late November.
“When you’re able to play with the same players and you know their style of hockey and their tendencies, it’s a huge help,” Koivu said.
• The Wild’s Teemu Pulkkinen was named to the Western Conference team at the Jan. 29-30 AHL All-Star Classic in Allentown, Pa. Pulkkinen leads Iowa in scoring with 12 goals and 22 points in 25 games.
This is second All-Star Game selection. He has scored 77 goals and 143 points in 144 AHL games.
• The Wild’s game in Detroit on March 26 has been moved to 11:30 a.m. and will be televised on NBC.
• Sharks coach Pete DeBoer scratched the team’s biggest offseason pickup, Mikkel Boedker. Signed to a four-year, $16 million deal, the former Arizona Coyote and Colorado Avalanche hasn’t scored in 28 games.