Scott Parse exceeded all reasonable expectations for his NHL debut Saturday night. He played 10 minutes, 30 seconds — all at even strength — and didn’t record a shot on goal but made one of the nicest plays of the night, a faked shot and a pass that led directly to Jarret Stoll’s second goal, which gave the Kings a 3-2 lead in the third period.
The most telling part of Parse’s game might have been that he got two shifts, with Stoll and Peter Harrold, after the Coyotes closed within one goal late in the third period. That’s when a coach turns only to players he trusts the most, and Parse got that call. Here are Parse’s thoughts about his debut, followed by Terry Murray’s thoughts.
(on his first game…)
PARSE: “It was fun, really fun. Nervous beforehand, but once I got out there, I just relaxed and played.”
(on whether he had expectations for how it would be…)
PARSE: “Not really. I had played in one preseason game and that’s it. I was just going out there trying to have fun and be relaxed.”
(on his first NHL assist…)
PARSE: “I came down the wing on a 2-on-1 with Stolly. I went to shoot it, and Jovanovski kind of slid to the middle. I knew there was room under his stick, and I slid it to Stolly and he made a great, great finish.”
(on playing late in the third period…)
PARSE: “Coach, he did show confidence in me. It feels good, as a player, when a coach does that, so it’s nice.”
(on getting help from linemates…)
PARSE: “Stolly helped me out a lot during the game, just talking to me and telling me little things what to do. He was a big help last night.”
(Terry Murray, on Parse’s play…)
MURRAY: “He was really good. I broke the game down and watched it all here this morning, and his game was intense. He was in on the puck, he had a really good stick. He got on the puck and created some turnovers. He made a tremendous play on that Stoll goal and played intelligently, played very smart. Very good reads throughout the whole game. Positioning, off the puck, his scanning of the ice and seeing what is developing and where he should go. He’s getting to the right place. It was good stuff.”
(on playing Parse in late-game situations…)
MURRAY: “That was simply the stuff I’m talking about there. He just read the play and played a smart game. Didn’t force, didn’t get caught trying to do too much, taking himself out of position trying to do too much. He just knew what his limits were, what his game was, what he needed to do, and he ended up with a great result.”