NEWARK, N.J. -- New Jersey Devils captain Zach Parise said his dad, J.P. Parise, did talk with him to discuss the excitement and fanfare that will accompany the first Eastern Conference Finals contest of his career in Game 1 at Madison Square Garden on Monday.
"Yeah, we talked [Sunday]," Parise said. "He made it to the conference final once or twice, and he just said how excited he was. He said he thought we had a good chance with only four teams left. He kept saying, 'You guys have a great chance to do it.'"
The elder Parise spent 14 seasons in the League, including six seasons and parts of two others in Minnesota. He played a key role for the New York Islanders during the 1975 season, helping the club to their first playoff berth and into the Stanley Cup semifinal round. Parise played four seasons on Long Island.
Devils coach Peter DeBoer knows his captain will be ready to go once the puck drops in his first conference finals appearance.
"Obviously, emotions don't get any higher other than a Stanley Cup Final, but playing for the Eastern Conference championship and playing your cross-town, cross-river rival -- emotions will be something to have to manage," DeBoer said. "You want [those emotions]. It's a big part of hockey, and big part of hockey this time of year. You have to make sure you channel it the right way."
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