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Parenteau aims higher for second full NHL season

by Dyan LeBourdais / New York Islanders
PA Parenteau, who played on a line with John Tavares and Matt Moulson last season, has spent the preseason on Josh Bailey’s wing and will do so again Friday night as the New York Islanders are headed to New Jersey to face the Devils for the second time of the 2011 preseason.

For a player who spent the better part of seven seasons in the American Hockey League, Parenteau elevated his level of play when he signed with the Islanders as a free agent in July 2010. He made the Islanders roster out of training camp and by the end of his first full NHL campaign, the winger finished second on the team in points (53).

PA Parenteau gets away from Phil Kessel #81 of the Toronto Maple Leafs on March 8, 2011 at Nassau Coliseum. (Photo by Mike Stobe/NHLI via Getty Images)
“When Cappy came in, he gave me a shot on the first line and I think the opportunity to do well,” Parenteau said. “I’ve been working really hard this summer and now I know what I can accomplish at this level. I’m really looking forward to having another big year.”

Parenteau takes the season game-by-game and is aiming to  surpass the 20-goal mark he set in the final game of the 2010-11 season.

“Anything less than last year would be a disappointment to me,” Parenteau said. “Our compete-level was pretty high last year and I was having fun playing hockey. When you have the confidence of your coach and your organization behind you, it makes things easier. That’s what happened for me last year and hopefully I can keep on that path.”

It helps that Parenteau is feeling really confident in not only his teammates, but the whole organization.

“What I like about this team is the chemistry we developed last year,” Parenteau said. “We have pretty much all the same pieces in place besides two or three guys. The guys we added like (Brian) Rolston, (Steve) Staios, these are great veterans and great guys. They are going to fit in with all of us. We like to have a good time. We like to hang out with each other and that’s going to reflect on the ice early.”

So as Parenteau laces up his skates for his second exhibition, expect him and the rest of the Islanders to be working hard. Friday night’s matchup may not count in the standings, but Parenteau knows the intensity will be high for both the Islanders and Devils.

“It’s always a big rivalry when you play a tri-state team,” Parenteau said. “As we get closer to the regular season, the compete level and the adversity is going to get a lot higher and the guys are going to get even hungrier to play hockey games. I’m expecting a good hockey game in New Jersey for sure.”
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