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Parise clears air on perceived shot he took at U.S. coach

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Minnesota Wild star Zach Parise is defending himself after comments he made following Team USA's loss to Finland in the bronze-medal game at the Olympics, saying his words were misinterpreted.

After the 5-0 blowout loss that sent the Americans home without a medal, Parise referred to the U.S. team's approach against Canada and Finland as "passive." Josh Yohe of the Tribune-Review in Pittsburgh thought Parise, who captained the United States, was taking a shot at the system head coach Dan Bylsma (Pittsburgh Penguins) used.

Parise tried to clarify his comments in an email to Michael Russo of the Star Tribune.

“I never took a shot at Dan and I never would,” he said in the email. “I said we were passive as a team, not playing a passive system. We seemed slow as a group that particular game [against Finland]. Dan did a great job coaching us and preparing us for all of the games, along with the other coaches. They put in a lot of work.

“He let us play and demanded us to work. He was always detailed in his approach and his meetings, and we were more than prepared from a scouting standpoint for each game.”

The air is now clear on the perceived issue.

Meanwhile, Parise, who was checked out by trainers after sustaining a hand injury against Finland, said he is fine and will be ready to play when the Wild returns to NHL action on Thursday against the Edmonton Oilers.

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