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Zidlicky was “a really good acquisition” for Devils, says Parise

May 17, 2012, 3:13 PM EDT

Marek Zidlicky

When people talk about the Devils’ aggressive forecheck, most of the discussion involves the forwards. After all, the forwards are the ones chasing down pucks and turning them over.

But New Jersey captain Zach Parise knows the importance of an active defense to the style his team plays.

“That’s so important,” he said today. “It’s hard when your ‘D’ aren’t allowed to pinch and when your ‘D’ aren’t allowed to get involved, because you’re playing 3-on-5 all night. That’s too hard. It makes the game too hard and it makes scoring too hard. Once our ‘D’ started to be allowed to jump into the play and get involved in the offense, it opened some things up for everybody.

“It opens up second opportunities. You’re allowed to get more offensive zone time. They’ve done a great job in the playoffs keeping pucks alive, keeping cycles going and really hemming teams in their own zone. From a forward’s standpoint, it’s kind of a relief to get those ‘D’ men involved. It just makes life a lot easier.”

One defenseman in particular Parise says has helped is Marek Zidlicky. The Devils acquired the underutilized 35-year-old from Minnesota in February, sending defenseman Kurtis Foster and forwards Nick Palmieri and Stephane Veilleux to the Wild in return.

“[Zidlicky’s] skating ability, his patience with the puck has really helped us out a lot up front and kept plays alive,” said Parise. “He makes a great first outlet pass. That was a really good acquisition for us that really gave us a new attack and a new dynamic that we were somewhat lacking.”

  1. lordfletcher - May 17, 2012 at 3:26 PM

    “New Jersey needs an active defense to executive its game plan. (Apparently the Wild didn’t.)”

    DUDE! What is you beef against the Wild? Two days in a row with knocks against Minnesota and Fletcher.

    Did you watch how Zidlicky played with Minny this year, even when they were winning. He was easily the worst player on the ice and was a cancer in the locker room. He cried after every game and I am glad he was traded.

    Thanks,

    • Jason Brough - May 17, 2012 at 3:55 PM

      I didn’t mean it as a slight. Apologies if it came off like that. Zidlicky didn’t handle himself well in Minny.
      However, I believe Zidlicky was unhappy in Minnesota because of the system Yeo installed that didn’t involve the defense doing the things Parise says the d-men are expected to do in New Jersey.
      I think you’d agree the Wild’s defensemen didn’t contribute much offensively this season, and part of that could be related to the conservative way they were asked to play by Yeo — a way that minimized Zidlicky’s strengths and magnified his weaknesses.
      Just my take.

      • lordfletcher - May 17, 2012 at 5:46 PM

        accepted :) LOL

        I was just giving ya crap

  2. kegmen7 - May 17, 2012 at 3:30 PM

    Where are all the wild fans bragging about how they won that trade? a bucket of spare parts and a 2nd rd pick for a top 2 defenseman keying our run to the conference finals while simultaneously convincing Zach of the legitimacy of our chances to win the cup- thank you so much! enjoy your two third/fourth liners and not signing parise this summer….

    • treydogg97 - May 17, 2012 at 4:13 PM

      I’ll have what he’s having.

      • greatminnesotasportsmind - May 17, 2012 at 5:30 PM

        he’ll burn you with a +/- of -13 during the Cup Finals

      • lordfletcher - May 17, 2012 at 5:49 PM

        kegmen7
        HAHA! You think he is a top pairing Dman ? Interesting! I would say he is a quality top 4 when he is playing well but can be a huge bust at times carrying the puck. When he is skating and shooting the puck, he is very effective but to the Wild he was nothing but a baby… so the trade worked well for both teams, why is that hard to understand. The Wild gained a 2nd and now a 3rd because of this trade and lost cap space. I don’t see how this can’t be viewed as a good move for MN if that players isn’t fitting in well with their system.

        Carry on troll!

      • martysbetter - May 17, 2012 at 6:19 PM

        @lordfletcher He’s a top pairing d-man on this team, look at his TOI over this postseason.

  3. biasedhomer - May 17, 2012 at 3:34 PM

    “New Jersey needs an active defense to executive its game plan. (Apparently the Wild didn’t.)”

    Because you know, the Wild were playoff contenders. Pretty stupid statement, the Wild got some role players for an unhappy 35 year old defensemen.

    • greatminnesotasportsmind - May 17, 2012 at 5:32 PM

      Actually they were given a 2nd and a 3rd round pick and Palmeri besides the roll players

      • martysbetter - May 17, 2012 at 6:18 PM

        Feel free to file Palmieri under “role players”.

  4. hagigun - May 17, 2012 at 5:22 PM

    As a Wild fan I take no offense to any of this. Zids was awful here. You could see he was unhappy and not hardly trying. I don’t care what we got back in return, because part of me felt we wouldn’t be able to move him at all with his cap #. I was happy they pulled the trigger. Our team was and isn’t going anywhere in the next 2 years, so why keep him around especially when he was unhappy!?

    He is playing really well right now and seems to be a great fit in NJ. He is not playing the same way at all. Not just system wise, but his compete level is off the charts compared to what we ever saw. Can’t say I like the guy, but I guess I am happy he is having success and enjoys playing the game again…seriously, it looked like he lost his love for the game here in MN and that was sad, so good for you Zids.

    Help get my boy Ryan Carter a 2nd cup and I may even respect you again!

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