Skip to content

Zidlicky blames ‘new NHL’ for high PIM total

Jan 8, 2014, 2:24 PM EDT

Tampa Bay Lightning v New Jersey Devils Getty Images

Marek Zidlicky leads New Jersey this season with 42 penalty minutes — and is fifth among NHL defensemen with 21 minors taken — but insists it isn’t all his fault.

From the New Jersey Star-Ledger:

“It’s not cool to get a penalty when you just touch the guy with your stick,” Zidlicky said after Monday’s practice. “One time I touched somebody at the glass and he fell down and a penalty is called. That’s tough. I just touched the guy.”

Zidlicky blames his penalties on what he calls the “new NHL,” which he says now has officials calling penalties for things he previously could do when defending opponents.

“They’re looking for more power plays in the games,” he says.

An interesting theory (and an archaic one, considering I haven’t heard “new NHL” in like five years), but one that Devils head coach Peter DeBoer essentially rebuffed. DeBoer told the Star-Ledger that, upon acquiring Zidlicky from Minnesota in Feb. 2012, he was warned about the defenseman’s penchant for taking penalties.

“I remember talking to Jacques Lemaire when we acquired him,” DeBoer said. “Jacques had him in Minnesota. He said, ‘As long as he gets the first minor penalty out of the way in the first period, he’ll be fine after that.’”

In last night’s 3-2 OT loss to Philly, Zidlicky went penalty free — his fourth consecutive game without going to the sin bin. So I guess things are looking up.

  1. jpelle82 - Jan 8, 2014 at 2:44 PM

    its more of a sign that you’ve lost a step marek (36 yrs old). everyone is playing with the same rules. you take penalties when you arent moving your feet and are forced to hook and whack at the hands in desperation. sucks getting old, especially when the league just keeps getting younger and faster.

    • ibieiniid - Jan 8, 2014 at 2:53 PM

      agreed. however, I am taking more and more issue with the quite obvious make-up calls refs make more and more.
      -ref doesn’t call a blatant penalty but calls the next borderline play from the same team to make up for it.
      -ref makes a call on a non-penalty then calls the opposing team for a borderline play to make up for it.
      often, players are called for penalties their teammates should have gotten or nobody should have gotten at all. I just wish refs could accept their mistake calls and forget about it without subconsciously keeping score. but hey, they’re human too.

      • jpelle82 - Jan 8, 2014 at 3:20 PM

        i’ve basically resigned to the fact that if my team is winning by 2 or more that the last 5 mins of the game will inevitably involve at least 1 more minor penalty called against them. i’m not one for conspiracy theories but it certainly seems like it happens more often than not

    • nyrnashty - Jan 8, 2014 at 3:13 PM

      No he’s right. You used to be able to “hook and whack at the hands”‘ you could crosscheck players in the back in front of the net over and over, no such things as head shots etc. the league is all about the offense now. The NHL = Non Hit League now. Would you call a D like Chelios, Pronger old at 36?

  2. devilsarethebest - Jan 8, 2014 at 2:52 PM

    Though I must commend him on 4 straight without a penalty. Used to be one every night without fail.

    • nj666 - Jan 8, 2014 at 4:24 PM

      Maybe if zidlicky could actually hold the blue line he wouldn’t take so many penalties chasing a forward. granted he scores goals but his play can lead to many more against.

  3. lordfletcher - Jan 8, 2014 at 3:26 PM

    That’s what happens when you get older and get caught pinching on every shift. Stop crying

  4. muckleflugga - Jan 8, 2014 at 4:25 PM

    another fantasy…cookie cutter understandings and commentary by the uninitiated…play much…?

    equating skill and competence to youth…lmao

    defence is the one position where players peak in their thirties as strength and understandings peak…experience is everything…building an inventory of player and team tendencies shortens ice and closes space…getting there first and arriving in ill humour…men not boys

    and speed is not increasing…

    pull the other one…it’s got a bell attached

    all that’s changed is impediments to speed native to the game have changed….rules have simply opened-up the ice by removing centre-line offsides, hooking, interference and the standard clutch and grab

    while equipment and training have improved speed, the changes are marginal…the human body is constrained by physics limiting further advancement…as in horse racing, speed improvements are measured in tiny fractions, definable by the measuring systems themselves

    milk and cocoa…


  5. imleftcoast - Jan 8, 2014 at 8:00 PM

    It would be interesting to see stats on PIMs over last few years, particularly in the last five minutes of games. Before OT and the shootout, it seemed the refs let them play. Now, they seem to call anything to try and help with that tying goal. Maybe that’s perception, but someone must have stats.

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. P. Kane (1450)
  2. P. Kessel (1404)
  3. M. Boedker (1224)
  4. S. Matthias (1160)
  5. M. Zuccarello (1144)
  1. R. McDonagh (1137)
  2. D. Carcillo (1115)
  3. A. Ovechkin (1107)
  4. A. Ladd (1023)
  5. C. Ehrhoff (985)