President/CEO/General Manager Lou Lamoriello has made another move. The first reaction I noticed on Twitter was how much the Devils gave up. Mr. Lamoriello stated on MSG that he is not worried what we give up, just focused on what we are getting. The Devils acquired defenseman Marek Zidlicky from the Minnesota Wild. He is 35 years old and has a reputation of being the type of defenseman that can move the puck well and become involved in the offense. During his 7 NHL seasons, Zidlicky has had 5 seasons of 40+ points including a 53 point season in 2003-2004 with the Nashville Predators. In his last 2 seasons with Minnesota, Marek Zidlicky has finished with 42 and 43 points. Not bad for a defenseman. Marek Zidlicky also holds a Nashville Predators record of 35 power play points in one season.
The last two weeks across hockey blogs and Twitter, there has been a lot of buzz about Zidlicky only wanting to come to New Jersey. What a player wants doesn’t always transpire, but in this case it worked out. I personally feel that it is exciting when players WANT to play for a team – it means they are enthusiastic, energized and ready to contribute. What additionally makes me comfortable with this move is Zidlicky’s experience with Elias. These two players have won an Olympic Medal as well as 2 medals in the World Championships with Czech Republic National team.
Marek Zidlicky’s NHL Totals: Games 507, Goals 60, Assists 224, Points 284
The IIHF World Championship continued this week and even though Team USA is out, we’ve still got a few guys to root for.
This week opened up on Wednesday with the Czech Republic’s shut out win over the United States sending Mark Fayne and Nick Palmieri home.
Mattias Tedenby helped Sweden knock down Czech Republic, and Patrick Elias’ two goals, with an assist during their 5-2 win on Friday. Sweden will now face Finland with Anssi Salmela for the Gold medal on Sunday in Bratislava.
Including Elias’ two goals on Friday, he has put up four goals and five assists overall, leading the team with nine points in eight games.
Salmela and Finland shut out Russia 3-0, leaving Ilya Kovalchuk battling Elias and the Czech Republic for Bronze. Kovy scored the game winning goal in Russia’s victory over Canada (sorry Zajac!), it was his first goal of the tournament. He has earned six points in eight games with one goal and five assists.
The final games will both be played on Sunday, May 15th. The battle for Bronze will be at 10AM ET and Gold at 2:30PM ET.
Here’s this weeks breakdown.
Wednesday, May 11
Czech Republic 4, USA 0 – Elias, 2 SOG
Sweden 5, Germany 2
Thursday, May 12
Finland 4, Norway 1 – Salmela, 4 SOG
Russia 2, Canada 1 – Kovalchuk, GWG
Friday, May 13
Sweden 5, Czech Republic 2 – Elias, 2g; Tedenby, 1a
Finland 3, Russia 0
Congrats to Team USA on securing their spot in the next round of the IIHF World Championship with a 4-2 win over Norway! Our very own Nick Palmieri had the game-tying and game-winning goals to help bring USA out from under their 0-2 deficit and into the second round.
Palmieri had 8 goals this past season with the Devils and is one of our upcoming star rookies, so I’m not surprised to see him doing well in the World Championship.
The Czech Republic have also advanced to the second round with a 6-0 win over Denmark with the help of Patrick Elias with an assist.