Penalties have been a major issue for Islanders forward Casey Cizikas this year. He's served 46 penalty minutes which is already a career-high for him, in 63 games played. Last night, he had two more penalties to add to his long list of trips to the box.
In the third period, Casey Cizikas clearly boarded Brendan Smith and was rightly sent to the box.
Not only was Cizikas given two minutes for boarding but he was also suspended for a game as well. This was the first time that Casey Cizikas has had a hearing or a suspension, so it's not like he's a repeat offender, it's just strange to see him become so prone to penalties this year.
A couple years ago, Cizikas had 41 penalty minutes in 48 games but due to three majors that number looks a lot higher than what it really is. There were 12 games where he received a penalty. This year, he's already up to 15 games where he's been penalized and there are six games where he's received four penalty minutes or more.
Since the all star break in particular it's been a massive issue. He has 34 penalty minutes in 31 games. Again, Cizikas is not a dirty player, it just seems that for whatever reason penalties have caught up to him this year.
We'll see what the Islanders elect to do with the lineup as Casey Cizikas won't be able to play tonight in St. Louis. My expectation would be for them to essentially run three lines and have a rotation of centers with Matt Martin and Ross Johnston. Heck, they might even skate seven defensemen, that wouldn't be new for Barry Trotz or the Islanders.
I'm a little surprised that this got a one game suspension but I don't hold the decision against the NHL. It was a dirty play, and Casey Cizikas should know better.