THE ANDREI KOSTITSYN PROBLEM

May 3rd, 2010 | By | Category: Canadiens, Stanley Cup Playoffs

There was an optional practice for the Canadiens today at the Brossard training centre.  Among those on the ice, Andrei Kostitsyn, who, on his third shift of the game, was too casual on a play that led to the opening goal of the game and found himself nailed to the bench for the final 55 minutes and 22 seconds of the game.

It was a body of work, not just the lazy effort on the Matt Cooke goal that led to his exile.  Kostitsyn’s ‘moment” in the playoff sun was game two of the Washington series when he scored three goals and an assist I that 6-5 overtime loss.  Despite four his four points, Kostitsyn was even in the plus-minus rating because he was on the ice for three of Washington ‘s goals including the one that tied the game  with 1:21 left.

Within two games, Kostitsyn was replaced by Travis Moen on the Plekanec line.  Since then he has one assists and is minus-three.   His ice time dropped to ten minutes by game one of the Pittsburgh series and 1:43 yesterday in game two. 

Now the question is, can he recover a useful spot in the lineup?  Kostitsyn started the game on the Habs fourth line with rookie Ben Maxwell and Mathieu Darche.  All three were benched after their third shift for different rasons.    Maxwell is still too green to handle the pressures of playoff hockey; Darche is too slow.  Kostitsyn is taking the easy way while the rest of teammates are all-in. 

Kostitsyn, considering his tools, is likely to be given another chance.  But it may be his last chance.  Considering, the salary cap problems the team will be  facing in the off season and his 3.25 million dollar paycheck, it may truly be his last chance.

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