Tag Archives: Sergei Kostitsyn

Bruins Sweep Penguins

Pens gone in four.

Two goals scored in the four games.

Sidney Crosby and Evgeny Malkin held pointless in the series.

For 48 games in the regular season, Pittsburgh was the powerhouse, not Boston. But the Bruins played great from top to bottom, the goalie stopped every puck but two, and Gregory Campbell personified what his team was made of when he stayed out for his shift with a broken leg in game three and then was helped to the dressing room, gone for the playoffs.

I thought it was an awesome moment. A true playoff moment. Sort of a Bobby Baun moment.

Can you see either of the Kostitsyn brothers doing this?

I hate the Bruins, but they’ve been pretty darn impressive. Would the Habs have had a chance against this team if they would’ve met up at some point?  Not with the way the Beantowners have played, which is tough and smart and almost mistake-free. And of course the goalie, who could have gone for an extended coffee break because our guys can never hit the net anyway.

Maybe Jarome Iginla should have chosen Boston after all, like everyone thought, including Boston. Instead, Pittsburgh gave Calgary a 2013 first-round draft pick and two college players to corral the former star, and maybe it wasn’t the shrewdest move by both Pens G.M. Ray Shero or Iginla.

Iginla thought the Pens had the best chance to win it all. Oops!

It also shows loud and clear that a stacked team isn’t always the best team. And is it possible that the addition of Iginla, Brenden Morrow, and defenceman Douglas Murray somehow tampered with delicate team chemistry?

Oh, well. Live and learn for all concerned. And because I’m a terrible person, I think it’s quite a classic and fun moment when this team, that was expected to steamroll to the Cup, falls flat on their face and bows out in such embarrassing fashion.

It’s the spice of life. It’s what makes the hockey world go round.

 

 

 

 

Make My Day And Stay

Ilya Kovalchuk, Alex Ovechkin, Sergei Kostitsyn, Pavel Datsyuk and a few other Russians are now saying they might just stay in Russia. Are you feeling bad about this?

Nobody forced these guys to come to North America, and when they did come, the vaults were opened and they dove in head first, drooling and panting. Now they’re saying that if some kind of pay cut happens from this ridiculous lockout, they just might stay home.

Please stay home. We really don’t want you. You only play for the money anyway. The Stanley Cup isn’t at the top of your list, money is. After that it’s the Olympics and World Championships. Then some borscht and black bread. The Stanley Cup comes in fifth, after money, Olympics, the Worlds, and borscht and black bread. Ungrateful swine, the bunch of you. North American hockey will survive without you, thank you very much.

Is this the end result of the wonderful ’72 Summit Series, Canada Cups, and the New Year’s Eve Habs-Red Army clash in 1975, all of which caused closed doors to slowly open, and years later you marched in to a handshake and wheelbarrows packed full of Amerikanski dollars? What a sad legacy to such historic hockey meetings. Maybe the Summit Series and Canada Cups should never have happened and we wouldn’t have ever had to hear the sorry names of Kostitsyn and Kovalchuk and the others.

Even my wife, who is from Russia, says they’re only here for the money, that they’re not like Canadians, that they don’t have hockey in their blood. In fact, she’s not even surprised when I tell her these guys are threatening to stay home. “Let ‘em” she says. “They’re a different bunch.” And this from a Russian lady who loves her homeland but has these dudes all figured out.

You took jobs from players here and now you’re taking jobs from players there. And Sergei Kostitsyn, it was good riddance when you left Montreal, and now I hope I can say it again if your promise to leave this continent permanently comes to pass. Kovalchuk? Your 15-year, 100 million dollar deal with New Jersey might not cut the mustard if you have to give up some? And did you really have to take the captaincy for SKA in St. Petersburg? Wasn’t the old captain there doing his job? Ovechkin? You’re overrated, teams have figured you out, and now you sulk like a Russian baby. And your acting in commercials is much better suited for Russian TV, believe me. Frankly, I find you more than slightly goofy.

Please stay in the old country. All of you. Make Russian fans happy. And while you’re making them happy, you’ll be making me and many others happy too.

Ottawa Ousted

And there goes Canada’s last hope. The Sens lose 2-1 to New York in game 7.

Milan Michalek should be made to change numbers. He missed three or four great chances from about 15 feet out during the Sens’ torrid charge with about six minutes remaining, and he reminded no one of the Rocket, Gordie Howe, and Bobby Hull, who also donned the famous number. There were times in minor hockey when I would have a conniption fit if I couldn’t get number 9.

Michalek should wear 83 or something instead.

The Sens are dead, although they played a fine series from what I saw and read, and they should be proud of themselves. They showed the hockey world they’re a really good team and should enjoy a fine season next year, maybe just six or eight points below the Habs.

Thus far, L.A. has surprised many by thumping the Canucks in just 5 games. Washington has ended Boston’s mediocre one-year run as Cup champs. Phoenix has taken out the Hawks in 6 games and if the Coyotes go deep, Gary Bettman is going to have wet dreams. Detroit is gone after 5 games against Nashville, home of the Kostitsyn brothers, and Hal Gill, who has yet to play in the post season. St. Louis clobbered the Sharks in 5 games, and the one game I was able to see, in a restaurant, there were a ton of excellent fights. And Philadelphia put a bushel full of pucks behind Marc-Andre Fleury, including 8 twice, in their 6 game elimination of the heavily-favoured Pittsburgh Penguins.

And last but not least, New Jersey took out Florida 3-2 in double overtime of game seven, and I can’t really say why but I had almost no interest in seeing either team carry on. But I guess it’s fine the Devils won because Larry Robinson is an assistant coach, and who doesn’t like Larry?

All in all it’s been a good opening round, mainly because Boston lost. And I still have no idea who will or should win the whole thing.

Kostitsyn Joins His Brother

The Canadiens have shipped the terribly inconsistent Andrei Kostitsyn to the Nashville Predators for a 2013 2nd round draft pick, plus the 5th round pick the Habs had traded to the Preds in the Hal Gill deal. Kostitsyn joins his brother Sergei, who was also a nonachiever as a member of the Habs.

I found it funny in reading ESPN’s Scott Burnside’s assessment that Kostitsyn brings size and skill to the Predators. Sure he does. He brings decent size every night, and skill every six or eight games or so. He was one of the most frustrating players on the team. All kinds of talent, with a great shot. But he usually played with his head in the clouds and showed us nothing on a nightly basis, except of course when he’d give us one of those rare moments when he looked like the second coming of Valeri Kharlamov.

Now he takes his act to Nashville where he’ll probably be fine for awhile and then settle in and show why he was cut loose. He’s an enigma who only helped his struggling team on occasion and is one of the big reasons Montreal became such a bust this season.

Scott Gomez said recently that Andrei Kostitysn was the most well-liked player on the team. That’s fine for the dressing room and team dinners and pops in the hotel pub. But on the ice he didn’t get the job done and on far too many nights you had to look long and hard to see if he was actually playing.

Yes, I’ll take a 2nd round pick for this guy. It isn’t a lot for a 3 million plus guy who was supposed to be a deadly sniper, but he wasn’t a deadly sniper. He wasn’t much of anything. And so a 2nd rounder it is.

I just hope there’s more to come.

The Silence Is Deafening

Things are quiet in Habsville at the moment.

The Canadiens were vanquished by the Boston Bruins in the first round not long ago and went quietly into the night, but in 2010, we all know what we did to those two so-called favourites before eventually being dispatched by the Philadelphia Flyers. (Remember how happy we were for awhile?)

A year ago, things were cooking. Now, everything has cooled off and collecting mould.

Montreal providing thrills and spills in the playoffs wasn’t the only news a year ago. When all was said and done back then, Sergei Kostitsyn was sent to Nashville, PK Subban was a late-season call up, Benoit Pouliot signed a one year, $1.45 million contract, Tomas Plekanec inked a six year deal worth 30 million, and Jaroslav Halak was shipped to St. Louis, making Carey Price the undisputed number one goalie which turned out to be just fine.

This year at this time? William and Kate got hitched, Bin Laden was erased, Stephen Harper won a majority government, Boston is up two games to nothing over the Flyers, Tampa Bay is also up two games to Washington and just may be the ones to get Caps coach Bruce Boudreau fired, and Vancouver fans still don’t know if they should be on or off the bandwagon.

But Habs news? This isn’t normal.

The Ones That Got Away

Unfortunately, Andrei Kostitsyn won’t be winning the scoring championship this year as he only has a measly ten goals and thirteen assists so far.

There’s just no denying he’s one of the culprits not helping “The Team That Scoring Forgot.”

He may, however, be the best player to ever come out of Belarus, although kid brother Sergei has eleven goals in Nashville, so even that’s debatable.

The depressing facts are:

Andrei Kostitsyn was selected 10th in the 2003 draft.

After him came Jeff Carter at 11th, Zach Parise - 17th, Ryan Getzlaf - 19th, Mike Richards - 24th, Patrice Bergeron - 45th, and Shea Weber - 49th, all of whom show character whether they’re scoring or not, as opposed to Kostitsyn who is just a body who goes on the ice, skates around for a minute, and then goes off again.

This shows that scouting is not an exact science, which Bob Davidson and John McLellan could vouch for after they travelled to Russia before the 1972 Summit Series and came back saying the Russians can’t shoot and have a very weak goaltender named Vladislav Tretiak.

How Sweet It Is!

Years ago Orillia had two pool halls, the Top Hat and Dino’s.

The Top Hat was a dark, dingy, filthy, smelly hole full of non-desirables who spit and fought and blew snot out their noses. Dino’s was new, bright, with beautiful tables, and it was a fine place to go and play pool after skipping school. And on weekends, Dino’s was the source to find all the good parties in town.

Just a nice place, unlike the cave-like Top Hat.

The Philadelphia Flyers are the Top Hat. An unlikeable herd of greaseballs with thugs with names like Powe and Shelley. Even players who can actually play, like Scott Hartnell and Mike Richards, might as well have worn black leather jackets and swung chains. And the whining from these dudes reminds me of my kids when they were about six and had to go to bed before they wanted to.

Gawd I wish we had another Larry Robinson to make these guys get down on their knees and plead for mercy.

Try as these Flyers may to intimidate and disturb and live up to the reputation of their forefathers, the ridiculous Broad Street Bullies, all they are are players who manage to hurt and push around and attempt to be the toughest kid on the block.

But they still have to play hockey, and sometimes their sleeziness backfires. Like tonight, as Carey Price and the boys shut’em down 3-0, never backed away from the rough stuff, buried their chances, and continue their merry way up the ladder to success.

A week ago analysts said it was going to be tough-going for the Habs after playing far too many weaker teams to begin the season. Now wait, the experts said, the Habs have to face the formidable Vancouver Canucks, Boston Bruins, and Philadelphia Flyers. Just watch them fall back to earth with a thud.

How wrong they were. The Canadiens beat the Canucks 2-0, the Bruins 3-1, and the Flyers 3-0. And throw in the Carolina Hurricanes for good measure, a team we pounded 7-2. ‘Nuff said. And this shutout tonight against the Flyers comes directly after Andrei Markov goes down for the count.

Just a fine display, although the Canadiens were outshot 41-28 by the greasy swines. Power play goals by Mike Cammalleri and Brian Gionta nailed the coffin shut. Tomas Plekanec also scored and skated miles. Maxim Lapierre showed jam by taking on the low-life Powe and although he didn’t exactly win, he won in my book.

Travis Moen played a fine and aggressive game and also provided tidbits of offence. Gionta, along with his power play goal also had two assists. And PK Subban was all over the place and it’s only six more months or so before he’s announced as Rookie of the Year.

If the Habs meet up again with these greasers in the Conference final as they did last year, things will be different.

Random Notes:

Scary moment when Jeff Halpern hit the boards, his helmet came off, and his head hit the ice as he toppled over. He seemed to be alert as he was led off and here’s hoping all’s well. It doesn’t surprise me when one or two guys get hurt playing the Flyers, who, by the way, have tremendously ugly uniforms.

Carey Price – I am as dust under your feet.

Next up – Thursday, when Sergei Kostitsyn and his Nashville Predators come to town.

Could A Dog Or Two Help?

Dustin Boyd, who came over from Nashville in the Sergei Kostitsyn trade, has been put on waivers by the Canadiens and so much for getting anything for Sergei, as the other guy in the deal, Dan Ellis, decided he could make more money elsewhere and currently wears a Tampa Bay jersey.

That’s fine. Alex Auld did the job his first time out and we expect more of the same. Tampa can have Ellis.

So now what, in regards to skaters up front? On the farm, young Ian Schultz, who, along with Lars Eller was part of the Halak deal with St. Louis, has notched o points in 7 games so far in Hamilton.

But David Desharnais has 4 goals and 11 assists and Max Pacioretty has 3 goals and 9 assists, both after 11 games, as the leaders of the Bulldogs so far this year. And Yannick Weber, although a defenceman, is right behind with 7 goals and 4 assists, also after 11 games.

We need scoring. Could one of these help?

How Are Some Of The Ex’s Doing?

Jaroslav Halak, as we all know, is playing extremely well in St. Louis with a meagre 1.71 GAA, two shutouts, and a record of 6 wins, 1 loss, and 1 overtime loss. 

And how are some of the other ex-Habs doing in their NHL careers?

In Anaheim, Saku Koivu has 2 goals and 2 assists, Kyle Chipchura 0-0, and Paul Mara 0-0.

Michael Ryder in Boston has 2 goals and 3 assists.

In Calgary, Alex Tanguay sits at 4-4.

Tom Kostopoulos in Carolina is 1-1 and Sergei Samsonov is 2-0.

Dallas’ Mike Ribiero is 0-9.

Chris Higgins in Florida is 1-1.

In Minnesota, Guillaume Latendresse has notched 3-3.

Sergei Kostitsyn is 1-0 in Nashville and his teammate Francis Bouillon is 0-2.

The Senators’ Alex Kovalev has 3 goals and 2 assists so far.

Dominic Moore with Tampa Bay is 4-1.

And in Toronto, Mike Komisarek is 1-3 and Mikhail Grabovski 0-4.

Give Andrei A Letter

With the goalie issue almost decided, (if Carey Price and Dan Ellis sign pieces of paper), Tomas Plekanec on board, and Sergei Kostitsyn dealt to Nashville, the other linguering story in the wings is the story of the enigma – Andrei Kostitsyn. 

How will he play this year? Is he ready to huff and puff every game, and play like he wants his team to win and can do something about it?

Andrei K. managed 15 goals and 18 assists in 59 games, and then 3 goals and 5 assists in 19 playoff games. These are very mediocre numbers from a guy expected to be an offensive threat.

Underachiever? It’s Andrei Kostitsyn.

But now with brother Sergei, who may well have been a high-maintenance brother, gone to Nashville, maybe Andre can relax and not have to worry about kid brother and become more of one of the boys. It could be the best thing, this saying goodbye to Sergei.

Maybe we’ll see a dynamic season from Andrei. He’s got all the tools – great shot, good skater, fine stickhandler. It’s only his brain that needs to be tweaked.

A good coach is one who can deal with players the way they need to be dealt with. Some need to be yelled at, others need to be patted on the back. Give Andrei Kostitsyn the “A” on his jersey and the few responsibilities that go with it, even though he doesn’t deserve such an honour, and the psychology of it all might put his career back on track.

Give Andrei a letter, and while they’re at it, give someone the captaincy too. I think we all want, and missed, a captain of the Montreal Canadiens.