I never mentioned this last night but during the 3rd period of the game last night Andrei Kostitsyn didn't play one freaking shift!
Fans to Jacques: WTF are you doing? Trying to ruin the kid?
If Habs management think that benching a player who actually has the ability to score a clutch goal is the right way to motivate him then they better start re-thinking their game plan. I understand that Andrei made a bad pass that cost us the 3rd goal but that was far from the worst play of the night. I seen many give aways and lost battles in the Habs own end that could have cost them just as dearly. Yet, none of those seem to have punished as severely.
Not only was Andrei very good in the Calgary game but he was the lone Hab to score in the Vancouver debacle and the only Hab besides Carey Price to battle for a full 60 minutes that night.
An astute observation from a commenter on www.Habsinsideout.com:
"If Jacques Martin thinks that benching Andrei Kostitsyn every time he floats for a while or makes a mistake is the appropriate solution, let's just spare the drama and trade him now, even if it is for pennies on the dollar. This was just an absolutely stupid manouever...AK46 was one of the better forwards in Calgary and perhaps the only guy that showed up in Vancouver. Which of the guys that played with their heads up their butt in Vancouver got benched? How many periods has Pacioretty been benched for? Latendresse? Lapierre? All of these guys have been playing inconsistently to begin the season, being largely invisible with flashes of good play. Yet only one guy has been publicly admonished..."
Now I am sure some of you will say ... "Comon .. Andrei was drafted before Jeff Carter and Ryan Getzlaf. He should be playing much better then he is" .....
To that I will say ... "I agree with you 100% ... BUT ... there are a couple other things to consider in this situation. So, lets have a look at those things" ....
1. His Brother - There is no way you can tell me that Andrei is not affected by this situation. It would be like only one of the Sedins requesting a trade. I don't know how much contact he has with his brother but I bet it's tough having to listen to talk about not being on the big club. If the Habs do end up trading Sergei (I don't think they will) 1 of 3 things will happen.
- We include Andrei in the trade
- Andrei comes alive without the presence of his brother
- Andrei stays the same and gets traded anyway
2. His Line - I'm not speaking about Plekanec here. I am referring to the revolving door wingers that Martin has chosen for that spot. If Cammalleri is going to remain on the top line with Gionta & Gomez then please pick 1 person to fill the role and stick with him!! It takes time for a line to develop chemistry. Kostitsyn may be expected to score goals but he also passes the puck quite well. That being said, the other winger chosen for that role needs to also possess a natural goal scoring ability. Right now, that is not Travis Moen, Matt D'Agostini nor Max Pac. In my opinion, only Latendresse possesses the skills needed for that role. Put Dags on the 4th line (Sergei will replace him soon anyway), Max Pac and Moen on the 3rd line (Perhaps they can both re-energize Lapierre) and let Laddy have a crack at the 2nd line. Could it work? It's worth a try at least ...
So, in conclusion, I don't agree with the Kostitsyn benching for the entire period, maybe a couple of shifts, but not the full period. And please, before you start making conclusions about Andrei, lets at least give him some time for these two situations to play out and if after that he continues to perform under expectations then let Bob Gainey do with him as he will ...