Sergei Kostitsyn's Playoff Disappearing Act
As if there weren't enough interesting storylines running through the playoffs, like Philadelphia and (surprisingly) Detroit being down 3-0 in a hurry in their respective series'. Or Dustin Byfuglien having a sweet last name and ownership of Roberto Luongo's goalie soul. Now, with the Montreal Canadiens already struggling to find enough offense to beat the Penguins four times in seven games, comes this wonderful nugget of news:
MONTREAL — When backup goalie Carey Price, dripping with sweat, got to the Montreal dressing room after staying on late at the team's game-day skate with others who won't start Game 3 of their playoff series against Pittsburgh, fresh-looking Sergei Kostitsyn was walking by.
"Why weren't you on the ice?" an angry Price asked Kostitsyn, who also won't play.
Kostitsyn mumbled something and kept walking, and Price called after him "too good?"
This type of behavior does not bode well for Sergei's future. Add to that the news that Segei, the younger Kostitsyn, was a healthy scratch in the last two games against Washington. Then on top on that, in games two and three of the current series, he was scratched in favor of veteran Mathieu Darche, who played a grand total of one 54-second shift in those two games combined.
Given this, it can't come as a terrible surprise that Sergei probably won't be re-signed as a restricted free agent this off-season, breaking up one of two pairs of foreign-born siblings to play multiple NHL seasons together. Some team will get a good buy-low candidate for next season...if Sergei can prove that his troubles in Montreal are related to attitude, not ability.
Of course, Montreal has larger problems than this one. the better Kostitsyn, Andrei, has one point since a hat trick in Game Two against Washington. Free-agent-to-be Tomas Plekanec has one goal and three assists in the last seven games.
The Canadiens better hope that something like this is an isolated incident, and not some microcosm of the team's overall attitude, or they are certainly doomed to a speedy playoff exit.