Thanks for that, Sergei Kostitsyn

Jonathan Willis
March 17 2013 10:52PM

It was a bad night to be Sergei Kostitsyn.

The Shorthanded Goal

We start in the Oilers zone, with the pass going to Sergei Kostitsyn (74 for Nashville) at the point. Unfortunately for Kostitsyn, the puck is bouncing, and will end up hopping over his stick.

Sam Gagner (89 for Edmonton) picks up on this immediately. I’ve had mixed feelings about Gagner’s work on the penalty kill, but one thing he does do is challenge aggressively when this kind of opportunity arises.

Gagner, who takes some flak for his skating from time to time, starts off a step behind but beats Kostitsyn cleanly to the puck. Now it’s a 2-on-2 situation; Shea Weber (6 for Nashville) is between Gagner and the net; Lennart Petrell (37 for Edmonton) is behind Gagner but clear of any of the other Predators.

And here’s Sergei Kostitsyn shrugging off the lost race with Gagner and putting his hand in the air to indicate somebody should replace him on the ice. Hilariously, at the bottom of the screen Nashville head coach Barry Trotz is pointing at Petrell, but Kostitsyn isn’t looking at him. The assistant coach on the left side of the bottom of the screen is shaking his arm vigorously and probably yelling; Kostitsyn is oblivious. The coach's motions will get more frenetic as the play proceeds.

And now it’s a clear 2-on-1.

Weber holds back to play the shot a bit – Gagner’s in a vicious position, as he’ll have a glorious shot if Weber just plays the pass and leaves Rinne to take Gagner. Weber tries to stick check Gagner and as his stick flicks low Gagner makes the pass to Petrell. Roman Josi (59 for Nashville) at the bottom of the screen has just come on for the Predators, and can thank Kostitsyn for the minus he’s about to receive here.

Petrell blasts the puck by the goaltender.

It's an ugly play for Nashville, and one that Kostitsyn will doubtless have trouble living down. Likely it was just a tired player trying to get to the bench, but (as he admits a little further down) even without knowing Petrell was in the picture he should have kept pressuring Gagner as the Oilers' penalty-killer entered the Predators' end. It's a rarity to see such a blatant miscue by a forward in an NHL game.

The Quotes

Ralph Krueger:

I never speak about the other [team’s] players, the decisions they make. I was just pleased that the group came to play like this today and that our specialty teams decided the game. That was really a good thing for the group.

Barry Trotz:

Sergei Kostitsyn

I made a mistake. I went to change, I should have backchecked, but didn’t see the second guy was coming there… Even if it was a 1-on-1, I should go back, it doesn’t matter if I was tired. I should have gone back and pressured him from behind.

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Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, Sportsnet, the Edmonton Journal and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.
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#51 Will
March 18 2013, 01:20PM
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@DSF

How you see the wild as anything but mediocre must take a giant pair of rose coloured glasses. Yes they lead, but are tied in points with Van, which happens to only be four points ahead of the Oilers.

I'll give you that he has played good, but not to how much he is getting paid. Nor has the team as a whole met expectations. Moreover, with the cap going down, and these players still getting their monster contracts, this team is going to be hamstringed. The only thing they have going is their deep prospect pool isn't living up to expectations so resigning these won't command huge contracts.

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#52 Quicksilver ballet
March 18 2013, 01:21PM
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@DSF

Most of those before Weiss and Versteeg were still in the lineup (first 20 games) as well.

After seeing things unfold this yr the way they have. Do you think Oilers management is in tankage mode still?

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#53 Jon
March 18 2013, 01:22PM
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Curcro wrote:

@Jon

You are making up rules that don't exist. I referee and I don't ever recall that being mentioned in any discussion of Too Many Men or any type Bench Minor. I could be wrong, but I did double check.

NHL Rules for your reference.

http://www.nhl.com/ice/page.htm?id=26485

Maybe you're right - maybe I am making up rules. I swore that was a rule and I was going from memory but I can't find it anywhere. Maybe it was an international thing or maybe the whole thing was an elaborate dream on my part. Apologies.

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#54 Will
March 18 2013, 01:31PM
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@Jon

In the replay, someone from the other end of the bench did come out. Even if he came out right when Kostitsyn put his hand up for a change, I still think the play would have blown right by the guy.

There just isn't anyway to redeem Kostitsyn's play, especially when his coached are going ballistic to stay on the ice.

It was almost as though he was mad at the team and coaches and just said screw you guys.

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#55 Jon
March 18 2013, 01:37PM
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Will wrote:

In the replay, someone from the other end of the bench did come out. Even if he came out right when Kostitsyn put his hand up for a change, I still think the play would have blown right by the guy.

There just isn't anyway to redeem Kostitsyn's play, especially when his coached are going ballistic to stay on the ice.

It was almost as though he was mad at the team and coaches and just said screw you guys.

I agree that there is no forgiving SK's play. It was pure laziness.

For some reason, however, I thought there was a rule against blatant attempts to gain a positional advantage from a line change, as someone suggested could have happened. It seems I grabbed that notion from thin air, because I can't find it anywhere.

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#56 DSF
March 18 2013, 01:39PM
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Will wrote:

How you see the wild as anything but mediocre must take a giant pair of rose coloured glasses. Yes they lead, but are tied in points with Van, which happens to only be four points ahead of the Oilers.

I'll give you that he has played good, but not to how much he is getting paid. Nor has the team as a whole met expectations. Moreover, with the cap going down, and these players still getting their monster contracts, this team is going to be hamstringed. The only thing they have going is their deep prospect pool isn't living up to expectations so resigning these won't command huge contracts.

Are you nuts?

The Wild have gone from 12th to 3rd, have a goal differential of +2 compared to last season's -46 and have been lights out after the 10 game mark.

Considering they turned over 40% of their roster in the offseason, it's not surprising it took them 10 games to adjust.

If not for the unexpected dominance of Chicago and Anaheim, they would be challenging for the division title.

And the Wild won't be "ham stringed" (sic) by the cap.

They'll buy our Heatley in the offseason giving them about $20 million in free cap space.

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#57 DSF
March 18 2013, 01:40PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

Most of those before Weiss and Versteeg were still in the lineup (first 20 games) as well.

After seeing things unfold this yr the way they have. Do you think Oilers management is in tankage mode still?

No.

They just don't know what they're doing.

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#58 They're $hittie
March 18 2013, 01:47PM
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according to DSF logic that Mueller is better than Yakupov, I guess everyone in the NHL is better than Granlund especial Paajarvi who has no hands.

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#59 Will
March 18 2013, 01:51PM
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@DSF

WOW 12th to 3rd. That is a very impressive run. They must have had a huge string of wins, and stellar performances from their top guys to make a whopping 4 POINT JUMP.

By that logic, when the Oilers go from 14 to 3rd I expect to hear some of your wonderful praise. Perhaps you could say how Horcoff is instrumental in the Oilers' success. Or maybe you have a stat of how many games you expected it would take MPS to become a phenomenal player.

Or perhaps it's the fact their not on the road for a franchise high nine games.

My point here is that the north west is as tight as a bobsled race. 1st to last is being measured by degrees (though that is starting to widen a little bit). So saying a player has been dominating and that has helped a team vault up the standings, when that vault is only 4 points, seems a little hyperbolic. In the same way a gust of wind might cause a downhill skier to place 4th, so to has various arbitrary factors contributed to the current Northwest standings.

Credit where credit is due, the wild have been a much better team this year. But I think it helps that Vancouver has been a much worse team. As have many teams in the west outside of Chicago and Anaheim.

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#60 Will
March 18 2013, 01:59PM
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They're $hittie wrote:

according to DSF logic that Mueller is better than Yakupov, I guess everyone in the NHL is better than Granlund especial Paajarvi who has no hands.

Hahhahaha. I like how he never mentions Granlund anymore. DSF is so frustrating because he seems generally intelligent about hockey, just not very objective.

Granlund has been terrible this year.

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#61 messy Eh!
March 18 2013, 03:21PM
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Suter and Parise equal financial disaster in 3 years. Suter has the worst +/- of his Career.As does Gilbert. I think the Wild will crash and burn just like last year. Gagner >Parise Yakupov> Heatley

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#62 loosemoose
March 18 2013, 03:28PM
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@DSF

higher than yesterday.

things are looking up:)

thanks bud

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#63 DSF
March 18 2013, 06:07PM
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Will wrote:

WOW 12th to 3rd. That is a very impressive run. They must have had a huge string of wins, and stellar performances from their top guys to make a whopping 4 POINT JUMP.

By that logic, when the Oilers go from 14 to 3rd I expect to hear some of your wonderful praise. Perhaps you could say how Horcoff is instrumental in the Oilers' success. Or maybe you have a stat of how many games you expected it would take MPS to become a phenomenal player.

Or perhaps it's the fact their not on the road for a franchise high nine games.

My point here is that the north west is as tight as a bobsled race. 1st to last is being measured by degrees (though that is starting to widen a little bit). So saying a player has been dominating and that has helped a team vault up the standings, when that vault is only 4 points, seems a little hyperbolic. In the same way a gust of wind might cause a downhill skier to place 4th, so to has various arbitrary factors contributed to the current Northwest standings.

Credit where credit is due, the wild have been a much better team this year. But I think it helps that Vancouver has been a much worse team. As have many teams in the west outside of Chicago and Anaheim.

You can be sure, when the Oilers go from 14th to 3rd, I'll be suitably amazed.

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#64 DSF
March 18 2013, 06:09PM
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messy Eh! wrote:

Suter and Parise equal financial disaster in 3 years. Suter has the worst +/- of his Career.As does Gilbert. I think the Wild will crash and burn just like last year. Gagner >Parise Yakupov> Heatley

Nonsense

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#65 DSF
March 18 2013, 06:13PM
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Will wrote:

Hahhahaha. I like how he never mentions Granlund anymore. DSF is so frustrating because he seems generally intelligent about hockey, just not very objective.

Granlund has been terrible this year.

Granlund is a PPG in the AHL.

Some players need an adjustment period.

He'll be fine.

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#66 2.00 AM
March 18 2013, 06:35PM
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DSF wrote:

Granlund is a PPG in the AHL.

Some players need an adjustment period.

He'll be fine.

At this point someone needs to point out why Granlund is a terrible hockey player that should be traded immediately and that the wild brass are dumb for not doing so... buy low sell high.

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#67 2.00 AM
March 18 2013, 06:37PM
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2.00 AM wrote:

At this point someone needs to point out why Granlund is a terrible hockey player that should be traded immediately and that the wild brass are dumb for not doing so... buy low sell high.

now that, if someone were to do that, would be trolling DSF, but its fine cause he does that to us all the time, so were used to it.

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#68 DSF
March 18 2013, 07:07PM
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2.00 AM wrote:

At this point someone needs to point out why Granlund is a terrible hockey player that should be traded immediately and that the wild brass are dumb for not doing so... buy low sell high.

If only he was a terrible hockey player, you would be on to something.

But he isn't.

Thing is...he is a centre and the Wild have the best centre depth in the league so there is no need to rush him.

Try this on for size:

Koivu

Cullen

Brodziak

Mitchell

Granlund

Coyle

Rupp

Konopka

That would make Hopkins weep.

The Oilers highly touted first overall pick only has 5 more points than Granlund but he has played 9 more games.

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#69 2.00 AM
March 18 2013, 07:36PM
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DSF wrote:

If only he was a terrible hockey player, you would be on to something.

But he isn't.

Thing is...he is a centre and the Wild have the best centre depth in the league so there is no need to rush him.

Try this on for size:

Koivu

Cullen

Brodziak

Mitchell

Granlund

Coyle

Rupp

Konopka

That would make Hopkins weep.

The Oilers highly touted first overall pick only has 5 more points than Granlund but he has played 9 more games.

Well, i am just asking you to remember that nothing in hockey is a sure thing. You dont know for sure that Granlund will develop to be an NHL regular. Chances are looking favourable for him right now, but anything can happen. Say what you will about the oilers prospects but use your own tools against your own prospects and you have the same uncertainty.

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#70 2.00 AM
March 18 2013, 07:37PM
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DSF wrote:

If only he was a terrible hockey player, you would be on to something.

But he isn't.

Thing is...he is a centre and the Wild have the best centre depth in the league so there is no need to rush him.

Try this on for size:

Koivu

Cullen

Brodziak

Mitchell

Granlund

Coyle

Rupp

Konopka

That would make Hopkins weep.

The Oilers highly touted first overall pick only has 5 more points than Granlund but he has played 9 more games.

and also, you call US kool aid drinkers... yeesh

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#71 DSF
March 18 2013, 07:41PM
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2.00 AM wrote:

and also, you call US kool aid drinkers... yeesh

You know the Wild are 3rd in the WC, right?

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#72 DSF
March 18 2013, 07:43PM
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2.00 AM wrote:

Well, i am just asking you to remember that nothing in hockey is a sure thing. You dont know for sure that Granlund will develop to be an NHL regular. Chances are looking favourable for him right now, but anything can happen. Say what you will about the oilers prospects but use your own tools against your own prospects and you have the same uncertainty.

Yeah, lots of things can happen on the way to Grandma's house.

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#73 2.00 AM
March 18 2013, 07:46PM
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DSF wrote:

You know the Wild are 3rd in the WC, right?

Irrelevant, its so tight that they could be fighting for their playoff lives with a 5 game drought. So much can go wrong, or right.

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