Thanks for that, Sergei Kostitsyn

It was a bad night to be Sergei Kostitsyn.

The Shorthanded Goal

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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.

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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.

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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:

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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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  • Quicksilver ballet

    Really odd, usually it’s our Oilers making those same mistakes over and over again. Fully expected Weber to win this game on his own, but that play certainly was the turning point. Preds sure don’t appear to be the same team without that second stud anchoring the blueline.

    • DSF

      But the Wild are 🙂

      Who could have seen that coming????

      ” Fletcher estimated it would take Suter 20 games to acclimate to his new surroundings.

      If true, if it actually would take the Wild’s biggest minute-muncher 20 games to settle in, what would that do to the Wild in such a truncated season?

      “I’m sitting there thinking, ‘Twenty games is too long. If he says it’s 20, I’m going to try to make it 10,’ ” Suter said.

      Guess what? Game 11 was Feb. 9 against his old Nashville Predators. Suter assisted on both goals, including Devin Setoguchi’s overtime winner, and ever since, not only has Suter taken off, so has the Wild.

      The Wild is 11-5-1 since, and leads the Northwest Division heading into Monday night’s clash with the Canucks.

      In those 17 games, Suter has 19 points and is plus-4. He not only leads the Wild with 23 points in 27 games (Jared Spurgeon led Wild defensemen with 23 points in 70 games last season), Suter is second among all NHL defensemen in both points and assists (21).”

      • Quicksilver ballet

        Any chance you can call your buddy Talon and have him free up Gudbranson after another season of falling short of expectations, for us DSF?

        There has to come a time where a deal like this could be made and help both clubs. Florida looks to be a lock for 30th this year. Things aren’t going as planned i’d have to think for Dale. Smid and the first in 2013 (projected to be in that 7-9 range) for him?

        • DSF

          The Panthers have been decimated by injury.

          Here’s the list of games missed:

          Jovanowski – 23

          Weiss – 22

          Upshall – 21

          Versteeg – 19

          Thodore – 14

          Santorelli – 11

          Weaver – 10

          Kulikov – 9

          Gudbranson – 9

          Goc -6

          Any team would be devastated by that number of man games missed from their top line, defense and goaltending.

          Unfortunately for Tallon, the two players he was most likely to trade at the deadline, Weiss and Versteeg are out for the rest of the season.

          That Huberdeau is leading the Calder trophy race with 12 goals and 18 points is nothing short of amazing considering the team around him.

      • 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.

        • DSF

          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.

          • 24% body fat

            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.

  • DSF

    I was listening on the radio to the game and they kept talking about Horcoff not on the bench and I thought well they just traded him,Peckham,Potter and Omark for Webber.I know this would have been funnier a couple of weeks ago before all the talk of the Oilers record with Horcoff in the lineup vs out of it. Does anyone know there record with Fistric in.

    • Quicksilver ballet

      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.

        • DSF

          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.

          • DSF

            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:









            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.

          • DSF

            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.

  • 24% body fat

    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