This is one that just hurts beyond belief when one watches but what I saw Sergei Kostitsyn commit tonight gets you benched for a long time. Those who are Nashville fans have probably seen the video a hundred times already or it feels like it. However, it is not the only angle in this little story.
We took a further look at this from the standpoint of a writer in the purest sense. Here is the video in its entirety and there was no editing involved whatsoever.
This just screamed giving up in the worst form which is the most obvious scenario. Rightfully, Sergei Kostitsyn is going to be grilled for this and for a long time but his overall dip in play is probably more concerning. Quietly Kostitsyn has only taken 20 shots, with two of them finding the back of the net. Honestly, the Belarus native only averages about 1.3 to 1.4 shots per game but a 0.75 shots per game clip will not get it done in Nashville especially with the injuries to Patric Hornqvist. It just seems that anything that can go wrong for Kostitsyn has this year. Consider that he seemingly has so many shots blocked or ones that go wide even when there are opportunities. That is again, the bigger problem.
Yes there will be all these quotes from Barry Trotz, the team and probably Kostitsyn himself. However, this Nashville team cannot get all three phases to consistently play together for more than a game or two it seems. This play was just a microcosm of Nashville’s entire season. You could see it from the communication breakdown on the bench all the way to Sam Gagner with the beautiful setup for the goal. Shorthanded goals like this happen all the time but the buzz and the blowup garners the attraction and merriment of fans and media alike. Some will even demand his shipment to the KHL. Yes they really will.
Sergei Kostitsyn: Is this all on you?
Simply from watching the video, the answer is no. Yes it did lead to a 2 on 1 which led to a shorthanded goal but Pekka Rinne is in net. Oh wait! This is the guy who has been yanked the last two outings and looked rather shaky even in this game. By the way, Rinne allowed three goals on 21 shots in this contest. Previously he coughed up six goals on only 14 shots faced. The system that Trotz and Nashville have flourished so well with is part of their undoing this year. When the big splash was never made and waiver tries were given out like candy, those were signs of danger and trouble. When there is a low margin for error combined with a system that has shown signs of wear, the following is now the result.
True adversity in Nashville is something that has not been seen very often. The expectations are higher so naturally these “mistakes” are magnified. This will be the one thing that is pointed out by everyone, especially if Nashville misses the playoffs. When you rely on timely offense too often and too much on a goalie to bail you out, a team plays with fire. Nashville should have known better but to blame Sergei Kostitsyn entirely is sheer lunacy. Was he lazy? Yes. Was it a boneheaded move? Yes. Is he the reason why Nashville is struggling right now? No, he is far from the only reason. That is the reality and state of the Nashville Predators. Nashville, it’s your move! Save the season or the April 28th tee time awaits!