Radulov, Kostitsyn Expected Back
(5/6/12) The Nashville Predators and coach Barry Trotz have made it known that there is a "high probability" the team will invite Alexander Radulov (1G, 6 points) and Andrei Kostitsyn (3G, 4 points) back into the fold for Monday's potential elimination game against Phoenix. The Predators currently trail the the Coyotes 3-1.
Uh, you don't say?!
Let's face it, sitting out the duo for a second straight game was a dumb move, and we speculate that the mood inside the Predators' locker room is divided. In case you are unaware, despite already sitting Radulov and Kostitsyn out for Game 3 after the pair apparently missed curfew - a game that the Preds won - coach Trotz proceeded to bench the two for Game 4, believing he could win again without them. Nashville lost and now faces elimination. Was Trotz going to sit these guys out all the way if the Preds kept winning? In the NHL, depth is as important as defense when it comes to winning cups.
If the Predators go on to lose the series, which they very well might now that the Coyotes can smell blood, Trotz's decision to bench Radulov and Kostitsyn in Game 4 may go down as the biggest mistake in franchise history, one that could burn Nashville for years to come. Remember, Radulov and Kostitsyn are players who the Preds went and got at the end of the year with the hopes of putting the team within striking distance of a championship. Forgive them, at least don't sit them out in Game 4, for not being the heart and soul of the team after only just arriving.
After sitting out for two straight, Trotz is claiming that Kostitsyn and Radulov will now be motivated; that certainly would've been the case after missing Game 3, but we suspect that now they may actually be disheartened, and getting them back in for Game 5 may come too late. Fantasy owners certainly hope not.
One other roster note: Rostislav Klesla faces a Sunday morning hearing for his boarding penalty on Matt Halischuk in Game 4.