The last thing any team wants to have in the playoffs is a distraction. The problem the Montreal Canadiens face is that they’ve got a distraction on their team and that distraction also has a brother that plays on the same team. Such is the case with Sergei Kostitsyn and his brother Andrei.
It started after the team’s game day skate before Game 3 of their series with the Pittsburgh Penguins:
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?”
Sergei Kostitsyn hasn’t played since Game 5 of the first round and to say he’s been in and out of the Habs perpetual doghouse would be being kind. While getting stories from the Toronto Sun may seem like sensationalist reporting, and for all intents and purposes it could be, having something come from TSN’s Bob McKenzie is something else entirely.
The bottom line, though, is that Sergei Kostitsyn has no real future with the team. But he won’t be officially banished right now because that would be a distraction in the middle of a playoff series and besides, the Canadiens don’t want do anything publicly to further diminish a clearly diminishing asset they’ll try to move in the off season.
But the fact he wasn’t skating with the team today at the game-day skate tells you everything you need to know about his status with the team.
He doesn’t have any.
Ouch. This puts Sergei’s brother Andrei in a very tough spot because he is being counted on to play big minutes and be a substantial contributor to the team. If these games and nonsense and distractions with Sergei persist, however, having him be a distraction might not be a big deal for much longer.