Nashville Predators head coach Barry Trotz met with the media following this morning’s skate and had some rather interesting things to say about the suspended duo of Alexander Radulov and Andrei Kostitsyn.
Here’s transcribed audio (from FSN Arizona’s Todd Walsh):
Reporter: “We’re all referring to this as a one-game benching for the two players, but you probably can’t predict how this is going to play out depending on tonight’s outcome — in terms of your lineup, right?
Trotz: “No, I really can’t. As I said, with our situation tonight, if [they] get it done I expect I’d probably go back with the same group — if they’re the group that gets it done.
“There’s a lot of speculation, and I’ll throw this out because it’s been asked on a lot of shows — we did not know before Game 2 [that Radulov and Kostitsyn broke curfew], we found out after Game 2, and hell would’ve had to freeze over if they would’ve played in Game 2…if I knew before. Plain and simple.
“That’s how I am, that’s how the management team is and that’s how the Nashville Predators are run. There’s a lot of speculation we knew, and that’s a bunch of crap — we didn’t.”
That last bit is key, because it goes beyond Radulov and Kostitsyn hurting the on-ice product. When Trotz and the organization start getting called out, the conversation spills over to integrity and honesty and character, three things you never like to have questioned publicly.
All of this begs the question: Win or lose tonight, do the Preds put the pair back in the lineup for Game 4?