The Nashville Predators chose to hand Alexander Radulov and Andrei Kostitsyn matching one-game suspensions for violating team rules. They served their time on Wednesday, but because Nashville was able to earn a 2-0 victory on Wednesday without them, Predators coach Barry Trotz might decide not to alter his lineup.
“It’s a privilege to play in the Stanley Cup playoffs, to play for the Cup, and those guys took advantage of the privilege of playing,” said Trotz. “That’s a sacred part of the playoffs. It will be very hard to change a lot from that group.”
Jordan Tootoo and Matt Halischuk were the players that got a chance because of the suspensions and Tootoo in particular was impressive.
“He was really good tonight,” said Trotz. “He was on the puck hard. He was detailed in the defensive zone, he was detailed all over the ice in terms of the reloads and finding people. That’s the way I expect him to play. When he’s hard on people and detailed, he can have an impact on a game. And I thought he did today.”
Scratching Alexander Radulov and Andrei Kostitsyn for Game 4 would mean keeping two of their biggest offensive weapons out of the lineup. Although Radulov he might have done more harm than good lately.