Sergei Kostitsyn is a tremendous hockey player.
But he’s got a pissy attitude and has walked into a head coach who can’t stand him.
Sergei hates Jacques and Jacques hates Sergei.
This adolescent feud of theirs is bad news for Habs fans.
Jacques Martin is hurting the Montreal Canadiens right now by not icing the best possible line-up. Instead of dressing Sergei, he gets nice guy Mathieu Darche to ride the pine.
For the entire game.
00:00 minutes of ice-time.
That’s just insulting.
Basically JM is telling Darche that he’s not really good enough to play but he likes him better than Sergei. Instead of being a head coach, Martin is acting like a petty teenager girl who’s made at her boyfriend.
“No Sergei, not tonight. I’m going to hang out with Mathieu tonight – at least he’s nice to me.”
But in his heart of hearts, Jacques knows that Mathieu is not the one for him. Sergei is.
He’s just too stubborn to admit it.
Sergei meanwhile is reinforcing his bad boy rep by skipping out early on practice and shrugging off his teammates.
But in his heart of hearts, he does want to play for this team. He’s just too stubborn to admit it.
It’s time for both sides to get over themselves, their egos, and do what’s good for the team.
SK74 can play on the powerplay, on the penalty kill, and is feisty and smart 5-on-5. He’s had success in the OHL, AHL, and has shown great potential in the NHL.
In 2006 his was named tournament MVP at the World Juniors (Pool B).
After playing well for HK Gomel in Belarus, Sergei moved to North America to adapt to the different style of play, mainly because he wanted to get a shot in the NHL.
During his first season with the London Knights, he was voted one of the league’s top rookies (behind John Tavares and Logan Couture). In his first OHL playoff game he notched 5 assists and a goal.
He clinched the semis with an overtime winner.
What’s that saying about big players being able to elevate their game?
In 2006-07, Kostitsyn amassed 131 points in only 59 games and led the league with 91 helpers.
That’s an average of 2.22 points per game.
Sure the 2005 7th round pick had some good linemates in Sam Gagner and Patrick Kane, (and also Dave Bolland and Rob Schremp) but Sergei is the real deal.
He’s got good hockey sense and can play both ends of the rink.
Sam Gagner thinks so:
“He can play the power play and he can kill penalties. He would play the whole five minutes (London) if the other team got a major penalty, then if we got an infraction right after, he’d play defence.”
He hits hard, won’t back down in a fight and plays bigger than he is.
Sound like anyone else on the Habs roster?
I’m not saying he’s as good as Brian Gionta or Scott Gomez, but he does have that potential.
Give him the responsibility and he’ll play hard, he’ll play smart.
Guy Boucher seemed to be getting it out of him in Hamilton.
He’s an offensively gifted, two-way impact player.
A healthy scratch 5 games in a row.
We all know that Sergei’s relationship with Jacques Martin and the Canadiens organization is strained – at best.
But at some point, both sides have to pull up their big boy pants and get over it.
Sergei is hurting his career with his attitude.
Jacques Martin is hurting the team’s chances of winning by not playing Sergei.
How long can the Habs continue to roll only 3 lines? Especially now, with Andrei Markov out, there’s going to be much more pressure on players. Without number 79, it’s going to be harder to defend in our zone and move the puck up the ice. His absence also hurts our powerplay.
Sure the first wave looks good with MAB and P.K. Subban, but what about the second unit?
Putting Josh Gorges and Roman Hamrlik on the blueline during the man-advantage isn’t going to light the lamp. The Penguins know this and will take full advantage. I love Gorges but nobody’s scared of his point shot. The Habs need backend presence with the General out of the line-up.
Sergei used to play the point on the powerplay in London?
He set the franchise record for assists?
… and he’s still in the pressbox.
Great coaches coach to a player’s strength and will put them in situations where they can succeed.
But the Habs have made it this far without him, so they don’t need him, right?
Mathieu Darche must be playing well to dress for the Canadiens, right?
What’s that you say?
Darche had exactly 00:00 of ice-time in Tuesday’s loss?
And we were lacking offense during that game?
I like Mathieu Darche.
He’s a hometown boy, went to McGill, and has been grinding out a pro-career.
He works hard, doesn’t complain and is probably an amazing teammate.
But Sergei has more, and better, skills.
The team needs a 4th line to eat up some minutes. They need more offense, more defense and more energy. Four lines spreads out the punishment.
Sergei Kostitsyn is also an asset to this organization. He moved to North America to play in the NHL, he’s adapted to the culture (or at least the language) better than his older brother. He was drafted by the Canadiens, developed by them. The NHL team that picked him 200th overall and had faith in him. He has the opportunity to play on the same team as his brother.
He doesn’t want to play in the KHL but will if he has to.
This team has lost enough assets over the past few years.
Let’s try to hold on to some.
Yes, Sergei’s attitude sucks right now but from his perspective, he’s done with this team.
Ben Maxwell gets into the line up. 1 :03 of ice-time.
Mathieu Darche gets into the line-up. Zero minutes of ice-time.
Number 74 in the pressbox again.
Sergei feels that Jacques Martin has been treating him unfairly. Each time a “lesser” player makes the line-up ahead of Sergei, this belief is reinforced.
And that attitude won’t magically change on it’s own.
Jacques has to step up and be the bigger man.
Fix this situation.
This is not how you should coach. Right now, it’s not hockey, it’s personal.
And you can’t afford these types of spats in the NHL.
Granted, Sergei is not being a good teammate right now.
He’s skipping out of practice early.
He’s walking away from conversations and responsibilities.
Teammates shouldn’t do that.
But right now Sergei doesn’t feel like part of this team.
And he doesn’t think that anything he does will draw him back into the line-up.
I believe that too.
Sergei could probably levitate during practice right now and score goals using only the power of his thoughts and Jacques Martin would still not play the kid.
Ultimately, Jacques Martin is responsible for the success of this team and the players on it.
He’s got to be man enough to do things even when he doesn’t want to.
He’s the coach, the leader.
It’s his job to get the most out of this team.
And team includes very player – even Sergei Kostitsyn.
It’s not the time of year to hold grudges and make decisions out of spite.
Leave the high school drama behind you.
Jacques – get over yourself and straighten things out with Sergei. Otherwise you’re just hurting the team.
Sergei – shut up and play. You’ve got your chance so make the most of it. Prove that you belong.