Scott Gomez practiced with his teammates this morning for the first time in almost three weeks although he has not been cleared for any physical contact. At the same time, Andrei Kostitsyn left practice with an undisclosed injury. Gomez will not play tomorrow against Edmonton but will accompany the team to Phoenix and Nashville later in the week. Kostitsyn’s injury is in the process of being evaluated.
Posts Tagged ‘ andrei kostitsyn ’
Outside of an exhibition game, David Desharnais and Max Pacioretty had not played an entire game together since December 12th of last year. At that time they were two thirds of the most feared line in the American Hockey League. When Pacioretty was recalled by the Canadiens he was leading the AHL in goalscoring and nineteen days later when Desharnais was called up, he was the AHL points leader.
Andrei Kostitsyn gave an interview in his Belarussian hometown yesterday in which he briefly wondered what his future held with the Montreal Canadiens. Kostitsyn felt he had little or no communication with head coach Jacques Martin as he was shuffled from first line to third line as he came in and out of prolonged scoring slumps.
Andrei Kostitsyn has signed a contract renewal with the Canadiens. He would have become a restricted free agent on July first. Kostitsyn scored 20 goals and 45 points in 81 regular season. The Canadiens didn’t release the financials of the one year deal, but reports indicated the same 3.25 million dollars he received last season at the end of a three year contract. He’ll be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the coming season.
The Canadiens already have 26.12 million dollars committed in contracts to their forwards. If general manager Pierre Gauthier sticks to his past budget plan of around 23 million dollars reserved for defense and goaltending, that leaves something in the neighbourhood of 13 million dollars in cap space to fill seven remaining roster spots. Gauthier has a big puzzle to solve, with myriad options.
Everybody seems to have an opinion about what Canadiens GM Pierre Gauthier should do in order to upgrade his team’s offense. It runs the gamut from sending the unproductive Scott Gomez and the remaining three years of his contract to the Hamilton Bulldogs to signing, and then trading Andrei Kostitsyn.
Gauthier doesn’t telegraph his punches a la Brian Burke, so like everyone else, we can only guess the direction he’ll take. .
Only in Montreal?
More than twenty thousand fans, mostly kids, came to the Bell Centre this morning to watch the Canadiens practice. In skills competition, Max Pacioretty was the fastest skater, Andrei Kostitsyn and Brian Gionta won the target shooting and Benoit Pouliot had the hardest shot.
Andrei Kostitsyn is a problem. The word “enigma” comes to mind. He’s a goalscorer who has forgotten how to score. How do you explain a player with his offensive skills who has no points the last eight games and one goal and five assists the last 19 games while, for the most part, playing on
Today’s NHL harbours few secrets. Every game is attended by a gaggle of professional scouts. Every game is on satellite TV and analyzed top-to-bottom. So, when the Canadiens played the Blue Jackets in Columbus last night, everyone in their organization was well aware that Scott Gomez and Brian Gionta were locked in awful slumps. It meant that the Columbus coaching staff could invest 80% of their attention on shutting down Tomas Plekanec, Michael Cammalleri and Andrei Kostitsyn.
The three Canadiens games in four nights produced two wins and one overtime loss, five of a possible six points. Untimely penalties hurt the Canadiens vs.Tampa Bay Wednesday. Carey Price faced 47 shots. Friday in Buffalo, the Canadiens halved the opposition shots on goal, got both goals from the defence (Picard & Gorges) and shut down the Sabres in the third period for a 2-1 victory. Saturday night they fell behind 3-1 against Ottawa and came back thanks to the Plekanec line. Ottawa was limited to 2 shots in the third period.