I wrote earlier this week about how the Nashville Predators came out a little flat, and may be in trouble in their series with the Phoenix Coyotes. That was before suspensions for Alexander Radulov and Andrei Kostitsyn were handed down. General Manager David Poile and Barry Trotz, the head coach, have said neither player will play in tonight’s game for breaking a game 2 curfew in Phoenix.
Both players were acquired at or after the trade deadline. Kostitsyn was an acknowledged problem in the locker room in Montreal, and likely brought that attitude to Nashville. His brother Sergei, anecdotally, has become a more stable influence and harder worker in Nashville, but that ethic hasn’t quite taken for Andrei. Radulov, as mentioned when he joined the Preds, is clearly just gaming the system, looking for a paycheck.
The point is, the Predators made a good, obvious decision. If you are up against it, even with a talented squad, you want to go into battle with guys that you know are going to fight as hard as you are. There are obvious questions as to whether Radulov and Kostitsyn are fully invested in the postseason, and the Predators may end up stronger without them.