FanPost

Ferris Bueller 2.0: Kostitsyn. Kostitsyn. Kostitsyn.... Kostitsyn???

So I was watching the Red Wings first goal again last night, and I noticed something extremely curious. About Sergei Kostitsyn. It is also, in my mind, partly to blame for the goal. Therefore, I decided that the best way to examine this moment would be to briefly (LOL...) recap the whole scenario, goal and all, because contextual information is always helpful. But seriously. What happens is baffling. And you probably didn't notice it at first. I certainly didn't.

Here's a number to peak your curiosity: 13 seconds.

Read on after the jump.

Here's what happened leading up to the goal:

We're in the Wings zone. The Preds have possession. Weber has the puck but is pressured, so he dumps it down the boards. Spaling is in front of the net and as the closest guy, it's his job to get the puck. It bounces on the boards, and Spals misses it/it jumps over his stuck. Concurrently, a Wing follows Spals to the boards (they're at the goal line), and juts his hip out. Spals can't move towards the puck anymore, and it trickles away, ending up half-way between the net and the corner. Kostitsyn, who was in the slot, is now rather ambiguously covering two Wings -- Pavel Datsyuk and/or Henrik Zetterberg -- and he choses to cover Z, who pretty much has the puck in the corner. Fine by me. This leaves Datsyuk (WARNING! WARNING!) to skate over to the half-boards. Uncovered. Weber backs up, anticipating a pass to Pavel and a break out. Suter scoots over slightly, also anticipating a breakout. Spaling is still stuck, watching the play develop. Meanwhile, back at the ranch automotive factory, Marty is wandering down the left side of the ice. (Slight tangent here, but bear with me...) He sees the puck go into the corner and circles behind the net towards it. The "Cover Datsyuk" job (critical) was up for grabs the moment Marty saw Tits go into the corner: (1) IT'S PAVEL DATSYUK (you cover that MF) and (2) PAVEL DATSYUK IS NOW THEIR BREAKOUT GUY. Martin Erat's decision to go behind the net (....an area that Tits is already watching) was a poor one. His rationale is that if the puck pops out behind the net and he isn't there, the Wings have possession. However, if he had stayed in the slot and let Tits battle for the puck (HAHAHAHA), then... well okay, the Wings would probably still get possession. BUT he would have been there to help cover the outlet pass/receiver. Also, if Tits miraculously DID win the puck, he would have had a great shot. So take your pick. Certain death, or slightly-less-certain death and possible-goal-scoring. So the Wings obviously got possession, and they start the break out towards our now slightly-more-certain death.

Okay, let's recap everyone's current location (this is important to Tits):

Spaling is trapped against the right boards at the goal line. Tits is covering Zetterberg in the right corner. Marty is behind the net heading to the right corner, where he eventually bumps into Tits (not hard though). Z has the puck in the corner. Datsyuk is WIIIIIIIIIIIIIIDE open halfway up the boards. So apparently the Preds thought there was a Marty Party in the right corner. It ain't so boys.

Now here's the goal itself:

Everything's fine -- it's 2-on-2 and Spals is the first backchecker (atta boy). Weber plays Datsyuk perfectly and Spals is chillin' in the high slot, looking for someone to cover. OH! Wait, let's talk line changes really quick, 'cause this is also important to the goal. Both Zetterberg and the 2 Wings Dmen were changing (accounting for the 2-on-2 and lack of Wings for Spals to cover). Also, Martin Erat (and no one else on his line) decides this is a good time to change. On a Wings rush. Led by Pavel Datsyuk. Normally this might be fine, but it's PAVEL. This was a very bad shift for Marty. So that's what's going on with line changes. Okay, anyway, Pavel eats it but still manages the pass to Bertuzzi (guy two of the 2-on-2), who swung through the slot after Pavel fell. Bert was followed (at a good, safe distance) by Suter, who tried to block passing lanes to the slot. He played the situation the best he could, but Bertuzzi was able to make the pass. Here is where the line changes come into play: Franzen (changed with Zetterberg) meanders on into the right side of the zone and NO ONE SEES HIM. Also, there are STILL only 3 Preds in the defensive zone: Weber, Suter, and Spals. Spals doesn't see Franzen at first, and by the time he does, Bertuzzi had passed him the puck and Franzen had scored.

Soo.... now back to the missing Tits! PREDATOR ROLE CALL!!!

READY?

(1) Rinne? Depressed-ly drinking water.

(2) Weber? Skating away.

(3) Suter? Whacking the puck away.

(4) Spals? Droopy shoulders and lowered head.

(5) Marty? Um, well Marty decided to change. After a 35 second shift (I am highly skeptical of this decision). So it's Tootoo instead, and Tootoo barely got there in time to whack at Franzen's stick before he scored.

(6) Tits? ...Tits? Hellooo? Um.... well... hey, where the hell IS Tits?? Play-by-play has him on the ice for the goal, so he didn't change... and I DID see him back-checking... Huh. Where'd he go?? You wanna know how much time passed between the turnover and the goal (i.e., how long Tits is absent from the play)? 13 seconds. Thirteen.

Tits. WHAT are you POSSIBLY doing that is taking you 13 WHOLE SECONDS to get from end to end?? Spals was there in plenty of time, and he was only 3-4 strides ahead of you. Granted, Tits was on the tail end of a 47 second shift, but if nothing else he should have at LEAST tried to cover the Wing I'm sure he could CLEARLY see getting on the ice... the guy that no one else saw. Also, 13 of those 47 seconds are Tits being weird and not present in the defensive zone... so really, we're only talking about 34 seconds of a shit + 13 seconds of... whatever.

Sergei Kostitsyn, you are in trouble. I'm hoping he takes this to heart tonight. (I'M YELLING AT YOU, TITS.) He was partly to blame for this goal, actually, seeing as he didn't bother show up in the D-zone. Tits also took his sweeeeeeeeeeeeeeet ooooooooooooold tiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiime on the backcheck. This is ridiculous, even for a slightly longer shift. It should not take you 13 seconds to get back into the play (and I'm being generous here, because you don't even see Tits in the zone seconds after the goal was scored, so I'm not even certain he was IN the zone after 13 seconds... the camera angle doesn't let us see). But seriously, did he go back to Belarus or something??? Where WAS he???? Here's an analysis of a Jets goal on Carolina in which Eric Staal gets called out for being 9 seconds behind the play. It's a slightly different situation, but it's still comparable. 9 seconds, Eric Staal? Tits, you challenged that. 9 seconds? PSSH! Staal doesn't know how to stall... (word play FTW!) Try 13 seconds, buddy. Tits win. Tits is frickin' leisurely. Now, this goal isn't all his fault, but if he had gotten his ass into gear and actually covered someone, maybe that goal wouldn't have happened.

Now who stepped in the doo-doo on this goal? (Since I'm here - why not?)

I'm gonna say we have multiple options. I'm going to go with 2 1/2 of our beloved forwards.

#1 is Martin Erat, who I really do love. However, he screwed multiple pooches on this shift. (1) He wandered behind the net instead of anticipating Wings possession (like everyone else seemed to); (2) I know he's a left winger, but you have GOT to play the whole ice, and because he was behind the net, he wasn't able to cover Datsyuk/be anywhere near the outlet pass to Datsyuk, who was pretty much the most dangerous and the most open guy on the ice; (3) He decided to change lines during a Wings rush led by Pavel Datsyuk.

#2 is Sergei Kostitsyn, whose situation I have already addressed. 13 seconds. Really, what the hell buddy?

#1/2 is Nick Spaling, who really had a great shift except for the last 3 seconds. He was aggressive towards the puck, he was aggressive on the backcheck, he had his head on a swivel (for a while), aaaaaand then he didn't see Mule wander in. Or, well, he did... but it was about 2 seconds too late. So yes, Mule was his guy, but he was also supposed to have help from, oh, I dunno... MARTY and TITS. I would say when it comes down to it, this is Spals' fault because Mule was his guy, but I'm gonna alleviate some of the blame because of the pretty much terrible play and decision-making of Martin Erat as well as the annoying customs agents who held Tits up at the airport on his way back from Belarus.

I watched this goal about 5 times before I realized that something seemed off... and that was when I realized I couldn't account for Sergei Kostitsyn anywhere on the ice after the breakout. So while this isn't really groundbreaking or anything, I thought it was baffling and bizarre enough to mention (especially because I figured it went unnoticed by the majority of people watching the goal... myself almost included!).

So now, go back and watch the goal now, and look for him... and look... and look... and keep looking... he's never gonna show up.

This FanPost was written by an OTF reader, and does not represent the views of the editorial staff. Got something you'd like to share? <a href="http://www.sbnation.com/admin/entries/new?community_id=208&entry_type=FanPost" target="new">Post your own</a>!

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