A good discussion here, so I'm moving it to the front page - Dirk
I have been going back and forth with several of you regarding Friday night's game. I have read and reread most of the posts concerning Radulov and Kostitsyn and I am still at a loss as to why Trotz made the decision to sit those two. Lets look at several things that make this decision a troublesome one. My hope is that this will help explain where I am coming from. I think this was a terrible decision and is going to hurt this franchise in more ways than one.
1) First lets look at some advanced stats for several guys.
Game 4 Corsi - Jordin Tootoo= -7 Nick Spalling= -4 Brandon Yip= -3 Matt Halischuk= -2
What is troubling about that you ask? They are bottom line guys that eat up minutes right? Right? The troubling thing is this:
Game 2 Corsi - Radulov = +3
That's right +3. The same game that NBC ripped him for being "lazy" he was the second most productive forward on the team. Yip meanwhile..........
wait for it........
-14!!!!!!! The worst corsi of any forward on the team. Spalling was a modest -6 for the game.
Radulov, who was being ripped on national television, was by far more productive in a loss than any of the other players above were in a win. Not to mention how much more productive he was than Yip in the same game.
2) Now lets look at general stats.
Radulov = 1 G 5 A +2 in 7 games
A Kostitsyn = 3 G 1 A +3 in 7 games
These are two of the top scorers for this team in the playoffs. Now lets look first at the players above, and then at the players playing in front of them .
Yip = 1G 1A -1 in 9 games
Spalling = 0G 3A +4 in 9 games
Halischuk = 0G 1A +1 in 5 games
Tootoo = 0G 0A 0 in 3 games
Looking at those numbers, the only player that has a case to even stay on the ice is Spalling. There is, again, no statistical eveidence that Yip, Halischuk, or Tootoo should be on the ice in favor of Radulov or Kostitsyn.
Fisher = 1G 3A -2 in 9 games
S. Kostitsyn = 1G 1A -3 in 9 games
Erat = 1G 3A -1 in 9 games
Although Erat has carried play at times, the top line has been effectively shut down the entire playoffs. Borque, a rookie, has more points than anyone on his line. Radulov and A.Kostitsyn have as many points as this line has combined.
Sitting Rad's and AK would be similar to Philadelphia sitting Giroux and Vorachek for Zolnierczyk and Wellwood. It makes absolutely no sense. He was not the reason we lost those first two games.
3) Now lets take a trip in the way back machine and look at Suter's All Start Break Comments.
"Our team is doing very good right now, and hopefully we can go and get that piece we might need for the playoffs."
Now how well do you think it is going to sit with one of our top players that "that piece", or in this case pieces, was sitting on the bench so that Tootoo, Yip, Spalling, or Halischuk could play????? I can venture a guess. He is not very happy staring at elimination after a shutout loss that saw two of the best offensive players in the press-box.
The argument could be made that who cares what Suter thinks he was going to leave anyway. I would counter that with this is exactly why he is going to leave, and why players like Wilson will leave as well. We are more concerned about doing things the "Predator Way" than we are with winning. It is one thing to have a system and stick to it. It is totally another to sit your top producers on the bench to carry a point. What is that you say? Trotz didn't do it to just carry a point. Well... If I see it that way, here is betting that several others see it that way to.
4) One more thing that really Irks me about this whole situation is this quote from Trotz after the game.
"I don't think I have to defend it," Trotz said of his decision to not dress Radulov and Andrei Kostitsyn for a second straight game. "The guys had chances, we created chances. ... You could say the 'What's ifs?' Maybe they could have made a difference. We'll never know that.
Trotz has earned a lot of leeway in my opinion. I do want to take issue with this stance though. This team has never made it out of the second round. He just sat the top two point producers for an additional game, and now he wants to opt out of answering for it. I do not think so. This decision could have gone well for him and he would have looked like the Jedi master most of think he is. When it goes south you cannot duck it. You need to step up, be a leader, and face the music. He has to defend it to us and the team. He is right about one thing. We will never know what might have happened with two of the top offensive players on the ice that night.
5) One last point I want to make is regarding the, and I am paraphrasing here, "They let their teammates down! They were hungover, tired, or both, and do not deserve to play!' stance several people are taking.
This is total B.S. in my opinion. Let me say that again. IN MY OPINION. This is not high school. This is not church league. This is not college. They are not trying to teach life lessons here. They are trying to win hockey games. Radulov and AK stepped out of line. They received a one game punishment for their transgression. That is it. Move on. Play Hockey.
This is yet another place where I think Trotz and Poile dropped the ball. (By the way... am I the only one that noticed that Poile dished out the suspension, and then left Trotz out there on an island with enough rope to hang himself?) This could have been avoided by simply saying they were going to be suspended indefinitely, suspended 2 games, whatever they wanted. The problem, as I see it, is that they said one game and then sat them another. This opened them up to the criticism. I think Trotz was stubborn and went back to the well on Friday Night. The problem was that Pekka emptied it bailing them out on Wednesday night.
Go ahead and blast away in the comments below. We don't have to agree on this. I just wanted to get one post out there explaining where I was coming from.