Nashville's Sergei Kostitsyn has some explaining to do. After failing to handle a pass, Kostitsyn abandoned the play, allowing Sam Gagner of the Edmonton Oilers to carry the puck in and dish it to Lennart Petrell who was able to tally a relatively easy shorthanded goal.
Chalk this up as one of the most baffling, lazy plays we've seen so far in 2013.
There are lazy hockey plays and then there's this change from Kostitsyn. To make matters worse, Nashville ending up dropping the game by a score of 3-2, magnifying Kostitsyn's lapse in judgment / effort.
This is one of the more bizarre plays we've seen in the NHL this season. Countless players are guilty of not giving their all when backchecking, but we rarely see a player actually leave the ice when tracking a player down on a 2-on-1. That's not even mentioning the fact that it's Kostitsyn's fault the rush the other way even happened thanks to him not being able to handle a pass.
How did he explain his actions after the game?
Evidently, he first blew off most members of the media before telling the team beat reporter that he didn't see Petrell, the ultimate goal scorer on the play, joining the rush.
Sergei Kostitsyn told the team beat writer after blowing off all the other media, that he did not see Petrell jumping into the rush. #Oilers
— Derek Van Diest (@SUNdvandiest) March 18, 2013
What difference does this make? Even if his story about not seeing Petrell is truthful, he still shouldn't have abandoned the play like he did. This is a fact he alluded to in the comments he gave to the Tennessean.
"I made a mistake. I went to change, I should have backchecked, but didn’t see the second guy was coming there. Even if it was a 1-on-1, I should go back, it doesn’t matter if I was tired. I should have gone back and pressured him from behind.”
Nashville's coaching staff won't be happy about this one.