With the Nashville Predators on the power play Sunday night at the Edmonton Oilers, Sergei Kostitsyn couldn’t handle a pass and the puck traveled over the blue line into the neutral zone. Sam Gagner of the Oilers outraced him to the puck, and Edmonton went on the shorthanded attack.
Then Kostitsyn did something that’ll take months, maybe years to live down: He quit on the play, and went to the Nashville bench on a change at the absolute worst time to do so.
Gagner was left alone to enter the Predators’ zone on a 2-on-1 with Lennart Petrell, as Shea Weber was back for the Preds. Petrell buried the shot past Pekka Rinne for his second of the season. The Oilers went on to win 3-2.
In case you were wondering how the Nashville bench was reacting when Kostitsyn gave up on the play, it reacted like this.
Blogger Dirk Hoag called it: "The single-worst thing I've ever seen a Nashville Predator do with a game on the line.
Coach Barry Trotz, on the terrible line change (via Mark Spector):
“I can’t give you a logical explanation for an illogical event. He didn’t recognize the situation.”
Josh Cooper of The Tennessean spoke to Kostitsyn after the game, and the Predators forward admitted he was in error:
“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.”
Word of advice to Sergei Kostitsyn: There’s a man who wears rather loud suits and ties. He comes on Canadian television every Saturday night with his friend Ron. Occasionally, he takes non-Canadian players to task for their behavior or poor play.
You may want to avoid watching this man next weekend.