Montreal Canadiens Need Depth: Sergei Kostitsyn Might Be the Answer

Felix SicardCorrespondent IOctober 31, 2009

MONTREAL- MARCH 31:  Sergei Kostitsyn #74 of the Montreal Canadiens skates during the warm up period prior to facing the Chicago Blackhawks at the Bell Centre on March 31, 2009 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.  The Canadiens defeated the Blackhawks 4-1.  (Photo by Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)
Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images

After two consecutive losses against the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Chicago Blackhawks, it has become painstakingly clear that the Montreal Canadiens do not have enough offensive depth to compete with the NHL's top-flight teams.

Once past the big first line, Tomas Plekanec, and Andrei Kostitsyn, what true offensive weapons do the Canadiens' possess? 

I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a fan of fan-favorite Maxim Lapierre, but he hasn't looked that great on the second line with Tomas Plekanec.

Although Lapierre does possess some offensive abilities, he just doesn't fit the mold of a second-line player.

Guillaume Latendresse would have been a better fit on the second line, as he has a better shot than Lapierre and can drive to the net using his size.

The "problem" with Latendresse is that he has been excelling on the third line with Glen Metropolit and Matt D'Agostini/Max Pacioretty.

Looking at the way Jacques Martin has handled his lineup so far, he isn't likely to fix it if it's not broken.

But the second line is broken, and with the personnel that Martin has, he simply can't fix it.

Bob Gainey needs to help Martin out, as he did when he brought in Marc-Andre Bergeron to add some firepower on the power play.

The Canadiens do have a great offensive player, albeit disgruntled, down in Hamilton, or wherever he is now that he's been suspended.

That would be Sergei Kostitsyn.

While this probably wouldn't be a popular pick, it's a pick Gainey will have to make.

Kostitsyn has the offensive panache to bring a spark to the second line, as well as light a fire under his brother, who seems like his mind is in the clouds right now.

Not only that, but Kostitsyn would add depth on a power play that has been struggling of late, especially last night in Chicago where either unit was unable to convert on a three-minute power play.

Lapierre could then return to his usual third line role, making him more effective.

Lack of depth usually isn't exposed against teams such as the New York Islanders or the Atlanta Thrashers, but unfortunately for the Habs, they won't be playing those teams every week.

So is Sergei Kostitsyn the answer? Maybe. But he's definitely a better answer than a third-line center playing wing on the second line.