Montreal - Sitting on the 12th spot in NHL's Eastern Conference, head coach Jacques Martin must find a way to get consecutive wins if he hopes to be part of the spring waltz.
Not much to say against goaltenders Halak and Price. Last game against Nashville on Saturday, Price probably felt like he was on Omaha Beach, Normandy, on June 6th, 1944 as he was bombarded from all sides and managed to stop 53 shots in a 2-0 loss. Previous to that he stopped 30 of 31 shots in a 4-2 win against Phoenix.
So far Jacques Martin failed to find the right line combinations to generate offense. Gionta is out and no one knows when he'll be back. The clock is ticking. Other teams in the east are winning while Montreal is unable to get two wins in a row. The question is: "What else can Jacques Martin do?"
If he looks at the team he has, not much more can be done. He probably should start looking at the Hamilton Bulldogs as he may find a potential fix to the problem: Sergei Kostitsyn.
We all know he has been a problem player but all the reasons are there to believe that he has learned his lesson and the purgatory must end now.
Sergei can bring what's missing on offence. He has speed, hands and agility to create opportunities. He can draw penalties for the other team with his speed but also can do the same with his physical play. He is not the biggest guy out there but the kid sure can hit.
Report from Hamilton on Sergei Kostitsyn:
Bulldogs Report - Nov. 11, 2009
Wednesday, 11.11.2009 / 9:24 AM / News
By: Vincent Cauchy, writer for canadiens.com.
MONTREAL - As Sergei Kostitsyn's time with the Bulldogs stretches on, the 22-year-old has continued to prove that he can battle with the best in the game.
Since joining Guy Boucher's squad early in the season, the younger Kostitsyn brother has re-discovered his offensive touch. In 10 games including the Bulldogs' lone tally in a 1-0 win over the Binghamton Senators in Ottawa this past Sunday.
Kostitsyn was named the game's third star, behind goaltenders Cedric Desjardins and Mike Brodeur. Kostitsyn's three tallies have come on only nine shots, showing that he can still thread the needle against opposing goalies. To go along with his trio of goals, Sergei has assisted on four others for a total of seven points. His performance on the farm has him seeing the positives in Hamilton, especially where his plus-minus differential is concerned.
Should certain trends continue, No. 74 could find himself in the running for the Fred T. Hunt Memorial Award, given annually to the player best exemplifying sportsmanship, determination and dedication to hockey. Prior to last night's game with the Rochester Americans, Kostitsyn had yet to serve a single penalty, his high level of intensity never once compromised from a lazy play or being caught out of position.
Kostitsyn’s work ethic should have him fitting in nicely on the current edition of the Bulldogs, where “lazy” doesn’t seem to be in the team’s vocabulary. With just two regulation losses in their first 14 contests, including the loss to Rochester on Tuesday night, the ‘Dogs have dominated the start of the campaign. As it stands, the Americans remain the lone AHL team with a single regulation loss.
With the number of call-ups heading to Montreal these days, Boucher has been giving Kostitsyn more responsibility than ever. No matter where the shifty winger is asked to play, he’s proving that he’s definitely up to the task.
So can somebody tell me WHY isn't Sergei in Montreal???
Gainey should start looking hard to make a trade. With 20 games already played time is ticking and the team must start getting winning streak real soon. The only problem is Bob Gainey doesn't have much to offer to his fellow GMs. Lapierre and Latendresse are not performing and being a club's GM I wouldn't touch either of them with a 30-foot pole. Right now he can only deal prospects, young guys, draft picks and... Oh I don't want to say this but hey! I am writing an article here... Halak could be dealt to a team in desperate need of a #1 goalie... Yes Halak has what it takes to be #1 in this league.
Bottom line is:
1. Jacques Martin should call up Sergei Kostitsyn from Hamilton
2. Stop his experiments. Pick your lines and stick with them
3. Put a "C" on a Jersey (Gionta, Cammalleri or Markov)
4. Gainey must make phone calls to see what he can work with.
After Sergei is called up, Here are the lines:
A. Kostitsyn-Plekanec-S. Kostitsyn
Price in nets.