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Monday, July 4, 2011

The Curious Case of Andrei Kostitsyn

As I was going over last season for my last posting, it occurred to me that the most under-rated Hab is the one and only Andrei Kostitsyn.  Before you roll your eyes please hear me out.

I know the reasons for him being under-rated - especially being streaky and therefore inconsistent.  Much like Alexei Kovalev, Mr. Kostitsyn is so talented and there are times when it does not look like he is putting forth the effort. There are times when he brings you out of you seat with a move or a spectacular goal, or even a huge hit.

I was expecting a much better year last season for him because of the trade of his brother and therefore less distractions off the ice.  In fact, when I analyze his play of this past season, I feel he had a tremendous year. He was doing extremely well at the beginning of the year, scoring regularly, going to the net and being a total beast.  Then the inevitable happened for some unknown reason, he was taken away from a very productive line and placed with Mr. Gomez. The reason for this was to perhaps ignite Mr. Gomez from his slumber. Unfortunately, the slumber continued and Mr. Kostitsyn's production fell, despite him continuing to play fairly well.  He was also getting involved in the physical play, an aspect of his play that came to the forefront. He has improved his play in his own end and has begun to use his size to hos advantage.

Despite playing on all three lines at different parts of the season, he led the team in hits (140), was fourth in shots (196), third in goals (20), fourth in points (46), was tied with Brian Gionta for the lead in GWG (6) and only missed one game. In my estimation, he had a decent season and if he ends up elsewhere with stable line mates he will be one that got away - even more so than his brother.

This coming season I expect him to continue to grow and possibly learn a trick or two from Mr. Cole, play the body more and develop a little more consistency and chemistry.

I am glad he was re-signed by Mr. Gauthier for one year. If he is paired with either Mr. Eller or Mr. Plekanec for the entire year or most of it - he will be a nice signing indeed.

2 comments:

Tyg said...

I'm glad you wrote this Laura. It's nice to see someone sticking up for AK46 and using logic and numbers to do so. He takes a beating from the fanbase, but he's no streakier than any other forward last season (remember how long it took Gio to get going) and a lot of the criticism heaped on AK is unwarranted IMO. Great read!

Laura said...

Thank you Tyg - so far the only comment I have received on twitter said and quite fairly I may add is that he does not elevate the players around him - I think that is a fair comment at this stage. Some players never do - that is the difference between the good and the very good.

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