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Radulov wants to play Game 4, but won’t ask Trotz to get back in

May 3, 2012, 1:55 PM EDT

Trotz Radulov

Shortly after skating on a “scratch line” with Craig Smith and fellow curfew-breaker Andrei Kostitsyn, Predators forward Alex Radulov said he’s unsure if he’ll play Game 4 on Friday.

According to TSN’s Katherine Dolan, Radulov said he doesn’t know his status but won’t ask to return to the lineup — instead, he says he’ll leave that decision up to the coaches.

This uncertainty echos what Predators head coach Barry Trotz said on Thursday — he wasn’t sure about lineup changes, but commented “I know it’s going to be tough if I do [change] anything.”

Okay, so there are three major issues facing Nashville right now:

1. Despite the fact they’ve both been shamed publicly, Radulov and Kostitsyn haven’t offered up much in the way of apology. Radulov stumbled through a mea culpa (including the “I didn’t come back that late” line) while Kostitsyn said nothing.

From CBC’s Elliotte Friedman:

Tried to make contact Tuesday with some former players to ask if they’d come across anything like this. There were three common threads. First, was the apology heartfelt? Second, was this a first-time offence or repeat behaviour? Third, how important was the situation?

The answers are 1) Not publicly, 2) Don’t know, and 3) Pretty Freaking Important.

Win or lose, can Barry Trotz afford to play them again?

2. The guys that drew in (Jordin Tootoo and Matt Halischuk) really contributed to the return to “Predator hockey”. Tootoo led all skaters with five hits, Halischuk had two takeaways, a hit and a blocked shot.

3. Trotz could lose both guys if he keeps holding them out. Say what you will about Radulov’s sloth like performance in Games 1 and 2, but don’t forget he led Nashville with five points in five games during the first-round ouster of Detroit. And for all of Kostitsyn’s flaws, he can still put the puck in the net.

If the Preds eventually needs an injection of offense — and based on their postseason history, they will — they won’t want Radulov or Kostitsyn frozen out.

  1. letsgopreds35 - May 3, 2012 at 3:08 PM

    Kostitsyn said nothing more than likely because he can hardly speak any English. You just mention the “I didn’t come back that late” quote but didn’t mention the fact that the decision the coaches made was a good one and he was fine with it. He understood what he did and I at least give him credit for leaving the decision to the coaches and not hounding them about playing after his horrendous recent performances. Trotz will most likely stick with last nights lines. Like he said the top lines played like top players. Why would he change that up when they played like winners and played the NASHVILLE PREDATORS!

    • Mike Halford - May 3, 2012 at 6:29 PM

      He’s not super eloquent, but Kostitsyn can speak English:

  2. letsgopreds35 - May 3, 2012 at 3:08 PM

    Like*

  3. vshehane - May 3, 2012 at 3:59 PM

    I agree. Kostisyn’s English is extremely limited, much more so than Rads. I feel Nashville fan’s are pretty happy to stay with last night’s line up.

  4. ray2013 - May 3, 2012 at 4:46 PM

    I’ve been a big Tootoo fan for a long time. Given the jump he had last night, I don’t see why you’d take him out. Maybe one of them slots back in, but not at the expense of Tootoo.

  5. thehighcountrybear - May 3, 2012 at 6:21 PM

    Radulov’s mastery of English may be some years in the future, but he’s pretty good at ‘set ‘em up Joe and play ‘walkin’ the floor’…?

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