May 4, 2012, 8:50 AM EST
Alexander Radulov and Andrei Kostitsyn were kept out of Game 3 to serve a team suspension. They’re both eligible to return for Game 4 on Friday, but Predators coach Barry Trotz isn’t sure he’ll use either of them.
The problem is that Nashville earned a 2-0 victory in Game 3 on Wednesday after losing the first two games of the series. After a performance like that, Trotz is reluctant to tweak his lineup.
“I know it’s going to be very tough if I do anything,” Trotz said Thursday. “I thought everybody was pretty committed (on Wednesday), so I can’t give you a definite decision right now. But the guys that were in got the job done and they played very hard.”
To their credit, Radulov and Kostitsyn have apparently apologized to their teammates and while they started off slow in Thursday’s practice, they did get better as it went on.
It’s also worth noting that Trotz doesn’t view the players as a package deal.
“If there’s one player that needs to come out … we’ll put in one,” Trotz said.
That scenario would be very telling. If only one of them comes back in, what does that say about the player who was scratched?
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