SHOULD RADULOV AND KOSTITSYN HAVE BEEN BENCHED?

05May12

Okay, so Alexander Radulov and Andrei Kostitsyn broke a team rule and decided to party all night before game two against the Phoenix Coyotes instead of being in their rooms by 11:00, or whatever time the coach had determined curfew was. 

Aren’t these guys grown men?  Shouldn’t they be able to decide how late they can stay out at night?  It’s not like they’re in high school.  As long as they weren’t hurting anybody else and they could still get up and play the next day, who cares what time they get back to their rooms! 

Wait a minute.  Let’s go back and read that paragraph again.  As long as they weren’t hurting anybody else and they could still get up and play the next day…   hmmm!! 

Were they able to get up and play the next day?  Anyone who watched game two knows the answer to that.  Kostitsyn was merely out of sorts, but Radulov looked like he was ready to take a nap every time he stepped on the ice. 

When it gets to the point where the commentators spend five minutes between periods doing nothing but pointing out a specific players apparent laziness and lack of effort, there’s a problem. 

Check out the following clip from Yahoo Sports of Keith Jones taking Radulov to task, with Jeremy Roenick following up with some shots of his own.  What’s interesting is that the criticism of Radulov covers games one and two, not just game two.  Makes you wonder what he was doing before game one!

 http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nhl-puck-daddy/keith-jones-nbc-rips-alex-radulov-shreds-during-021910126.html

So what is my take on this?  Are these grown men that should be allowed to make their own decisions when it comes to curfew?  Absolutely, they should be able to make their own decisions.  As long as they’re willing to assume responsibility for their actions, which appears to be the part that they forgot about. 

The bottom line is this…their selfish actions DID hurt someone else.  It hurt the entire Nashville team, organization, fan base, etc.  It led to the team that was favored by many to reach the Stanley Cup finals to be down 2-0 in their conference semifinal matchup. 

Do I applaud Coach Barry Trotz’ decision to bench the two partiers for game 3, and then again for game 4?  Absolutely!!  The last time I checked, it was the coach’s responsibility to put the best team on the ice in order for the TEAM to be successful.  If that means benching a couple of self-centered stars that are only thinking of themselves, then so be it. 

Hey NBA – PAY ATTENTION!!  You might be able to learn something here.  Instead of allowing the inmates to run the jail, the warden and guards need to be in control. 

Wow, that was a waste of breath, but we can discuss that another time. 

Now the big question is this – the Predators responded in game three and won 2-0 without their two stars on the ice.  The Coyotes came back in game four and shut them down, winning 1-0, to take a commanding 3-1 series lead.  Does Trotz allow the two men to join the team again, or does he keep them in the press box? 

The answer is simple.  What ever is best for the team!  If he feels that the two men truly have figured out that they screwed up and hurt the team, then the message has been sent and they should be allowed back. 

If they still are standing in the corner complaining that they didn’t do anything wrong, clean out their lockers and send them home for the remainder of the series. 

Either way, these two should be treated as adults.  And in the real world, adults are held accountable for their actions.  My hat’s off to Coach Trotz for doing what every coach in professional sports should do!

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