Thursday, November 4, 2010

Opening the Vault - Here I go AGAIN!

I promised I would not write about Sergei Kostitsyn (SK74) anymore. I said my good-bye, wished him luck with the Nashville Predators and I've moved on, in a way. However, a recent event has forced me to open that wound again. The ignorance and selective memories of some people in Montreal is making it impossible for me to completely heal from last season's events. I guess I have Max Pacioretty (Patches) to thank for that.

By now,everyone has heard about Patches comments regarding Coach Martin, being a top 6 forward and preferring to stay with the Hamilton Bulldogs. How if he was called upon,by the Habs to help out the Gionta- Gomez line, he would gladly do it. Well, excuse us Mr Professional. Last I checked, he was always among the first cut at training camp.

However,this post is not about his comments, or self glorification, but about the positive reactions to them by some media and Habs fans. In essence,Patches is being viewed as a hero. He has been described as "humble", "professional" and " still young". REALLY? You've got to be kidding me.

So, of course,me being...well, me, I post a comment about this and SK74 on twitter, and I got flooded with responses supporting Patches and chastising SK74. It's unbelievable how many people choose to only remember the events of September 2009 (and February 2008, of course that goes without saying),hence my use of the words "selective memories".

My understanding from these tweets is that it's okay for a seasoned veteran (sarcasm) like Patches to come out and criticize his potential coach, ice time and his top 6 status, but SK74's immature action's from last pre season are unforgivable and/or unforgettable. Patches is a hero for speaking his mind and considering himself a NHL top 6 forward, but SK74 was a "diva" for considering himself a NHLer (rightfully so). Patches could mouth off, in a polite way, but SK74 gets buried alive.

I have to say,I was not proud or happy with the reaction from SK74 last year.It was wrong, period. Then, however, I remembered something else. First week of training camp, with a NEW coach, NEW system and NEW teammates, Coach Martin singled out SK74, swore at him for being out of position. He embarassed and made an example of him on the first day. (I am pretty sure he was not the only player do make a mistake on day 1, but whatever)

So, SK74 got sent down to AHL, refused to go, got suspended. yada yada yada. When he did report, he played 16 games, earning 4 goals + 9 assists (Patches played 18 games with 2 goals + 9 assists) and got recalled by the Habs on Nov. 23rd 2009, and played on Nov. 24th, and earned 1st star ( I know, I was there, standing and cheering proudly)
                                             Fittingly, his face was on the ticket as well:)

After some injuries, SK74 returned to the line up in March 2010, and carried the team on his shoulders, being a star in 5 of the 9 games he played, before suffering from lingering injuries again.People tend to forget, and/or refuse to admit that he was a key in getting us into the playoffs. People only remember the negative (or made up) reports and stories about him.

Then, one lazy error in the first round of the 2010 playoffs against the Capitals, was the end of SK74 in Montreal. It's almost as if Coach Martin was just waiting for any reason to make an example of him, yet again,, be it to appease the media or because SK74 was a young kid with talent and a edge to him. However, Coach Martin made a fool of Mathieu Darche in the process.

So what is my point? My point is that a lot of people prefer to remember a specific negative event surrounding one person, who does not speak their language and hence can't clearly defend himself, or articulate an insult in such a way, that they end up being sympathized. Patches came out and blatantly criticized Coach Martin's style, praised Carbonneau, inflated his talent and got sympathy and support from most media and fans.All that, while SK74 is still the punching bag.

In my opinion, Patches just begged the Habs organization to trade him before Coach Martin does to him what he did to SK74.(You all still remember that picture of P.K. Subban consoling SK74 right?, yeah, I can't look at that picture it breaks my heart)

Thanks for reading and please leave a comment.


  1. Ultimately a player lives and dies by the decisions taken by those in charge (coach, GM, etc.) sometimes they are wrong, sometimes not.
    The rest really doesn't matter. There will be always be segments of fans that don't like this or that.

  2. finally able to comment woo hoo -

    You are so right when it comes to SK, I was astounded that Patches seems to have the support he is getting. Here is an interesting question though - if the habs did not have at least two lackluster performances in a row, would he have the same support or would it be put as sour grapes etc as it was on SK? I tend to think if habs won one or both of the last games the Patches "story" would have a very different spin.

    When Jmart singled out SK on day 1 last year - I knew it would either wake SK up (i'll show that clown) or hurt him and he would be on his way out. It turned out the latter..BUT you notice it did not happen again I do not was the players who called out the other players..Cammy....Marky...even Price.

    I always enjoy reading your perspective on this topic although I must admit I was a huge fan of SK but attitude and lack of progress did get in the way. Was that his fault - probably not. I always hoped and still do that he is as good as he seems to think he is.

  3. You can choose to call it selective memory if you wish, but SK had a contractual obligation to the team. If he was sent to the AHL he had to go. Period. You can call it selective but I call it a stain that can't be removed.

    Think of Patrick Roy. We remember how he carried us to 2 stanley cups, but his career is still highlighted by the trade. Its not selective. Its a big frigging deal what happened and the same thing applies to SK.

    You can like SK as much as you want, and it's good that you do too. But don't ignore what he did to the organization. And he wont forget what the organization did to him either.

  4. Thanks for the comments everybody. I wrote this blog because I couldn't and still don't understand why Patches is getting all the support he is for shooting his mouth off. What has he accomplished in his career to warrant his comments? Yes he was a first rounder,the potential is there, however,he has not done anything so far.He has not proven anything, to me at least, so why is his immaturity acceptable? Personally, I think it's out right rude and obnoxious. I am not condoning what Sergei did,that was wrong as well, but Patches is just as equally wrong, IMO.

  5. I'm not trying to downplay it. And I totally agree that JM was too hard and unfair on SK. But aside from mouthing off, Patches hasn't exactly been insubordinate. SK (aside from the reasons) was insubordinate on more than one occasion. And while he did shape up and make a huge difference when it matter for the Habs last year, he already ended his Habs career by retaliating against JM the way he did.

    So while I agree that what Patches did is also wrong, it's more stupid than wrong. And being that it's just talk, it's not as big of a threat to JM's authority than outright insubordination.

    When I read about Patches' opinions I just thought, "Okay... maybe all these things are valid and true, but why the F are you telling the media?!"

    I think a mentor or something needs to have a little chat with him about when to open one's mouth, but other than that... I don't think any sort of punishment is necessary.

    As for SK, as great as it would be for him to still be a member of the Habs franchise, with JM as coach, he'll most definitely develop better somewhere else.

  6. Hey Cath.. great article.. I must admit that I have always had a bias against SK since AK got hurt and SK went looking for blood.. it was as if he wasnt the same anymore after that... Seemed to have really shook him up. That was the same year our fab MSM tried lambaste the russians on our squad for ties with the russian mafia.

    I remember watching SK play for London when I was in Belleville. The kid had mad skills and played like he owned every inch of that ice. I am not going to sit here and make excuses for JM.. I used to get nervous about the players on the ice.. now I am scared S**tless with JM behind the bench.. there is old school coaching and then there is the crap JM comes out with.. That Buffalo game last year is proof that he needs to go back to Midget Coaching and learn X's and O's again for sure.