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07-08-2006, 03:21 PM
Qui Gon Dave
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Originally Posted by Smail View Post
Contrary to the majority of Habs fans, I don't think Kostitsyn will ever be an impact player for Montreal. He's got tools, for sure, but his drive and hockey sense (and vision) are seriously lacking. He has yet to dominate in the AHL.

He reminds me a lot of Marcel Hossa.
Really? I can see where you are coming from on the 'drive' issue, in a way. He doesn't always play as hard as he can, but its not like he rarely ever does. When he is determined to do something on the ice, most of the time, it gets done. Whether that is taking the puck to the net, forechecking, bodychecking, whatever, he is very capable. The important thing for him is to find a way to be motivated more often and i think playing in the NHL is going to give him that drive.

As for this lack of vision/hockey sense theory, I can only assume the only time you've seen him play was when he was having a bad game. The guy gets into good shooting positions, he can make some absolutely killer passes. Not just killer in the sense of a pass that looks good, but passes that can split apart the opposition and give a scoring chance to a teammate, passes that open teams up and worry them. And if he lacks hockey sense and vision, then I dont see why Lever would have used him on the point of the PP last season. Most occassions I saw him last year (about half the Dogs games) he rarely put a foot wrong in regards to his defensive responsibilities when playing the point. When the puck was lost, he didn't charge at the guy with the puck, he didn't leave his feet to try and knock the puck away (which is the wrong thing to do, Mr Dagenais), he played responsibly and considered what needed to be done for the team. If he is seriously lacking hockey sense, there is no way Lever tells the guy to man the point on the PP and try and QB it, both in regards to defensive and attacking obligations.

You want to see how good Kostitsyns hockey sense and vision are? Watch him in the NHL where he has quality players making smart moves around him, you'll see what i mean. He recognises someone getting to a good position and he can put the puck on their stick, not just somewhere near them.

What Andrei does sometimes do is try to be too fancy with the puck (not as much as he used to though), but dont mistake that with lack of ability or vision/hockey sense. He is a creative player, it is in his nature to try and make things happen where other players make not be able to create something. You have to allow creative players the chance to try and be creative, even if that means the chance of making a mistake. If you dont allow them that chance, you are basically saying you only want them to do the simple things, play no risk hockey, which means the team would have to take what chances present themselves as they might not get many during the course of the game. You want a guy like AK to try and makes things happen because it is the whole point of having a player like him on your team. You want someone steady to just work hard and not make mistakes and not be a threat? Sign Jason Ward. Very useful player, very good when used correctly. But he is not a major threat, he doesn't worry the opposition or force them to play differently when he is on the ice.

That you don't think he will ever be an impact player or that he reminds you of Marcel Hossa, I won't argue. That is your opinion. But as far as some of your other statements, I've seen him play in a manner which dismisses those statements. And given further opportunities to develop and play alongside a better quality of players, I think he can show a lot of people just what he is capable of.

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