Line Change Is As Good As a Holiday: Preds' Sergei Kostitsyn Provides Bail-Out for More NHL Offense
That's how Nashville Predators' forward Sergei Kostitsyn summed up the bail-out being touted by scribes and fans alike as one of the worst plays in hockey history.
Au contraire, Sergei: this was not an egregious tank to be ashamed of, nor a brain explosion to rival the best in professional sporting lore. Not at all. This was an epiphany straight out of Tolstoy, a moment of inspiration borrowed from Dostoevsky.
This was f***ing genius!
Since the '04 lockout, the NHL has hunted high and low for ways to increase offense. From getting rid of the two-line pass to changing rink dimensions to modifying goalie equipment to ratifying a max deal for Ilya Bryzgalov, the league has tried everything to light the lamps with greater frequency.
Well, almost everything.
Courtesy of Sign-off Sergei, the NHL has its scoring solution: make it illegal for players to back-check beyond their own blue line.
The new rule -- it has been observed informally for some time -- will attract its share of critics. But with Kostitsyn's brother, Andrei, committed to all-night sessions that will bring his fellow NHL'ers up to speed (or lack thereof), the resultant red-light frenzy won't take long to find favour in hockey heartlands such as Phoenix and Florida.
Make no mistake.