A friendly reminder
In case anyone had forgotten that Andrei’s little brother does have game, he served up a little reminder against the Oilers. However one player in the Edmonton dressing room didn’t need the refresher in Sergei 101. While Sam Gagner might now be be a rising star with the Oilers, he was once riding shotgun with the younger Kostitsyn and Patrick Kane with the OHL’s London Knights.
“Sergei and I are still in touch. I actually talked to him yesterday when I got in,” said Gagner of his old linemate who chipped in with a goal and assist on Thursday. “It was great to catch up. Whenever you get to play on the great teams we played on in London, you’re going to stay in touch. I still talk to a bunch of those guys. I think we’ll keep doing that for a long time.”
In addition to keeping in contact with his old Belarusian buddy, Gagner has also kept close tabs on his progress.
“I know it’s been a little up and down for Sergei since he’s been in the league, but there’s no denying the skills and the assets he brings to rink every night,” said Gagner. “Just look at that play he made off the wall tonight to score that goal, not everyone can make a play like that. He’s a great player who just needs to gets his confidence going again.”
Just in case anyone thinks Gagner isn’t objective when it comes to his pal, how does that explain newcomer Dominic Moore’s rosy outlook on Sergei’s potential?
“I could really see he was getting more confident in the second and third periods. He started controlling the puck more,” said Moore. “Our line still has a long way to go, but the chemistry is getting there. We generated a lot of chances and we could’ve scored more goals than the pair that we did.”
Like all young players, Kostitsyn seems to be in a hurry to get to where he wants to be, but Moore has other plans for the talented winger.
“The key for Sergei is that he got more patient as the game went on, and the results speak for themselves,” affirmed Moore. “He has all the tools and all he needs to do is keep developing them.”
Manny Almela is a writer for canadiens.com
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The Numbers game - March 11, 2010