Leading up to the lockout-shortened season, we will be providing 2012-13 previews for each player. In no specific order, we continue with Sergei Kostitsyn today…
After tying for the team lead in scoring in the 2010-11 season, Sergei Kostitsyn fell off a bit during the 2011-12 campaign. Kostitsyn contributed 43 points on the year, which was a slight reduction from the 50 points he scored in the 2010-11 season. Kostitsyn spent most of the season on Nashville’s first line with Mike Fisher and Martin Erat, which was the most consistent line the Predators had all season long. The highlight of the season for Kostitsyn came on New Year’s Day when he had a hat trick against the Calgary Flames.
The Predators acquired Sergei’s brother, Andrei Kostitsyn, at the trading deadline last season. After Andrei joined the Predators, Sergei was only able to produce seven points in 18 games during the regular season, and only recorded two points in 10 games in Nashville’s playoff run.
In July, Sergei Kostitsyn was signed to a two-year, $6 million contract by the Predators. He was a restricted free agent at the time.
Kostitsyn stayed in Europe during the lockout, suiting up for Avangard Omsk of the KHL. He had 29 points in 27 games, scoring nine goals and tallying 20 assists.
At 25 years of age, Kostitsyn is entering into what should be the prime of his NHL career. The big knock on Kostitsyn since he’s been with the Predators is that he doesn’t shoot enough. He has finished with less than 100 shots on goal in each of his two seasons with the Predators so far, but his shooting percentage has always been near the top of the league since he joined the Predators. The big test for Kostitsyn will be in the postseason, assuming the Predators make it that far. He has not played well in the postseason in each of the last two seasons, and that’s where players make a name for themselves.