HabsWorld.net -- 

It was a shock to some but expected by others –
Sergei Kostitsyn was the lone demotion to the AHL following the Canadiens’ last
preseason game on Saturday.

While Sergei has the skills to be in the NHL, his
suspect work ethic is what put him on the first flight to Hamilton. This also isn’t the first
time S. Kostitsyn has been sent to the farm for work ethic issues. The young
winger was demoted mid-season last year, and while he put up decent numbers (5 goals, 8 assists
in 16 games), there was little change to the lack of tenacity that
sent him down in the first place.

Many had figured that new coach Jacques Martin
would be the one to set the kid’s head straight, and a few incidents in training
camp showed that the coach wasn’t going to allow Sergei off with a free ride.
However, it now appears that Hamilton coach Guy Boucher will now be the one riding
S. Kostitsyn to adjust his attitude and try harder. And if there is one man not named Jacques Martin who can deal with Sergei’s occasional prima donna attitude, it’s Guy (as seen from the Gardiner Cup tournament).

With no competitive games
left in the preseason, the remaining players in camp will be heading for a three-
day retreat in Ontario for what is basically player bonding and team building. There’s
a not-so-subtle message to Sergei Kostitsyn in making him the only cut before the retreat:
“You’re not a part of this team until you earn it.” Will he get the message?

Young players still on the bubble in training
camp include Kyle Chipchura (injured), Gregory Stewart, Max Pacioretty, Ben
Maxwell, Tom Pyatt, Yannick Weber, and Mathieu Carle.

Email Tristan Tapscott
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