Self-imposed suspension during the playoffs?
It's all over for the Nashville Predators. Having fallen to the Phoenix Coyotes last night their hopes of hoisting the Stanley Cup this season are dashed. But had they not taken the surprise move to hadicap themselves early in the series, could it have turned out differently? After losing the first two games of their Western Conference semifinal series against the Coyotes, the Preds dealt themselves another blow when they announced that Alexander Radulov (above right) and Andrei Kostitsyn (left) were suspended for Game 3. The two wingers were told they would miss the crucial contest after they violated team rules - reportedly staying out too late in Phoenix enjoying the, er, lovely weather - the night before Game 2. After a win in Game 3, Preds coach Barry Trotz refused to mess with a lineup that brought success and Radulov and Kostitsyn - two late-season additions to the team - were scratched again. The daily will they or won't they play talk quickly became an ongoing distraction to a franchise that was expected to be on the cusp of a championship. The team now has a longer than expected summer to consider what might have been.
* Bing: The Radulov experiment