A trio of Russians find themselves in the playoff spotlight for all the wrong reasons. Don't worry, Caps fans...Alex Ovechkin is not one of them.
First, we have winger Ilya Kovalchuk, he of the New Jersey Devils who looked uncomfortable all through game one of their series against the Philadelphia Flyers. As a result he was a non factor. We now know why as it is the result of an undisclosed injury. Needless to say, this doesn't bode well for the Devils' already slim playoff hopes. They trail the Flyers 1-0 in their series.
Next, we have forwards Alex Radulov and Andrei Kostitsyn of the Nashville Predators. Neither of them will play in the Game 3 of their series against the Phoenix Coyotes. But they are not injured, rather they are out as a result of a team-imposed suspension due to a violation of team rules. No one is commenting on the nature of the suspension, but if it leaves them in the press box in a critical game, it must have been bad. Or at least very naughty.
The Predators are being dominated by the Coyotes as the series switches to Nashville for Games 3 and 4. Down 2-0, this probably couldn't have happened at a worse time for the Predators. Stay tuned.