Kovalev: shift-by-shift breakdown
I thought he was floating at first glance, but when I cranked up the Tivo I found out otherwise. This is a very clever player we've got (by the way, Koivu looks great in slomo too):
First shift (with Zed on LW and Koivu at C):
*First appearance on camera in a Habs uniform... Quintal swings puck around the net to Markov, Kovalev's #27 is seen skating deep into the zone, then curling to the boards for an outlet pass that doesn't arrive because Markov is pressured and has to go the other way. Good hustle to get deep and provide an outlet for the defense.
*Cuts across the high slot from the far corner, Koivu gives it to him at our blueline. Skates to center and slips the puck to Zednik on the boards, Zed dumps it deep.
* Yotes break it out, Kovalev blocks them at their blueline near the boards, puck squirts by. Kovalev is slashed in the back of the leg by unidentified Coyote, he retaliates by jerking his stick up and spearing the player in the bottom of the forearm just above the glove. The player skates away quickly and has another chance to hit Kovalev a second later, but thinks twice and just slashes his stick this time.
* Yotes turn it over at our blueline, puck is fed quickly up to Kovalev on the boards, he's immediately covered, so he slips a perfect pass across the red line to Koivu, who misses it for some reason.
* Habs break it out, Zednik feeds to Kovalev as he cuts across the blueline. Kovalev carries to the corner, curls and tries a no-look pass to Zednik in front of the net. Hits the skate of the defender, who did not see the pass and could easily have been a goal.
* Brisebois keeps it in at the point, but is rubbed out. Kovalev rushes over near the blueline at the boards, grabs the puck and backs off three Yotes with his stickhandling before sliding a nice little pass across the blueline to Bouillon who mishandles the puck.
* Backchecks to cover for changing Bouillon, grabs loose puck, slips back to Brisebois and goes off to change.
Second shift (with Zed on LW and Koivu at C):
* Zednik carries up left wing, Kovalev skates to high slot but is covered as Zednik's pass is deflected behind the net. Kovalev goes behind the net to help on the boards and is crosschecked twice by Vaananen (once HARD on the hip).
* Puck put around the boards by Vaananen is blocked by Kovalev, but he's double teamed and loses the puck on the boards.
* Zednik gives to Komisarek at point who lets a wrister go that is deflected by Kovalev in the high slot, but it goes wide into the corner.
* Koivu gets loose puck, holds, holds, then feeds Zednik in the high slot for a shot that is almost deflected by Kovalev who is floating in the low slot in perfect position.
* Koivu forces Vaananen to turn the puck over, feeds Rivet at the point who shoots low and wide to Kovalev's side (the left wing side of Coyote net), Kovalev turns his skate and tries to direct it in, but it hits Coyote defender's skate. Goes off for a change.
Third shift - on the power-play (Ryder-Ribeiro-Kovalev with Brisebois-Koivu on D):
*Stays mostly low on the right wing and passes back to point man Koivu frequently, little movement.
* Yotes dump it, Koivu passes to Kovalev at Habs blueline, he carries it deep in and around their net, but he is hooked and his arm is grabbed and puck squirts loose and Vaananen dumps it down the ice.
*Good puck movement, Koivu point shot, Kovalev crashes net for rebound, puck is loose and Ribeiro dumps it to the corner for Koivu.
*PP over, Ribs carries over blueline, drops to Kovalev who floats to high slot and lets a wrister go, but it is blocked by defence.
Fourth shift - on the power-play (Ryder-Ribeiro-Kovalev with Brisebois-Koivu on D):
* Stays in slot mostly, not much movement. Is easily covered.
* On breakout, Koivu hits Kovalev at our blueline, he skates to Coyote blueline hard, then cuts laterally and slides a pass to Ribeiro on the left wing boards. Brisebois eventually bobbles it at the line, Habs regroup.
[Average shift, not much hustle]
Fifth shift (with Zed on LW and Koivu at C):
* Markov gets it deep in the corner, passes it across the ice to Kovalev at our blueline. Kovalev skates past center and throws a tough pass to Koivu in a crowd at the blueline. Koivu gets it deep anyway. Bad pass.
* Loose puck on boards, Kovalev tries to use his reach to get it and is rubbed out. Not skating hard.
* Floats to lower slot, but Koivu feeds him while he is covered. Loses puck.
* Delayed penalty to Kovalev for hooking/obstruction near Coyote blueline. Horrible call. Julien laughs and stares long and hard at the ref (which he rarely does).
* Play goes to Montreal zone. The point man on his side crashes the net, but Kovalev does not go with him and he is left open, though nothing comes of it.
* Skates to penalty box hunched over, but doesn't complain. Quintal complains to ref.
[Poor shift, lazy]
Period ends, he doesn't return. It's easy to see where he got hurt, but I'm not gonna say. From what I saw, it was nothing, and I believe him when he says it is a bruise. I bet he just skips tomorrow's game.
lets give him a few games before we pass judgement though
[Poor shift, lazy]
Lazy or just injured?...
This is where I think he hurt the shoulder: * Loose puck on boards, Kovalev tries to use his reach to get it and is rubbed out. Not skating hard....
He was reaching for the puck against the boards and his right arm was fully extended when the Coyote came in and threw a hard bodycheck that trapped his arm only. He kept playing, but I bet that's where it happened.
I wouldn't be surprised if his foot has a bad bruise as well from the Rivet point shot that he tried to redirect, because it was slightly off the ice.
Great analysis raketheleaves.
Yet another proof that those 24 rings are blocking your ears and not your eyes! ;)
I didn't see the Game, Hopefully Kovy's back soon for you guys.
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