A. Kostitsyn Stats (w/ regards to pairings)
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02-24-2009, 02:57 AM
Join Date: Nov 2006
Originally Posted by
Yeah, but as a counter-ish point, he (and Plekanec) get a boatload more time on the ice than the rest of the guys. Powerplay too. They should certainly have more points considering the ice time. Or, atleast shouldn't average 30 minutes of ice time between points.
Oh man, I know and agree, I was simply just stated a fact, albeit quite smug, that some others were ignoring when they said that Kovalev "doesn't pass", which is simply not true.
I find Kovalev often is left out to dry by his linemates. Alot of the time I will see him have the puck, and instead of a linemate going to a open spot for a pass, or staying with the play for support, just expect Kovalev to magically do everything himself and pass a cross crease tap in for them to glorify themselves with. Kovalev has a very dynamic playing style yes, but that doesn't mean he is intellectually dumb, quite the opposite. Kovalev knows the game better than anyone on the team, he also has more talent than anyone on the team, but those things don't always translate to success, obviously.
I see Kovalev trying to make passes that are harder than they need to be because players are not being smart and reading off him. He likes to carry the puck and coordinate the plays, but he is definitely not inept without the puck...when was the last time that you saw a linemate of Kovalev's find him in a spot where he could just easily tap the puck in(I am going to exempt Markov on this statement, because of his trademark cross seam pass on the PP)? I think that players on the team still haven't figured out totally how to play with Kovalev, even players that have played on his line in the past and for extended periods. But that doesn't mean that he couldn't give more effort out there, because he could...but I hate when people place all the blame on him, because when I watch the games, I see his linemates not producing as well alot of the time.
I will use an example of a goal last game against Ottawa to correlate my point a bit better. You guys seem to think that Andrei can't play well with Kovalev on his line and seem to lead on that it's Kovalev fault, well lets see here:
This goal was the first goal of the night, on the PP I believe. Alfredsson has the puck on the far boards ready to clear but Andrei comes in an impedes him well, using his body he is able to win a puck battle on the boards. Andrei then takes the puck out to the blueline where he leaves it for I believe Markov, could have been Schneider. From there, Andrei moves to the near boards and stretches out the box to leave Kovalev open in the slot, Kovalev recieves the pass, and using his hockey intelligence realises Pleks over in the backdoor area and moves the puck to him for a wideopen shot into the goal. This is what I want to see Andrei doing out there with Kovalev on his line. He needs to make plays on the boards, he needs to get his nose dirty a bit, and when he wins that puck, he needs to get open and spread out defenses and make room for Kovalev. You give Kovalev room, and he will make it hurt, he will find a way to put it in the net whether by shot or a pass. So I think alot of it is up to Andrei, and if he can learn and be willing to play to his ability out there on Kovalev's line, I think they will be successful.
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