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11-19-2011, 05:01 PM
NYR Sting
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Originally Posted by HockeyBurd View Post
Right, but that's the point in the end. He's an underachiever in most hockey circles. Which ultimately ends up diminishing a great career. He had a fantastic career by any standards. Any standards what so ever.
It wasn't a fantastic career by his own standards, because the standards he set when he played his best (and there was a marked difference between the way he played most of the time and the way he played when he was focused) were a lot higher than the standards he met for the majority of his career.

But the first thing so many people say when mentioning Kovalev is that he is one of the biggest underachievers simply because his natural talent level suggested he should be one of the all time greats. As though we don't see that continuously in sports. There are other components to the game. And it's as if that is what defines him. The guy has achieved a tremendous amount in this sport. But the one huge thing that he never gets credit for is his fan friendly (especially kid friendly) hockey style.
I think it does define him. What component can be bigger than the fact that he is a disappointment? As a fan of the sport, and sports in general, one of the great things to witness is a career that ends up being a particularly notable one. It's fun to see legends get made, it's fun to witness the rise of superstars. Kovalev should have been one of those kind of notable stories. He was that good. Instead, you have about 4 seasons, scattered throughout his career, where he put up the kind of numbers you know he was capable of putting up every year.

He has drawn a very large young fan base to hockey that would otherwise have never even given hockey a second thought.
What are you basing this on? Kovalev played for the the Cup team. There were going to be plenty of young fans anyway, and it's not like young kids weren't already watching the Habs when he got there. I'm not so sure all that many young fans without prior interest turned to hockey on account of Alexei Kovalev. He probably got more Russian kids interested in the NHL, I guess.

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