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01-02-2004, 09:33 AM
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Join Date: May 2002
Location: New Orleans
Country: Madagascar
Posts: 2,710
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Malakhov and Kovalev both need to be held accountable, but in different ways. IMO, except for a few games here or there, Malakhov has been atrocious all year. He coughs the puck up regularly, he's not physical, he loses his coverage. Maybe he's injured, but thats still not an excuse. I haven't seen anywhere close to 100% effort from him all year. And for that, he deserves to sit in favor of Bouchard. Scratch him for a few games. If Bouchard plays good, leave him in there. That way, when a spot does open up for Malakhov to get in the lineup, maybe he'll show a little more desperation and effort. Make him earn a spot in the lineup. Because right now, all he's earning is an early ski vacation at Aspen.

As for Kovalev, for the most part, he's been showing good effort. To me, he hasnt played bad enough to warrant a scratch. But he directly cost us 3 goals last night, two by penalty and one by attempting an uncalled for pass. And that is unacceptable, he should be punished for it. I say sit him down for the 1st period in Pittsburgh and give Ortmeyer the extra minutes. Then put him back up with Holik in the 2nd period, and I guarantee you he will play smarter, and most likely score. Plus it'll send a message to the rest of the team that theres no place for undisciplined penalties anymore.

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