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10-18-2006, 10:44 PM
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Kovalev is underrated defensively. One of his big strengths is that once he gets his stick on the puck in the defensive zone, he'll often gain control of it and protect it enough to neutralize the attack.

He can be accused of not backchecking, but on the PK this is not a factor (and, really, hasn't been much of one this season 5-on-5 either.)

He was on the PK with Koivu fairly often at the beginning of last season.

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