Sure, Kovalev has been bad lately, but that doesn't excuse Plekanec. He's floating around like he's waiting for Kovalev to remember he's Jesus and hand him a goal.
It doesn't work that way.
Kovalev may need to get his act in gear, but maybe it's up to his linemates to help him, just as much as it's up to him to help them.
This whole "blame Kovalev" for that line being a mess is absurd. There are three players on it and at least one has been worse than Kovalev.
Plekanec needs to be reminded that he has to play his game, which involves speed, regardless of his wingers.
Last year, Plex and Kostitsyn were flying around the ice and Kovalev kept up with them. This year, they're all playing that slow game Kovalev sometimes reverts to.
I'd beak up Kovalev and Plekanec for at least a month. They're feeding each other's worst habits.
Plekanec should be put with Begin and Lapierre for a week or two until he remembers how to skate. He's the fastest skater on the team, I'd bet, but sure isn't showing it.
Kovalev, for his part, I think needs to sit down until his knee is better. He reported to camp in shape. He says the right things. This is not the Kovalev of two years ago. He is either too hurt or too old. If it's injury, he needs to stop being a warrior and get it fixed.
I don't want to sound like one of those guys who blames the worlds problems on Kovalev, but maybe this combo needs a break. Andrei Kostitsyn looked like a new player when he was switched from this line. Pleky skates hard but he looks for Kovalev all the time. It could be time for a change.
That is why I think AKost and Dago would bring some energy and get Plekanic's going and loosen up a bit. I think Kovalev is bringing down every line he's on right now. If he's injured then let him take the time off he just doesn't look good.