Go to NHL.com and go to Sammy's page, then play the highlights of all his goals from last year. He does not have goalscorer instincts from what I saw. He scores goals coming in late to scrums, he doesn't seem to know how to set up his own shot (though he does it a couple times), he's a passer at heart.
Anything better than the 23 he scored last year would be nice, anyway. That number probably counts as a huge disappointment relative to the "Kovalev will get 40!" threads of last pre-season. But he didn't seem to be as bad on the ice as that discrepancy would suggest. Another 20-30 goal season wouldn't be so awful if he just basically played the same way, would it? I mean, this is Kovalev, after all, his picture is practically in the dictionary beside the term "unfulfilled expectations".
Kovalev has scored over 30 goals three times and has played over 70 games a half dozen times. The chances are pretty high that he will miss around 10 games and won't get over 25 goals. Something like 70GP, 25 goals and 40 assists would be realistic expectations from Kovalev.