Klutch Kaptain Kovalev Comes Through in 2009 NHL All-Star Game

Matt EichelSenior Writer IJanuary 25, 2009

No better script could have been written, thought up, or derived than what transpired on Bell Centre ice Sunday night.

The Montreal Canadiens own Alex Kovalev, a player many argued should not even be in the All-Star Game this season, played the role of hero, but he had some help along the way too.

Kaptain Kovalev led in more ways that just having the "C" on his right shoulder. Kovalev notched two dazzling goals in regulation time, one on West starter J.S. Giguere to make it 2-1 and then another against Nicklas Backstrom to put the East ahead yet again 8-7.

But it wasn't those goals that the fans will remember this game for, it was Kovalev's eventual shootout winner against Robert Luongo to give the East All-Stars the win.

Not only did Kovalev notch a goal against all three West goalies, but he became the hero all over again in Montreal.

With a roaring crowd encouraging him on during the shootout, Kovalev snapped a shot top corner glove side and was applauded by the 21,273 Bell Centre faithful.

Who says this guy wasn't supposed to be in the game? Might have been me. Who said this guy should not have worn the "C"? That was myself as well.

On this night, I'm glad I have to eat my words. Alex Kovalev and all the All-Stars in Montreal this weekend really put together a game that will be remembered far more than many midseason classics as of late.

From Alex Ovechkin's cowboy dance to Kovalev's heroics in front of the hometown fans, the 2009 NHL All-Star Game was a brilliant success and more.

It was an extravagant and fun-loving event that shows the true colours of the game and of the NHL.

It shows the players at their rawest level—that being they are still all kids at heart and they all love to play this game.

Kovalev may not jump around and get excited when he scores like Ovechkin does.

But he still loves the game just as much.

My hat is off to all 2009 NHL All-Stars, playing or not.

You've made the game of hockey proud.


Matt Eichel is the Community Leader for the Montreal Canadiens here on Bleacher Report.  Matt also co-hosts Habs All Out Radio, a in-depth talk radio show devoted to all things Montreal Canadiens.  It airs weekly at www.youcastr.com/shows/habs-all-out and is hosted by Matt and Miah D.