Does Montreal Canadiens Alex Kovalev Need a "C" To Perform?

Matt Eichel@@mattyalloutSenior Writer IFebruary 1, 2009

"If a player needs a letter to perform, well then, I've got a problem with that," was the comment from Montreal Canadiens head coach Guy Carbonneau after another 3-1 loss to the Boston Bruins Sunday afternoon.

"I'm not taking the 'C' off Saku's jersey.  That's it."

So does Alex Kovalev really need that "C" on his jersey to perform?  Is an "A" not enough?

We saw how he performed in the All-Star Game—came out with an MVP performance worthy of that recognition.

The Canadiens have played well when he was at the helm with Saku Koivu out.

But now with Koivu back, the Canadiens have slipped, winning only one of their last six games.

If Kovalev needs a "C" to perform, then, the Montreal Canadiens are not the team for him.

I've got nothing against the guy, but he just isn't the same that he was last season. There's no sense of passion left over from an 83-point season. And does leadership show through having a letter on the jersey?

I hope not, because then many players in the NHL are in trouble.

With the story of Saku Koivu and all the years and memories he has brought to the Canadiens organization, through his battle with cancer to second-round heartbreakers, Koivu is the man the Canadiens chose at the beginning of the decade to lead and they are sticking with him.

Controversial? Oh yeah, we've all heard this one before.

But if Kovalev needs a letter to increase his goal and point production, I think the solution is clear: ship him.

Sure, sounds harsh, but in a hockey-mad city, the Canadiens lose four games in a row and the entire city is freaking out.

Just imagine if this season's St. Louis Blues or Tampa Bay Lightning had these kind of fans. There wouldn't be any stop to all the lunacy that follows being in the cellar.

And yet with a team in the top eight and now one win in their last six games, the Montreal media need a scapegoat to the Canadiens' problems.

Simple. Alex Kovalev hasn't played well with only an "A".

I'm with Carbonneau on this one.

Saku Koivu's the captain. Not Alex Kovalev.

Sure, Koivu has been struggling after a red-hot start, but who doesn't struggle from time to time?

The fact remains—to say that you perform better with a letter is absurd.

If you want to perform better with a "C" on your shoulder, Mr. Kovalev, then maybe you'd best be looking for another team.

'Cause Kaptain Koivu would not be happy.


Matt Eichel is a Community Leader for the Montreal Canadiens here on Bleacher Report along with Miah D. and Daniel Arouchain.  Matt also co-hosts Habs All Out Radio, a in-depth talk radio show devoted to all things Montreal Canadiens.

It airs weekly at and is hosted by Matt and Miah.