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Alex Kovalev, by the Numbers: Why He's Having a Rough Year

Fred PoulinCorrespondent IFebruary 9, 2009

Many Canadiens fans are growing tired of Kovalev's lacklustre play on the ice this season.

However, they must know that Kovalev only had two seasons over 80 points in his long career (2000-01 and 2007-08).

After 53 games, Kovy has 37 points (13 goals and 24 assists) on pace for a mere 57 points, a 27-point decrease compared to last year.

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As a Ranger, Kovalev registered 275 points in 402 games for a 0.68 point-per-game average.

As a Penguin, Kovalev notched 347 points in only 345 games for a 1.01 point-per-game pace.

As a Canadien, Kovalev recorded 199 points in 236 games before this season for a 0.84 point-per-game average.

Finally, throughout his career (including this season's numbers) Kovalev played 1,126 games and recorded 913 points for a 0.81 point-per-game pace.

After looking at the above numbers, it would be wise and normal to expect about 65 points from Kovy over a 82-game season. Even fewer, if we take into account that the Habs' power play has been mediocre this season.

Last season, he recorded 37 points on the man advantage, 44 percent of his production. This season, he only has 14 points on the PP—38 percent of his total—which means he is producing more this season at even strength than last year.

The Canadiens' lack of success on the power play is reflected in Kovalev's stats and play, which in return hampers the Canadiens' ability to win close games.

I have been saying all year long that a productive Canadiens team must start with an effective power play. When Kovalev is producing on the PP, he is a happy player and he is not trying to do everything by himself, which in turn helps the remaining players carry and share the offensive load.

Players like Plekanec and Koivu are trying to do too much and are not able to bear that much pressure.

Bob Gainey, it's time to find the power-play specialist the Habs need so much!

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