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.

1992-93New York RangersNHL6520183879

1993-94New York RangersNHL76233356154

1994-95Tolyatti LadaRussia12881649

1994-95New York RangersNHL4813152830   

1995-96New York RangersNHL8124345898   
1996-97New York RangersNHL4513223542

1997-98New York RangersNHL7323305344

1998-99New York RangersNHL1434712

1998-99Pittsburgh PenguinsNHL6320264637     
1999-00Pittsburgh PenguinsNHL8226406694     
2000-01Pittsburgh PenguinsNHL7944519596     
2001-02Pittsburgh PenguinsNHL6732447680

2002-03Pittsburgh PenguinsNHL5427376450

2002-03New York RangersNHL241031320

2003-04New York RangersNHL6613294254

2003-04Montreal CanadiensNHL1212312     
2004-05Kazan Ak-BarsRussia3510132380     
2005-06Montreal CanadiensNHL6923426576     
2006-07Montreal CanadiensNHL7318294778

2007-08Montreal CanadiensNHL8235498470     


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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