Montreal Canadiens: Alexei Kovalev Turns the Corner

Peter BojarinovAnalyst IMarch 12, 2008

A few seasons ago, Alexei Kovalev was booed in the playoffs, when he dropped the puck after a light trip that wasn't called, which lead to the game-winning goal for the opposition in their playoff series.

Last season, Kovalev posted only 18 goals, and a minus-19 rating.

Then there's Montreal, a team who's seemed to start the previous season well, but finished just outside the playoffs, two points behind eighth place for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. 

So what has turned around Kovalev and the Montreal Canadiens? They've continued to work on adding youth and and speed. The addition of the Kostitsyn brothers flanking captain Saku Koivu. Then the top line of Christopher Higgins, Tomas Plekanec, and Alexei Kovalev, who each have been having a terrific season. Higgins and Plekanec having season highs in almost every category from games played to goals, to plus minus. This year has been a breaking out party for them. Not to mention a rookie goaltender by the name of Carey Price, who the GM Bob Gainey believes could be the future of the Habitants.

Then there's Alexei Kovalev who's been on a tear, tied for 19 points for the best in the previous 30 days in points with Sundin and Malkin. Yes, you've heard all about Mats Sundin, throwing his team on his shoulders to miraculously take them into the post season. As well as Evgeni Malkin taking over for the team's injured captain Sidney Crosby, the poster boy for the new NHL. Malkin is keeping his team above the Eastern Conference while Crosby is out. So why haven't we heard much about Kovalev, he's played well if not better then the other two leaders. Compared to that, Kovalev's has gone above and beyond expectations leading his team in most categories, and leading his young linemates to quality shifts, games, and the season. 

Go Kovalev, Go Habs.

Keep it going, it's a sight to see. If you have a chance catch Kovalev and the Habs next few games in as they finish the season with enthusiasm.