Ottawa Senators' Alexei Kovalev Shows His Passion in the Battle of Ontario
Phillip MacCallum/Getty Images
Alexei Kovalev is coming back from lengthy rehabilitation after surgery to repair a torn ACL in his left knee, so many wondered if the 37-year-old Ottawa Senators forward—who is often criticized for his lack of passion—would return ready to play.
Some of those critics were answered in Wednesday night's preseason game against the Toronto Maple Leafs when Alexei Kovalev dropped his gloves and fought Maple Leafs' defenceman Francois Beauchemin as though he was a 19-year-old prospect looking to impress the coach.
“I was a little bit surprised,” coach Cory Clouston said. “But I guess you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do out there.”
Never mind that Kovalev was on the receiving end of four hits while never landing one himself. It showed that he was back, ready to play, and that he cared.
“Everybody was excited,” said Kovalev. “You don’t see too often Alex Kovalev fight.
“It’s entertainment and it’s before the season. I’m sure I’ll think twice in regular season, if I should do that. Depends on the scoring in the game. This game doesn’t really mean anything. It was good. Just to change the flow of the game. We were able to tie the game.”
The fight was only the fourth of Kovalev's career, and the first since March 25, 2006, when he fought Toronto's Darcy Tucker. His two other fights were against Florida’s Alex Hicks on December 30, 1998 and against Dallas’ Dave Gagner on February 26, 1994.
“I’m just happy to be around and still playing hockey,” he said earlier this week. “That’s what I’m happy about. With all the injuries I’ve had, I still feel pretty good and I still feel like I can keep up with the younger guys these days and contribute a lot in different ways…(It's about) just being around the guys and doing something for the fans and the team and if, in my career, I make somebody happy then I’m happy.”
Judging from the cheers at Scotiabank Place as Kovalev skated to the box, the fans agree.
More Sens Stories
- Is Bobby Butler making a case for staying with the Sens? - NESN
- Ottawa Senators reduce their training camp roster by 16 players - Ottawa Sun
- Chris Phillips defends former teammate Wade Redden as a “class act” - Montreal Gazette
- Tough questions face the Sens after another loss to the Leafs: Is there a cause for concern? - Ottawa Citizen
- Binghamton Senators announce their training camp roster - Examiner
- Is Nick Foligno ready to become a top end talent or is he just another pre-season fluke? - Seven Deadly Sens
- Apparently, some people have a problem with the Sens new slogan “My Town. My Team” - Sens Underground
- Jared Cowen or David Hale: who will grab the last roster spot? - Sens Hobo
- Examining the Sens loss to the Leafs and the necessity of pre-season games - Black Aces
- Robin Lehner sets an example for the other prospects to follow - SenSay
- Is Alexei Kovalev the “most interesting man alive”? Having fun with Photoshop - The 6th Sens
Christopher Smith runs senspedia.com, an Ottawa Senators fan site.
What is the duplicate article?
Why is this article offensive?
Where is this article plagiarized from?
Why is this article poorly edited?