Alexei Kovalev: Get on My Back Boys, I'm Well Rested and Ready To Go

OTTAWA, ON - OCTOBER 26:  Alex Kovalev #27 of the Ottawa Senators celebrates a goal against the Phoenix Coyotes with his teammates on the bench during a game at Scotiabank Place on October 26, 2010 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.  (Photo by Phillip MacCallum/Getty Images)
Phillip MacCallum/Getty Images
Gerald NortonFeatured ColumnistOctober 27, 2010

After a tremendous first period in which the Senators out-shot, outplayed and outscored the opposition, the Sens once again went into a shell in hopes of protecting a lead.

In each of the teams two previous wins and in the game they led but eventually lost in OT to Washington, the team's lack of confidence has led to the evaporation of leads.

Honestly, how do you go from out-shooting the opposition 20-8 in the first, then being out-shot 11-5 in the second? By stopping doing what earned you the lead, in hopes of simply protecting it.

The result? Another blown lead.

Here we go again.

After having this happen every time you've done it, what would make you to do it again? An abject lack of confidence.

This team has to be willing to risk losing in trying to win, rather than risk winning in trying not to lose.

Like it or not, it is this simple.

Hockey, for all of the X's and O's, systems and game-plans, is still a simple game; a simple game these men have been playing all of their lives.

If this team can't relax and stick to the plan for 60 minutes, all of this playing not to lose will result in a lot more losing, not winning.

Then the story changed.

With Phoenix having just scored their second goal to close the lead to one, Kovy slapped some sense into his team by scoring his second goal of the game, restoring the team's two goal lead, and suddenly the Sens came back to life, just when it seemed they we're doomed to go down weeping.

Love him or hate him, look no further than Alexei Kovalev for why this team didn't lose this game in pathetic fashion.

Look to him for why this story changed.

Melnyk said he was looking forward to Kovalev "Exploding." Well Big Mel...


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