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ноября 2003 года.
No excuse for Kovalev - NY Post
By Larry Brooks
Enough already with the excuses he offered the middle of the week about how it's easier in Pittsburgh because players are allowed to be themselves and not so much is expected of them. Enough already with the explanations he offered yesterday about how it's the whole team and not just him that has to improve.
Enough already from Alex Kovalev, who hasn't done nearly enough since he was air-lifted onto Broadway last February. Enough with that already from the Rangers' most disappointing player, who, some time between the end of yesterday's fiasco at the Meadowlands and tonight's match in Chicago, hopefully recognized his obligation to take a hard look at himself in the mirror.
If the Rangers were especially feeble throughout their 5-0 loss to the Devils that stretched their latest winless streak against the defending champions to 10 (0-6-4) and extended their neighborly 35-game slice of shame to 2-21-12-1, no one was more feeble than Kovalev, who barely could be bothered to take a man or move his feet in 19:59 of minus-3 hockey. He was another hockey pygmy unable to measure up to the sport's reigning giants.
That's shocking, considering that in his first incarnation as a Blueshirt, Kovalev always gave the Devils fits, always raised the level of his game in what once upon a time was an emotional series. It was Kovalev, the '94 Devils believed, who beat them in the epochal seven-game conference finals that year just as surely as did Mark Messier or Mike Richter. But that was a lifetime ago. That was when the Rangers were to be respected, not mocked.
Yes, it's true, the league's great boardroom leaders have conspired to limit the impact skilled skaters such as Kovalev can make in a game or in a season. Talent, it seems, is now the least important attribute an NHL player possesses in this dead-puck era. The frustration is evident whenever Kovalev looks up without even a glimmer of hope of finding open ice. But that doesn't absolve him for his altogether abysmal response to the adversity he's faced since being hailed last February as a conquering hero.
A year ago, some of it was on Glen Sather, who shifted Kovalev from line to line, who moved him to the unfamiliar confines of left wing, who yanked him from the power-play point after a misplay resulted in a short-handed goal. But none of it is on Sather now. There's a heap on Sather - the Rangers yesterday were victimized by the faulty line changes that have plagued their dysfunctional bench all season - but not Kovalev.
Not when Kovalev has skated essentially all year with complementary pivot Petr (MIA) Nedved, not when Kovalev is leading the team's forwards in ice time overall and on the power play, where he does generally play the point. It's not on Sather that Kovalev can't get his shot through, not on Sather that Kovalev has two goals in his first 16 games while carrying a team-worst minus-5 rating.
Kovalev's reluctance to seek a multiyear deal that would have ensured
a long second Broadway run seemed somewhat odd last year. But he never
wanted more than one year any more than the Rangers did. And so he's being
paid $6.6 million for this one season, and will almost surely become a
free agent after it's over. The problem is, with games such as yesterday,
with a season such as this one, no one will even notice that he's missing.
Страничка Алексея Ковалёва на
сайте "Звёзды с Востока"
Алексей Ковалев: Мы раскрылись, как в боксе -
Алексей Ковалев: Мы раскрылись, как в боксе - "Советский Спорт"