Kovalev to be traded?
His detractors might say somebody should have woken up Alex Kovalev with a shot in the head a long time ago.
Or what the Senators winger is doing now is auditioning for a job as Sidney Crosby’s linemate before the trade deadline.
But maybe, just maybe, all the aging Russian needed was a few days under the hot sun to recharge his battery.
Whatever the real reason, Kovalev has returned from the all-star break with new-found jump and his familiar scoring touch. After a three-point night Wednesday, Kovalev now has two goals and two assists in the past two games.
The sudden production has come with Kovalev wearing the disguise of a brawler.
In the game before the break, he was sitting on the bench when a puck hit him in the face, breaking a cheekbone and his nose.
Only now are his two shiners starting to disappear.
“It’s all right,” Kovalev said of his nose. “It just gets hit all the time. Soon as you get it once, then they keep hitting it.”
Kovalev denied the tongue-in-cheek theory he’s taking out his frustration at being hit on opponents.
“I’m not mad at anybody,” he said. “It’s one of those things, sometimes every thing works for you, whatever you do, and sometimes just whatever you do … you may be trying too hard or whatever it is, but nothing works.”
Kovalev, who can become an unrestricted free agent this summer, says he’s not dwelling on the possibility he could get dealt before the Feb. 28 deadline.
“I’m not thinking about it right now,” he said. “What’s most important is how I’m playing, and if I’m helping the team or not. We had a break, we talked about coming back and turning things around. We still have a lot of games to play.”
“I’m not going to discuss rumours or what other people are saying. What happens, happens.”