Last night's Thrashers game was a prime example of what happens when a tremendous lack of effort causes a team to perform short of expectations. The top 2 defensive pairings and Hedberg again were fairly solid. Offensively and 3rd pairing, the defense was absent. Lines were switched... nothing really seemed to get the Thrashers' butts in gear, except for the last five minutes of the game where we suddenly realized that we had to score. Then, of course, we go great guns.
We were in the middle of putting pressure on Kipper and creating scoring chances when, with the net empty, Kovalchuk turns the puck over and causes the ENG. What does he do? Stand there and look pissed. This is pretty indicative of his problematic defense recently - it just hasn't be that good.
So, what do some Thrashers fans do in response? Call for him to be traded.
Yeah, pick your jaws up now. Based on a couple of weeks of off play, probably due to the fact that his foot is, I don't know, still broken, they want the face of our franchise shipped out for young pieces, and they want the weight of the franchise to fall on Bogosian, Kane, and Little. A 19 year old, an 18 year old, and someone who has scored 3 goals all season. Perfect.
Is he not still wearing the boot on the broken foot? He came back from injury about three weeks sooner than he should have - does no one see the problem that this could cause?
He's not going to dog it if he wants to shop himself around, and he's not going to dog it if he's trying to get more money out of Atlanta. He's also not the only person on the team playing off of their game - Armstrong, Little and White have all been guilty of standing around and doing neither jack nor squat (though Little's woken up quite a bit more). The 3rd pairing on defense has been responsible for quite a few goals recently. We can't play a full 60 minutes - we do well to play a full 10. It's not just Kovy, it's the whole team. Once a mood or an atmosphere begins to take over the play on the ice, it impacts everyone. I'm convinced this is a combo of the team being in a slump and him not generally being 100%.
But to say that contract talks have broken down, he's not worth the money, inferior, and saying that it's someone else's team is a bit presumptuous based on about 5 games play out of 82 total. Everyone worshiped the ground he walked on when he came back and went on a tear, and now people want him banished to Narnia? Good lord, over-react much? Teams (and players) get into funks once in a while. Back away from the ledge and breathe. The Rangers have lost 5 out of their last 6. Saying to dump Kovy because of his poor play is like saying they need to dump Lundqvist because he hasn't been doing so well recently.