#88: Alexei Kovalev
Alexei Kovalev has had an up and down time with the Montreal Canadiens since he was traded to the Habs six years ago.
In his first partial season, he scored only one goal: an empty-netter against the New Jersey Devils (I remember that one because I was at the game). He added two assists in 12 games, and it looked like it was a bust. But he came through in the playoffs, scoring six goals and four assists in 11 playoff games that year.
Since then, his time with the team has had fans cringing. The following season, he had 65 points. He followed that up with 18 goals and 47 points in 73 games. But the following year, he bounced back with 35 goals and 84 points, his second highest season totals.
Although his regular season is up and down, he has consistently come through in the playoffs. In 29 playoff games with the Habs, he has 15 goals and 28 points.
Other interesting tidbits about Kovalev:
He won gold medals with Russia in the world juniors and the Olympics.
First Russian to be drafted in the first round
First Russian to have his name on the Stanley Cup
When he was 8 years old, Kovalev had a heart disorder that prevented him from playing hockey for two years.
Isn’t scared to stick up for himself, as proven in this video of him against the Leafs.
For more on Alexei Kovalev: