Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 11/19/10 at 01:54 PM ET
from Mike Brophy of Sportsnet,
So why Kessel over Kovalchuk? That’s easy.
For starters, Kessel is only 23-years old compared to Kovalchuk, who is 27. Also, there is only four more years left on Kessel’s contract after this season compared to 14 more for Kovalchuk. There are kids just learning to skate who could be Kovalchuk’s teammates if he plays the entire duration of his contract.
Also, Kessel may not possess leadership qualities, but I have never heard him referred to as a dog. The same cannot be said for Kovalchuk who often seems disinterested, especially when he doesn’t have the puck.
That much was evident Thursday night. In a game that could be described as life or death for both clubs, even though it’s early in the season, Kessel thoroughly outplayed Kovalchuk.
Kovalchuk played 22:50 and had an assist to go with four shots on goal. However, he often seemed lethargic and there was no desperation in his game to get the Devils back into the contest when they fell behind. Kessel, on the other hand, played 20 minutes and finished with one goal—the game winner. He had six shots on goal and hit the goal post on another. He was engaged on virtually each and every of the 21 shifts he skated.
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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