via Josh Yohe of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,
One of the most highly skilled players in hockey, Kovalev is not enjoying the fact that scoring is down in the past few NHL seasons.
“There's more just kind of straightforward hockey (today),” Kovalev said. “Not much skill compared to the old days.”
One of Kovalev's old coaches, Dan Bylsma, acknowledged before the game that while Kovalev isn't hockey's fastest player, his skill and patience with the puck are rare commodities.
Kovalev, though, said he doesn't believe his talents fit into this era of NHL hockey.
“It's really kind of obvious,” he said. “Sometimes you can predict what the players are going to do: He just skates forward, and (the fastest guys) are going to be in the league. In the old days, it was just skill. You didn't know where the puck was going to come from or where it was going to go, but these days, it's easy to predict what's going to happen.”