Kovalev's struggles worry Murray


, Last Updated: 9:19 PM ET

The Senators and Alex Kovalev dont agree on why the winger is off to a slow start.

While Senators GM Bryan Murray told reporters he doesnt believe the Russian veteran has fully recovered from knee surgery he had in April, Kovalev scoffed at the suggestion Wednesday.

Not very good, said Murray when asked how he felt about Kovalevs play. It looks like his skating isnt where it was last year. I think there are lingering effects maybe from the surgery he had.

Im hoping thats part of it and Im hoping as time goes on, he gets going. I dont think Alex is where he will be. We need him to be a good hockey player and to be a creative player. He doesnt need to be a star. He has to be creative and help players he plays with. I expect that will happen.

Kovalev didnt agree with Murrays assessment of his skating.

Last year, people talked about how I wasnt skating, either, said Kovalev. I dont know where the truth lies. Last year or this year? Im skating better than last year. Personally, thats the way I feel.

Kovalev said hes trying to improve.

Im working and trying to get better, said Kovalev. Its not always working the way you want, but Im going to just keep trying and things will start working. Its the same thing for our team.

Theres ups and downs during the season. Hopefully, that down part is happening now.