Kovalev's struggles worry Murray

BRUCE GARRIOCH, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:19 PM ET

The Senators and Alex Kovalev don’t agree on why the winger is off to a slow start.

While Senators GM Bryan Murray told reporters he doesn’t 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 Kovalev’s play. “It looks like his skating isn’t where it was last year. I think there are lingering effects maybe from the surgery he had.

“I’m hoping that’s part of it and I’m hoping as time goes on, he gets going. I don’t think Alex is where he will be. We need him to be a good hockey player and to be a creative player. He doesn’t need to be a star. He has to be creative and help players he plays with. I expect that will happen.”

Kovalev didn’t agree with Murray’s assessment of his skating.

“Last year, people talked about how I wasn’t skating, either,” said Kovalev. “I don’t know where the truth lies. Last year or this year? I’m skating better than last year. Personally, that’s the way I feel.”

Kovalev said he’s trying to improve.

“I’m working and trying to get better,” said Kovalev. “It’s not always working the way you want, but I’m going to just keep trying and things will start working. It’s the same thing for our team.

“There’s ups and downs during the season. Hopefully, that down part is happening now.”


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