MONTREAL - It may be starting to sound like a broken record, but as Alex Kovalev, Tomas Plekanec
and Andrei Kostitsyn go, so go the Canadiens. The Senators found that out in a big way on Tuesday night.
Thanks to a combined nine points on the evening - evenly split among them - Kovalev, Plekanec, and Kostitsyn almost single-handedly sunk the Senators. The Habs' most dangerous line all season long is showing no signs of lifting their foot from the gas pedal.
“Watching them go from the behind the bench, I can’t help smile,” admitted normally stoic head coach Guy Carbonneau. “That second goal they scored tonight is a shoe-in for the plays of the week. It’s always a treat for a coach to watch his team score a goal like that.
“A big part of our success this year is thanks to their line,” continued Carbonneau. “I can’t remember them playing consecutive bad games all season. They’ve kept working hard and the results speak for themselves.”
In the midst of his ongoing coming-out party, Plekanec is enjoying his ride on the Kovalev express.
“It’s all coming together for us right now as a line,” understated Plekanec, whose two-goal night leaves him already one-goal shy of the career-high 20 he potted last season. “We’re getting more comfortable with one another with every game. Sure we look for one another out there, but we’re not doing anything complicated. We always try to be the first ones on the puck and we go hard to the net.
“My two goals tonight were wide open nets and scoring goals like that is just fine with me,” added Plekanec. “I could definitely get used to this.”
Plekanec isn’t the only one, a rejuvenated Kovalev is also loving every minute of his line’s torrid season so far. With now 52 points to his credit, the Russian winger has already surpassed his 49 point total of a year ago.
“The strongest line I ever skated was in Pittsburgh with Martin Straka and Robert Lang. We piled up something like 270 points as a line one year,” recalled Kovalev of the 2000-01 season when the Penguins’ trio terrorized the league. “So far this year Tomas, Andrei and I have put up what, like 140 points. I figure with 28 games left if we can keep getting three points per night, we might even get there. The important thing is to keep pushing our limits.”
If that sounds like a scary thought, it is. Just ask Mike Komisarek.
“They just have this way of finding each other out there. They’re creating a ton of chances and capitalizing on them,” said Komisarek, who makes his living shutting down the NHL’s most feared lines. “I’m just glad I don’t have to face these guys.”
Manny Almela is a writer for canadiens.com