Articles by Pedro Beltran

A listing of all the articles written by Pedro Beltran for the RotoWire Blog.

Lundqvist: Haunted By December





Throughout Lundqvist’s career, he has been notorious for being a notoriously subpar goaltender in December.  The first game of the month this season made it seem like the curse may have been broken when he allowed two goals in a shootout victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins, but since then, he has been atrocious, which has been his December M.O. ever since he has been in the league.

In three games since, Lundqvist has allowed 17 goals, which is a 5.66 goals against average.  That is well below Lundqvist’s 2.36 GAA (as of December 11) and it makes you wonder what is wrong with Henrik.

You wonder if Lundqvist may have a problem with Santa Clause or the holidays.  No, I don’t think that’s it.  I think the young goaltender is getting too comfortable.  He knows the Rangers are in a good position in the East, and he is becoming too relaxed. He needs to get focused, because the Rangers need to set themselves up in a position to have favorable match ups in the playoffs.  Also, play like this could lead to a letdown. We have seen bigger collapses. 2007 and 2008 New York Mets anybody?

The million dollar question seems to be this. What does Lundqvist need to get going?

Michael Ganci

MichaelGanci@gmail.com

 

The Enigma That is Alex Kovalev

Here we go again.

Alex Kovalev has been one of the most mysterious players in the past decade. It has been a tale of two players. On one hand, you would have the elite goal-scoring machine that fans in Pittsburgh got to know and love, and on the other, you would have the erratic and inconsistent player that would just make you want to scratch your head. Just ask Rangers’ fans. Most cringe at the sound of his name.

Talent has never been an issue. Kovalev first burst onto the scene during the 92-93 season, when Kovalev impressed the Rangers by scoring 20 goals in 65 games. The next year, Alex scored 26 and amassed 66 points, but ten, Kovalev just stopped producing.

It wasn’t until the 99-00 season that Kovalev got back into the groove. By then, the Rangers had grown tired of his inconsistency. They dealt him to the Pittsburgh Penguins and Kovalev had a new strut in his step.

His best season would come in the 2000-01 season, when Kovalev exploded for 44 goals and 95 points in 79 games. His numbers steadily declined over the next couple of seasons, and he found himself back with the New York Rangers.

The Rangers once again grew sick of Kovalev’s production, or lack there of, and they shipped him off to Montreal, which is where he currently roams. Two decent seasons started his career with the Habs, including 23 and then 18 goal campaigns. Last season was another breakout season for Kovalev, who notched 35 goals and 84 points in 82 games, but the inconsistency has returned, and the Canadiens are trying to figure out how to stop it.

Kovalev has gone 16 games without scoring a goal, and he has just five on the season. That puts him on pace to finish the year with 15 goals and 59 points, which would qualify as his worst season since the 2003-04 season. What can the Canadiens do? That’s the million dollar question.

Unfortunately, all they can do is wait and see.

-Michael Ganci
MichaelGanci@gmail.com