That's cold: Players get revenge on old teams 

October, 19, 2009

The weekend brings a lot of games and a lot of stories -- good and bad. With that in mind, I'll be offering my "Monday 10" at the beginning of each work week. It will be pretty straight forward: 10 players/teams that grabbed my attention over each busy weekend. I'll be happy to praise, but -- as you probably know -- I won't hesitate to criticize.

So, with no further ado, here's the Monday 10.

Alexei Kovalev: You just knew that the Russian sniper wanted to have a big game on his return to Montreal. He did just that. He assisted on Daniel Alfredsson's game-winner and netted a sweet insurance marker in the Ottawa Senators' 3-1 victory over the Canadiens. Kovalev had spent four-plus seasons with the Habs before leaving via free agency in the summer. Actually, the way I hear it, he really didn't want to leave. The team did offer him a new deal, but he hesitated to sign off. In this case, he who hesitates ends up in Ottawa. At age 36, Kovy remains in terrific shape. When he's dialed-in, he's still a dangerous weapon. Of course, he sometimes leaves his phone at home. Throughout his career, Kovalev has been dynamic, but inconsistent. He will be no different in Ottawa. The Senators probably wish they played the Canadiens every night for the rest of their two-year ($10 million) commitment with Kovalev.

To read E.J. Hradek's other observations from a busy weekend in the NHL, including more vengeful performances, the Blue Jackets' best start ever and the scorching pace Alex Ovechkin is setting, you must be an Insider. Insider

E.J. Hradek

Senior Writer, ESPN The Magazine
E.J. Hradek is a senior writer at ESPN The Magazine, joining the staff prior to its launch in 1998. He began covering hockey as a writer/editor for Hockey Illustrated in 1989.