Sure, it was only a pre-season game and as Alex Kovalev described his one-sided fight (“I tried to use my head to hurt him”) with Francois Beauchemin as “just entertainment.”
Maybe. But it looks like Kovy sent a message to his teammates, and to Ottawa Senators fans, the moment he dropped his gloves in Wednesday’s 4-3 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Kovalev means business this season. It’s the final year of a two-year Ottawa contract. He looks good, is skating well, and now he’s getting in a scrap, something he doesn’t remember doing since “I was 21 in 1995.”
The records show he fought with Darcy Tucker in 2006, but no matter. Kovalev is engaged, and that bodes well for a team counting on veterans like Kovalev, Alfredsson and Gonchar.
“I just tried to change the flow of the game,” Kovalev told us in the corridor afterwards. “Sometimes you need to do those things.
“It’s something you might do during the year . . . to get the team going.
“Those things are little things, but they sometimes make a big difference.He got really aggressive. He pushed me and I hit him back.”
Kovalev admitted his fight was a big hit in the dressing room. As he passed him in the hallway, Sens enforcer Matt Carkner cocked his fists in mock salute to his new fellow hit man.
“Everybody was excited,” Kovalev said. “You don’t see too often Alex Kovalev fight.
No, you don’t see it too often. But it isn’t a bad idea for the big fella to let everyone know he’s involved out there, not just dipsy-doodling with the puck.
Kovalev predicted his fight could be a big hit on “YouTube.” It’s already there!
Call me crazy, but I have a good feeling about Kovalev this year. If he can stay healthy, he can do some damage this season . . . though probably not huge damage with his fists.