Posted 17 October 2011 - 08:19 AM
I've always found it wierd that people make a point to say "this is still parise's team" whenever they complain about kovalchuk. Yes, it absolutely IS Parise's team, but that is the only way to have a Kovalchuk type player and be a successful team. Look at the Penguins. Who here would say that they are Malkin's team? It doesn't matter though because he is just there to add scoring. Same goes for Kovalchuk. He's a hired gun, and he plays that role extremely well as shown with his numerous GWG's.
Also, Tri, I agree the benefit of having a superstar player is that you dont have to play him with other top talent to get production out of him, and that is clearly proven by his current line. The thing is when you play a superstar with no good linemates that still forces them to do things themselves which is what everyone seems to be complaining about with Kovalchuk's play. I know it was brief, but remember back to the begining of last season where Kovalchuk was playing on a line with Parise. Those two were making plays back and forth with each other constantly because both of them were confindent that the other wasn't going to botch the play. With his current linemates on the other hand, Kovalchuk dishes the puck to them and often times that the end of the play because they aren't expecting the passes or the passes that kovie makes bounce off their sticks beacuse he passes to hard for them to corral it. Palmieri has a paticular habit of ruining plays when he gets the puck in transition and I think that really affects Kovlachuk's ability to utilize all of his skills.
In my opinion, the difference between the typical "makes players around him better" type of superstar and the Kovalchuk variety superstar is that in those situations where you need to utilize your linemates most(on cycles, give-and-goes, etc) the first type of player (Parise types) will make the plays easier for his linemates making them look better. Kovalchuk on the other hand plays the game at a certain level and never really comes down from there no matter who his linemates are. Linemates with Kovalchuk need to have the same kind of skill set that Kovalchuk has to get that line synergy that makes for the incredible lines because otherwise they just look like disjoined pieces when Kovalchuk rifles unexpected passes at them or makes any of the other unconventional moves that he uses all the time.
long story short Kovalchuk, IMO, is the type of player that makes good linemates better and looks like a one man show with linemates that are "below him" in terms of thinking the game at a high level and playing the game the way he does. Get Kovalchuk some linemates that he trust with the puck and then we can get the huge spike in production we all hope for.