Even if correct, it's a pretty thin analysis. To see a real trend, you'd have to a painstaking analysis like they do at INLWT of all of his two on ones. Was the defender concentrating on Kovy, was the goalie cheating to one side, was the puck on edge?
What I see with my own eyes is a big fast skater with a great shot, who stick handles very well, and that seems to convert on his break-aways at an incredibly high rate, including on penalty shots, which do decide whether you win games.
Breakaways are fluke events. Also, Kovalchuk's shootout rate was well below average before joining the Devils. My point is that Kovalchuk is criticized for not shooting enough, but so is anyone who isn't Jamie Langenbrunner - if anyone passes on a 2 on 1 and it doesn't at least result in a great chance, they are criticized. I'd be curious about 2 on 1s in general, what the result is with a pass versus a shot.
Look, the team is worse off not having Parise. That would be true of any team. However, in post-MacLean 2010-2011, Kovy was great without Parise and without Henrique. So while playing with Parise will help anyone, be it Crosby or Nick Palmieri, Kovy should still produce at a high level without him.
This is one of those things that people say around here and it really isn't true.
2010-11 post MacLean: 50.1% Fenwick, +2 at ES, 42 points (23 G, 19 A) in 49 GP, 150 SOG, 3.06 S/G, 15.3 S%. 'Great'? Not sure - getting some shooting luck, that's for sure. But 3 S/G while playing 2 minutes of the power play and generally playing more than any forward in the NHL? Not great.
The big issue is his health. So long as that turns out ok and so long as he doesn't revert to his old ways of trying to do everything himself, which is more a mental thing that can be mitigated by good coaching, it's not unreasonable to expect him to be one of the top ten forwards in the league, if not top five.
He's not one of the top ten or top five forwards in the league.