I don't know how the advanced stats look, but clearly to the naked eye he's doing the little things at the right times. His positioning has been putting him in much better positions to make plays and he has turned into somewhat of a distributor. Think of the times when he gains the zone before coming to a stop and just waiting to feed a cutter. Or the Rangers game this week where with three minutes to go on two 2-on-1's he sends the pass across rather than take the shot (regardless if it might have been a better idea to shoot). He's fully buying into the team concept. A lot has to be said about Debow getting him to buy in, and it evens extends from Lemaire, part II.
Kovalchuk has a ton of haters, for reasons I will never understand but you cannot deny the way he has been playing lately.