Kovalev, Dowd fit well in Montreal

Montreal GM Bob Gainey's two trades should provide the boost the Canadiens need to make the playoffs.

Updated: March 8, 2004, 10:52 AM ET
By By Jim Wilkie | NHL Insider
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Alex Kovalev's pain and frustration from separating his right shoulder Friday night in his Montreal Canadiens debut was easier to take for one simple reason. The talented winger was no longer a New York Ranger.

As unfortunate as Kovalev was to separate his right shoulder in the first period against the Phoenix Coyotes, his comments afterward indicated he felt lucky to have joined a club with fewer egos and one that placed more emphasis on team play.

Kovalev, who was acquired March 3 from the Rangers in exchange for prospect Josef Balej and a 2004 second-round draft pick, said he believes he could be back later this week. And once he returns, he expects better results with the Canadiens (36-26-6-2) than he had in his second stint with the Rangers.