Kovalev

Kovalev

As he addressed the Ottawa media in a conference call yesterday to announce his signing with the Senators, Alex Kovalev went into self-defense mode about his two-way, every-night play. Of course, anyone with eyes knows that over the last couple seasons, Kovalev has taken some nights off and approached the defensive zone as though it was covered in poison ivy.

But Kovalev’s play wasn’t the only thing he sounded delusional about during the call. He also talked about the high expectations he has for the Senators.

“I think I can bring something that was missing to help the team be competitive for the Stanley Cup,” he said in the Ottawa Citizen. “They have always had one really good line, year after year, but I think, maybe, I can be part of creating two or three good lines (so the team can be more) successful in the playoffs. I’m not a big believer that one line can do all the damage.”

There’s the little matter of a blue-line corps that has deteriorated over the last couple seasons and question marks in goal that make Philadelphia seem rock-solid in net holding the Sens back. However, bringing up those factors might ruin Kovalev’s summer vacation.

Elsewhere in the division:

•Toronto general manager Brian Burke says he’s not done dealing.

Jonas Gustavsson thinks he can be the Leafs’ No.1 netminder.

•Buffalo’s Chris Butler is using videotape to improve his game.