Apr 29, 2012, 8:37 PM EST
After a slightly under-the-radar (and sterling) bounce-back regular season, there’s a general feeling that something isn’t quite right with New Jersey Devils star Ilya Kovalchuk. Some believe that he’s fighting through a groin injury. Others, such as Devils beat reporter Tom Gulitti, hypothesize that it’s a “lower-back issue,” but Kovalchuk’s response to questions about his health was as terse as ever.
Kovalchuk was in the medical room for a while after the game and walked slowly through the locker room to go get dressed before returning to talk to the media.
When asked (for like the 20th time) if he is healthy, Kovalchuk replied, “Yeah” and then walked away.
To some, Kovalchuk’s zero shots on goal in Game 1 ranks as a red flag. It’s not like he hasn’t been firing away in the playoffs, however – he had 25 in seven games against the Florida Panthers – but the Devils have to hope that he’ll send more rubber at the net.
Sure, he collected an assist tonight, but his dangerous shot is what makes him a $100 million man. Without that, he might become a lot like Rob Gronkowski in the Super Bowl: a well-paid decoy.
Kovalchuk might not come out and admit that he’s hurt, but if the Flyers sniff that out, he’ll become that much less effective – whether he’s a decoy or not.
- Neal suspended five games for kneeing Marchand in the head 132
- Report: Dion Phaneuf will face hearing for hit on Kevan Miller 97
- Bruins coach admits Thornton crossed the line, slams Pens for not being ‘truthful’ 115
- Lecavalier out 3-4 weeks with non-displaced fracture in back 8
- Islanders players hold closed-door meeting after ninth straight loss 14
- Penguins’ Neal has phone hearing for knee on Bruins’ Marchand 89
- Shawn Thornton confirms hearing with NHL Department of Player Safety (Updated) 87
- Video: Penguins’ Neal knees Bruins’ Marchand 69
- Penguins announce Brooks Orpik ‘alert and conscious’ (Updated) 47
- Shawn Thornton: ‘People could probably criticize that I’m a little too honorable’ 78
- Video: Penguins’ Orpik stretchered off ice; Bruins’ Thornton given match penalty (180)
- Neal suspended five games for kneeing Marchand in the head (132)
- Pens put Orpik on IR (127)
- Bruins coach admits Thornton crossed the line, slams Pens for not being ‘truthful’ (115)
- Report: Dion Phaneuf will face hearing for hit on Kevan Miller (97)