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Devils’ coach DeBoer ‘not worried’ about Kovalchuk

Feb 7, 2013, 1:15 AM EDT

New York Islanders v New Jersey Devils Getty Images

Ilya Kovalchuk hasn’t scored in six games. He hasn’t registered a point in five.

These are unfamiliar times for the Russian sniper, who has twice reached the 50-goal plateau in his NHL career. He is also in the third year of a 15-year, $100 million contract.

But the start of the 2013 season looks, at least based on statistics, to be a forgettable one. He has two goals and five points in nine games.

Despite Kovalchuk’s struggles, Devils head coach Pete DeBoer doesn’t seemed concerned.

“That’s the bottom line. I’m not worried about (Kovalchuk),” DeBoer told the Newark-based Star-Ledger.

“Kovy is on board and he’s doing a lot of little things the right way and it’s helping us win games. He’s on the ice all the time and he’s getting chances. Those are eventually going to go in for him.

“The reason we’re winning is the guy is on the ice 26 minutes a game…He’s having an impact in a lot of different areas rather than just on the scoreboard.”

The Devils are fourth in the Eastern Conference with a 5-1-3 record.

  1. valoisvipers - Feb 7, 2013 at 9:14 AM

    He was my second pick in my hockey pool and I’m worried about him.Gets loads of ice time and no results.I’m sure he will get going soon but for someone that played over the course of the lockout, he should be flying right now.

    • vakarlajos - Feb 7, 2013 at 12:59 PM

      And this is why you might never be an NHL coach and why scouts who try and look at just points don’t keep their jobs long.

  2. thecheeman - Feb 7, 2013 at 9:17 AM

    Kovalchuk starts slow every year for whatever reason. I was at the Rangers-Devils game and he had minimal impact all over the ice. His slow starts have now happened three years in a row. He looks fine physically. He played 4 games with Stefan Matteau on his line, then Zubrus, then Zajac slipped down and Henrique came up. Let the lines settle a bit with Matteau out and Henrique back and he should be fine.

  3. quizguy66 - Feb 7, 2013 at 11:02 AM

    Since this thread is Devil-related (and Kovy related) I’ll post it here.

    Matteau skating with Kovy and Zajac in practice today an WILL be playing tonight, thus burning his first year of eligibility.

    Looks like he’ll be sticking with the big club – this is game number 6 and there’s no going back to juniors now.


  4. quizguy66 - Feb 7, 2013 at 11:04 AM

    Btw, I forgot to attribute. That report was from Tom Gulitti – the Devils beat reporter for the Bergen Record:


  5. quizguy66 - Feb 7, 2013 at 11:18 AM

    Correction – Matteau is still eligible to go back to Juniors, but this will count as the first year on his entry-level contract regardless.

  6. cerealrapist - Feb 7, 2013 at 3:02 PM

    I love how the Devils have gotten at least a point in every game but one so far this season, and this is somehow the only type of Devils article I’ve seen here on Prohockeytalk.

    No articles about the phenomenal play by two 40 year old goaltenders?
    No articles about Clarkson proving last year’s 30 goals was no fluke?
    No articles about how the beloved 4th line from last year’s playoff run is still making an impact?

    Where’s the love???

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