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Kovalchuk ‘making great strides’ in return from shoulder injury

Apr 5, 2013, 4:23 PM EDT

Ilya Kovalchuk Getty Images

Peter DeBoer is confident that Ilya Kovalchuk (shoulder) will be back in time to try and help the Devils make the playoffs.

When exactly that might be, DeBoer couldn’t say.

“I can’t put a number on that yet,” DeBoer said, per The Record. “I can tell you he’s making great strides and I’m optimistic he’ll be able to help us down the stretch. For me, that means more than the last couple games.”

The Devils host the Leafs (who will also be without a top scorer) tomorrow, at which time trade-deadline acquisition Steve Sullivan will wear a New Jersey uniform for the first time since the mid-90s.

Sullivan, 38, started his NHL career with the Devils before stops in Toronto, Chicago, Nashville, Pittsburgh and Phoenix.

“Hopefully, he brings what he’s brought his entire career and that’s energy, speed and the ability to create some offense and play with good players,” DeBoer said. “So, I’m hopeful he can help us 5-on-5 and, hopefully, he can help us on the power play and maybe in shootouts.”

The Devils, ninth in the Eastern Conference, are winless in their last five games and have scored just once in their last two.


  1. sportsfreak13 - Apr 5, 2013 at 4:35 PM

    This just in, Howard Eskin is not hearing good reports about Ilya Kolvachuks shoulder. He hears it might a season ender. Fear not devil fans, that probably means he will be back in a week or less. This team defiantly misses Kolvachuk, however the addition of Sullivan is a good one. I watched him play here in Pittsburgh last year, and he will fit in just fine with the devils. I didn’t know he was drafted as a center though (according to that card).

  2. stakex - Apr 5, 2013 at 4:45 PM

    “I’m optimistic he’ll be able to help us down the stretch”

    This IS the stretch. The Devils have dropped from 6th to 9th with five strait loses. If that keeps up and Kovalchuk isn’t back soon, making the playoffs won’t even be a thought for the Devils when he does come back.

  3. valoisvipers - Apr 6, 2013 at 12:46 AM

    Better get back soon Ilya, the Devils need you back and filling the net or else there will be no playoffs for them.

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