Skip to content

Kovalchuk (shoulder) practices; DeBoer: ‘I’d take him at less than 100 percent’

Apr 9, 2013, 9:25 PM EDT

Ilya Kovalchuk Getty Images

Desperate times may call for desperate measures in New Jersey.

The Devils are winless since losing sniper Ilya Kovalchuk to a shoulder injury seven games ago, and have scored just 12 goals.

On Tuesday, the Russian winger returned to practice — and head coach Peter DeBoer suggested there might not be many more practices before he puts Kovalchuk back into the lineup.

“We’re not going to put his safety in jeopardy,” DeBoer told NHL.com. “But we’re not going to wait until he’s 100 percent to get him back. That’s not realistic.”

The Devils haven’t said what’s wrong with Kovalchuk’s shoulder, only offering a timetable for return (2-4 weeks).

Kovalchuk hasn’t said much either, other than he was in a lot of pain and still hasn’t been able to take hard shots.

“You gotta just keep yourself in shape and do what the trainers and the doctors tell you to,” Kovalchuk explained. “We’ve got a great group of guys here who are very professional and I trust them 100 percent.

“I just try to work hard. We all know the situation we are in and I want to be back as soon as possible.”

The Devils have nine games left in their season, including Wednesday night’s Rivalry Game against the Boston Bruins (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN).

They currently sit ninth in the East, two back of the eighth-place Islanders for the conference’s final playoff spot.

It stands to reason they won’t be making the postseason without Kovalchuk in the lineup — regardless if he’s at full health or not.

“”I’d take him at less than 100 percent,” DeBoer said. “But he’s got work to do before he’s an option.”

Latest Posts
  1. Blues appear set in the short-term, but difficult decisions loom

    Jul 7, 2015, 4:07 PM EDT

    Jaden Schwartz Getty Images

    Backes and Schwartz have one season left on their contracts.

  2. Avs add Farrish to coaching staff

    Jul 7, 2015, 2:38 PM EDT

    Toronto Maple Leafs v Ottawa Senators Getty Images

    Was most recently an assistant under Randy Carlyle in Toronto.

  3. Canes sign Zach Boychuk to one-year, two-way deal

    Jul 7, 2015, 1:08 PM EDT

    Zach Boychuk Getty Images

    “He’s a reliable depth forward who we know is capable of contributing offensively at either level.”

  4. Blackhawks extend TVR through 2017-18

    Jul 7, 2015, 11:59 AM EDT

    2015 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Game Six Getty Images

    Stepped in to play the final four games of the Stanley Cup Final.

  5. Blue Jackets sign Columbus-born Kole Sherwood

    Jul 7, 2015, 10:05 AM EDT

    2015 NHL Draft - Round One Getty Images

    Jarmo Kekalainen brings a local boy into the organization.

  6. Good start: McDavid scores five in Oilers scrimmage

    Jul 7, 2015, 9:00 AM EDT

    Connor McDavid AP

    “He’s obviously a great talent.”

  7. PHT Morning Skate: Tyler Seguin is naked

    Jul 7, 2015, 8:00 AM EDT

    TylerSeguin

    In ESPN’s The Body Issue, of course.

  8. Report: Wild’s Backstrom suffered serious nerve damage in elbow

    Jul 6, 2015, 11:22 PM EDT

    Niklas Backstrom AP

    “It happened pretty fast. All of a sudden two fingers are not working.”

  9. Oilers taking Schultz to arbitration

    Jul 6, 2015, 9:59 PM EDT

    Justin Schultz Getty Images

    25-year-old defenseman struggled mightily last season.

  10. Coyotes sign No. 3 overall pick Strome to entry-level deal

    Jul 6, 2015, 8:48 PM EDT

    Dylan Strome Dylan Strome

    Connor McDavid’s running mate in Erie was the OHL’s leading scorer last season.

  11. Expansion process underway as NHL sends out applications

    Jul 6, 2015, 7:25 PM EDT

    OTTAWA, ON - APRIL 26:  NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman addresses the media prior to Game Six of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2015 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Canadian Tire Centre on April 26, 2015 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. The Montreal Canadiens eliminated the Ottawa Senators by defeating them 2-0 and move to the next round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images) Getty Images

    Quebec City and Las Vegas have already expressed interest.

  12. Caps ink Kuznetsov to two-year, $6 million extension

    Jul 6, 2015, 6:08 PM EDT

    Washington Capitals v Philadelphia Flyers Getty Images

    Russian forward is coming off a solid rookie campaign.

  13. Bishop Effect: 6-foot-9 goalie ‘trying to make a name for myself’ at Vancouver’s prospect camp

    Jul 6, 2015, 4:29 PM EDT

    JohnMcLean

    That’s him in the blue shirt, standing next to ex-NHL goalie Dan Cloutier… who is 6’1.

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. S. Voynov (2872)
  2. R. O'Reilly (2782)
  3. B. Saad (2764)
  4. B. Richards (2459)
  5. Z. Kassian (2429)
  1. M. St. Louis (2321)
  2. M. Green (2320)
  3. P. Kessel (2303)
  4. C. McDavid (2099)
  5. J. Allen (1978)