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Report: Devils could get Kovalchuk back on Thursday

Apr 15, 2013, 10:30 PM EDT

ilyakovalchukgetty Getty Images

The ice-cold New Jersey Devils might just get crucial winger Ilya Kovalchuk back on Thursday, according to the Newark Star-Ledger.

Devils head coach Peter DeBoer continues to label the Russian star as day-to-day. He sat out Monday’s loss against the Toronto Maple Leafs, but it sounds like he has at least a shot at playing later this week against the Philadelphia Flyers.

That would be a great relief for New Jersey, a team that hasn’t won a single game (0-6-4) since he suffered a shoulder injury on March 23.

DeBoer spoke to the Star-Ledger about how much Kovalchuk, 30, means to the Devils.

“Ilya either creates himself or, in an indirect way, creates at least a goal a game for us in my mind. A lot of nights, if you look at the nine-game stretch, that would’ve been the difference either in winning or getting points,” DeBoer said. “We have to fill that void other ways. Our power play hasn’t helped with that. Some other guys have to step up and help fill that, too.”

The Devils trail the eighth-ranked New York Rangers by six points and now have one fewer game left to catch up. The obvious question, then, is if Kovalchuk’s return might end up happening too late.

(H/T to Rotoworld.)

  1. dolanster - Apr 15, 2013 at 10:36 PM

    Too late. Sayonara Devils.

    • pwilson264 - Apr 16, 2013 at 6:26 PM


  2. gbditka - Apr 15, 2013 at 11:18 PM

    As read earlier at a different site…former Florida Panthers Head Coach, Pete DeBoer, has brought Panthers hockey to New Jersey! 10 game losing streak, no goals in 2 games, no realistic chance to make the play-offs…..Ilya, please take the rest of the year off and pray for changes this Summer!

  3. topshelf25 - Apr 15, 2013 at 11:47 PM

    I like the forecheck aspect of Peter’s strategy but it really doesn’t generate enough “quality” scoring chances. Lou needs to fire him.

    • echojester - Apr 16, 2013 at 8:17 AM

      It’s a shortened season and streaks both positive and negative are allllll over the NHL. How can you fire a coach who’s in his second season with your club following a season where the Devils came up a couple wins shy of winning it all? Not too mention, how do you fire a guy who coached the team to a hot start at the beginning of the season which got marred by injuries probably as a result of very few of these guys playing overseas. I have to ask you, how do you (if you’re Lou) fire the coach because of lack of offensive production when the biggest problems the team is facing on the ice (powerplay/forecheck) are a direct result of this past off season and the losses of Parise and Sykora?Throw in the stretches of time without Kovalchuk and Zubrus and the lack of a trade deadline deal (D’Agostini, Kostopolous, Sullivan, Poni are great additions, but they’re just role players and they can’t be expected to carry this team) and quickly you’d realize it’s not Pete DeBoer. Sometimes the talent just isn’t there, no matter how much you want to believe.

  4. bayafan - Apr 16, 2013 at 1:24 AM

    Defense is the main problem.

    • echojester - Apr 16, 2013 at 8:24 AM

      NJ’s defense gave up 13 shots vs Toronto and 11 vs. Ottawa. They’re offense had 32 shots vs Toronto and 33 vs Ottawa. In those two games they scored a total of 0 goals. It’s easy to blame the defense when the offense isn’t getting the puck in. Besides, if you watch these games NJ and their D are just controlling play, keeping the puck down low and their attack time is off the charts. Time to start doing something with it.

  5. 950003cups - Apr 16, 2013 at 1:01 PM

    AS I POSTED YESTERDAY: How about stop shooting the same show 33 times a game.

    1) cycle down low
    2) bring it up to the right point
    3) pass left
    4) pass right
    5) shoot
    6) get rebound and repeat steps 1-5

    It’s like a practice drill. You’re not gonna fool anyone with that crap. So when DeBoer says “we outplayed them, and out shot them, but the puck didnt go in”

    33 SOG (of steps 1-5) to 11 creative shots (other team) results in a 2-0 result. Only reason they scored on Boston was that they fell asleep after laughing so haed when they went up 4-0 on our biggest game.

    ***It was an exact blueprint of the last 10 games!!!

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