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The Evolution of Ilya Kovalchuk

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Chico had pointed it out yesterday at multiple times yesterday, talking about how Ilya Kovalchuk has never played any better than he is right now. It really got me thinking. The light originally went on in my head back when he scored shorthanded on a breakaway at Winnipeg. Playing on the kill, waiting for the right time to go and steal the puck is pretty much what was the polar opposite we had expected when we traded for him. Now, plays like that are a huge reason this team is having the season they are having.

I don't know how the advanced stats look, but clearly to the naked eye he's doing the little things at the right times. His positioning has been putting him in much better positions to make plays and he has turned into somewhat of a distributor. Think of the times when he gains the zone before coming to a stop and just waiting to feed a cutter. Or the Rangers game this week where with three minutes to go on two 2-on-1's he sends the pass across rather than take the shot (regardless if it might have been a better idea to shoot). He's fully buying into the team concept. A lot has to be said about Debow getting him to buy in, and it evens extends from Lemaire, part II.

Kovalchuk has a ton of haters, for reasons I will never understand but you cannot deny the way he has been playing lately.

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Someone on Twitter said it best yesterday, when he/she said "Kovalchuk playing (and playing well) on the penalty kill is the New Jersey Devil-est thing to ever happen."

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As far as I'm concerned those who opposed Kovy being resigned were legit for feeling that way. But given what some have said about Kovy when he and the Devils were down, I really think they should be ashamed of themselves and their loyalty should absolutely be under question.

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Today is the two year anniversary of the trade!

Yesterday was the two year anniversary of the trade.

Today is the two year anniversary of his first game as a Devil. Which, if I recall correctly, was an insane come-from-behind-in-the-last-three-minutes-to-win-in-regulation game against Toronto.

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Someone on Twitter said it best yesterday, when he/she said "Kovalchuk playing (and playing well) on the penalty kill is the New Jersey Devil-est thing to ever happen."

this.

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I never understood the nay-sayers.. Kovy has always been an absolutely ELITE hockey talent. He's been a point pr game player his whole career aside from the MacLean saga. Easily one of the top 5 snipers in the world. Hockey fans who don't want that kinda player on their team boggles my mind.

It seems unlikely that he'll score 50 goals again while playing RW on the Devils, but he is still awesome and exciting to watch. The fact that he is getting better and better defensively is simply icing on the cake. Can't wait to see what happens if we acquire a solid quarterback D-man for the PP to give him a bit more room.

Edited by njdevsftw

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Yesterday was the two year anniversary of the trade.

Today is the two year anniversary of his first game as a Devil. Which, if I recall correctly, was an insane come-from-behind-in-the-last-three-minutes-to-win-in-regulation game against Toronto.

Ah, my second favorite game that I ever attended.

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Can someone visit Manta in the hospital and say hi. That is my only explanation as to why he hasn't been on this board the last two months.

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Once they finally took him off the point on the PP all my qualms with his game were over. He's playing monstrously.

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Can someone visit Manta in the hospital and say hi. That is my only explanation as to why he hasn't been on this board the last two months.

Well Manta would only have been right if Kovy played the way he did at the start of last season for the rest of his career..

The guy is an elite player, and elite players do have stretches of poor play and bad luck.. But they also recover and have stretches of amazingness

We have a superstar committed to making himself better and committed to being a Devil for the rest of his career.. That feels pretty good

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You guys beat me to it! After yesterday's game I was meaning to come on here and post an Ilya Kovalchuk Appreciation Thread, and today's game proves it's time for one.

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And, for the record, he's only a -6 in 47 games this season. Pretty impressive for his track record, especially when considering Elias is a -3

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Kovalchuk has a ton of haters, for reasons I will never understand but you cannot deny the way he has been playing lately.

He is winning me over. That give-and-go pass with Volchenkov today was a thing of beauty.

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I love Kovy, and wear that jersey proudly :) He's the freaking man, and has committed to our team for the rest of his career. I'm thrilled and happy every single game to see him in OUR jersey. I'm glad we got him while Patty was still on the team, because he's Patty v. 2.0

WooHoo!

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I'll be doing a Kovy breakdown pretty soon. I love the fans here who are saying that they are starting to come around on him... it's like how much does he fvcking owe you? who are you stfu.

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Someone on Twitter said it best yesterday, when he/she said "Kovalchuk playing (and playing well) on the penalty kill is the New Jersey Devil-est thing to ever happen."

This is the best thing I'll read all week.

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