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"Kovy Has Hart"

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Kovy comes up in Hart Trophy conversation

Ilya Kovalchuk has played his way into the Hart Trophy discussion. He has his two-way game to thank.

Kovalchuk, who used to be regarded as a one-way, me-first player in Atlanta, has adapted to the Devils' ways and to the responsibilities demanded by coach Pete DeBoer.

Kovalchuk is back to scoring at an elite level as he was named the NHL's Second Star of the Week on Monday for posting 5 goals and 4 assists in four straight New Jersey wins. He has 30 goals for a ninth straight season and his 71 points tie him with Phil Kessel for No. 5 in the League.

Kovalchuk's impact, though, goes beyond stats.

He is involved in all phases of the game, including more than a minute per game on the penalty kill, something he has done only once in his NHL career. He routinely gets double-shifted or stays on for a double-shift on his own, but he's rarely caught winded or too far out of position to where he becomes a liability. He leads all forwards in the NHL with 24:40 of ice time per game.

Kovalchuk recently went nine straight games without scoring a goal, but it was barely noticeable on the ice because he was effective in so many other areas. The Devils even went 5-3-1 in those games.

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Too little, too late unfortunately. Maybe next year when there's no learning curve to adapt to.

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if he goes 10-10-20 and finishes at 40-51-91, he could get his way into the top 3 - maybe. Tampa's standing hurts Stamkos plus he's going to win the Richard and has a decent shot to win the Ross so his stats will certainly get recognized with post season awards.

i do think Malkin and Lundqvist are locks to be 2 of the 3 nominations.

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Stamkos can still win the Hart. It shouldnt matter what place his team is in or anything. its all on individual performance. As for kovy next year he can be on the talk but this year he is still adapting to his responsbilites but is looking good and answering the calls very well.

Edited by volchenkov28

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DeBoer was interviewed on the NHL channel on Sirius/XM yesterday. He gave a lot of the credit to the way Kovalchuk is playing to Lemaire laying the groundwork. He also said he really didn't know what to expect from Kovalchuk going in, but then said that Kovalchuk is a great teammate who really likes being around the guys, and works very hard in practice.

What's sad is that it's even more obvious now that Kovalchuk really was never properly coached in his entire career in Atlanta. Even sadder is that he's made it clear that he's quite coachable.

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Stamkos can still win the Hart. It shouldnt matter what place his team is in or anything. its all on individual performance.

that's the Ted Lindsay (formerly Lester B. Pearson), if you want to technically go by what the awards are for.

the Hart is MVP of the league. You're getting into the same argument of whether it's value to a team or stats. the old "andre dawson, we lost with you, we could've lost without you" argument.

without kovalchuk, the devils are quite likely out of the playoffs.

without malkin, the pens are likely in a similar position.

philly is questionable w/o giroux but he's a clear difference maker there also.

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DeBoer was interviewed on the NHL channel on Sirius/XM yesterday. He gave a lot of the credit to the way Kovalchuk is playing to Lemaire laying the groundwork. He also said he really didn't know what to expect from Kovalchuk going in, but then said that Kovalchuk is a great teammate who really likes being around the guys, and works very hard in practice.

What's sad is that it's even more obvious now that Kovalchuk really was never properly coached in his entire career in Atlanta. Even sadder is that he's made it clear that he's quite coachable.

Sometimes it takes a change of scenery, though. I remember Larry Wigge, the St. Louis based hockey writer for the Sporting News, wrote a column burying Brett Hull after he left St. Louis - that Hull told players not to drive the net when he was going to shoot because they might deflect his shot or something like that. And Hull's career plus/minus is kinda not great when you consider what a great scorer he was - he never had a reputation as a great back checker or anything. But he went to Dallas and won a Cup, then went to Detroit and won a Cup - I think he bought in at the end of his career.

I think in Atlanta they walked on eggshells with Kovalchuk a little because he had held out and almost stayed in Russia in '05 - they saw him as the face of the franchise and didn't want to upset him. Let's not forget that Lemaire and Lou both basically admitted after the 2010 season that there were giant flaws in Kovalchuk's game that they didn't want to touch with the limited time they had to work with him.

Edited by Triumph

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i dont care much about the hart, i'd rather see Henrique win the calder and thats it, as long Kovy is getting recognition for what he's doing so i can't stop hearing that it was a bad move that he doesnt fit as a devils bla bla bla thats he's selfish, lazy etc etc

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that's the Ted Lindsay (formerly Lester B. Pearson), if you want to technically go by what the awards are for.

the Hart is MVP of the league. You're getting into the same argument of whether it's value to a team or stats. the old "andre dawson, we lost with you, we could've lost without you" argument.

without kovalchuk, the devils are quite likely out of the playoffs.

without malkin, the pens are likely in a similar position.

philly is questionable w/o giroux but he's a clear difference maker there also.

Ya thats true. Didnt think of it that way. Im just a big Stamkos fan. I cant stand malkin or Lundqvist hahaha

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I hope people learn that sometimes you have to invest in a guy. It's nothing personal - just the wisest use of resources.

Kovalchuk used what was given to him - he knew he was working to get up to the level all the other guys were already playing on, not being coddled to surpass his lesser talented teammates. No, those teammates didn't need extra help

You don't deny the guy who needs the most help just because he's capable of coasting on talent. It's time well invested -- why would you want to rant and rave and deny it? Based on what? Some fictional principal called Devils Hockey? That's insane.

I don't see this as case closed or mission accomplished but ... I mean are any of the neigh sayers ANY closer to understanding how things are? Always were?

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Sometimes it takes a change of scenery, though. I remember Larry Wigge, the St. Louis based hockey writer for the Sporting News, wrote a column burying Brett Hull after he left St. Louis - that Hull told players not to drive the net when he was going to shoot because they might deflect his shot or something like that. And Hull's career plus/minus is kinda not great when you consider what a great scorer he was - he never had a reputation as a great back checker or anything. But he went to Dallas and won a Cup, then went to Detroit and won a Cup - I think he bought in at the end of his career.

I think in Atlanta they walked on eggshells with Kovalchuk a little because he had held out and almost stayed in Russia in '05 - they saw him as the face of the franchise and didn't want to upset him. Let's not forget that Lemaire and Lou both basically admitted after the 2010 season that there were giant flaws in Kovalchuk's game that they didn't want to touch with the limited time they had to work with him.

Hull was about as one-dimensional as it got with St. Louis. He was actually a -1 in a year where he scored 72 goals, and a -2 in year where he scored 70. He was also a -27 in a year he scored 54 goals. Scary to think how many goals were scored AGAINST the Blues with him on the ice. His transition to more of a very good complementary player with the Stars and Wings helped his career tremendously.

What's nice about Kovy's story is that he's not even 30 yet, but figuring it out, where Hull was in his mid-30s by the time he started to get it...you can make the argument that Kovy would still be the same old Kovy had he remained with the Altanta/Winnipeg franchise, that he did indeed need to get out of there to grow as a player, but at least it's happened, and during his prime to boot.

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that's the Ted Lindsay (formerly Lester B. Pearson), if you want to technically go by what the awards are for.

the Hart is MVP of the league. You're getting into the same argument of whether it's value to a team or stats. the old "andre dawson, we lost with you, we could've lost without you" argument.

without kovalchuk, the devils are quite likely out of the playoffs.

without malkin, the pens are likely in a similar position.

philly is questionable w/o giroux but he's a clear difference maker there also.

If Tampa got in the playoffs, my "vote" might have to go to Stamkos. That team has way too many holes to have any business being in the playoffs. Giroux deserves a lot of credit. Not only is he top 3 in scoring, but he's the major catalyst for that team. They are hanging very tough with a lot of key injuries throughout their lineup and awful goaltending most of the year. Plus Danny Briere has scored in 1 of his last 29 games.

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one thing is that we have like 4 30 goals scorers thats quite a luxury... so not too sure why Kovy would get more recognition than Elias or Zach (in this team, so why across the league?) who's been doing years after years what Kovy is doing now...

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one thing is that we have like 4 30 goals scorers thats quite a luxury... so not too sure why Kovy would get more recognition than Elias or Zach (in this team, so why across the league?) who's been doing years after years what Kovy is doing now...

For Zach, Kovy has 9 more points in 5 less games. If you equalize the games up then Kovy would have 14 or 15 more points at this current pace. I also think Parise is only finally getting his legs back underneath him. I'll argue for most of the Parise-Henrique-Kovy line that Parise was the 3rd most effective player on it until recently. Now that Parise is skating more like his old self, he may be the most effective player on it, but it's been only recently.

Elias has a better case to be talked about with Kovy, in terms of value, IMO. Kovy has more points and goals, which probably sways opinion though. Elias has carried much less offensive linemates, so that has certainly hurt Elias. I think the league talks more about Kovy because he is a more dynamic player, while Elias is just quietly effective.

Kovy is also 9 for 11 in shootouts. A stat that doesn't make a difference in the post season, but for regular season value Kovy has helped there much more than Elias or Parise.

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They'll give it to Malkin because they can't give it to Crosby.

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WIth Kovy playing a better defensive game than all those guys now it would be close if it wasn't obvious Malkin has run away with the vote.

Edited by ben00rs

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