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Kovalchuk changing perception with two-way play


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#1 Devilsfan118

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Posted 20 January 2012 - 01:23 PM

Article

"If you had a negative opinion of Ilya, I don't know how it can't be positive now," NHL Network analyst and former Flames GM Craig Button told NHL.com. "And, yes, there are people around the League that have had a negative opinion of him. If you want me to go one step further, in my view Alexander Ovechkin could improve his game by watching Ilya Kovalchuk a little bit closer."

"Kovalchuk's most eye-popping stat has to be his shorthanded time on ice. He's playing a regular shift on the penalty kill for the first time since 2003-04. He's averaging 1:10 of shorthanded ice time per game for the Devils' top-ranked PK, and he's already scored two of their League-leading 11 shorthanded goals. "

Interesting read, glad to see the rest of the league is starting to recognize what most of us already have: Kovy's changing his game to fit into the team system.

Edited by Devilsfan118, 20 January 2012 - 01:25 PM.

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#2 aylbert

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Posted 20 January 2012 - 01:46 PM

I feel we are on a high point on Kovy... similar to the low we had with Kovy when he couldn't even hold onto a puck during a shootout.

It would be amazing if Kovy can continue to develop as a 2 way player that happens to be a sniper.... I don't think he's going to be Stevie Y... but I defintely believe he's not going to be a massive liability like he was when he first got here.


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#3 Marshall

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Posted 20 January 2012 - 01:56 PM

Ilya Kovalyzerman.
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#4 ilzz89

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Posted 20 January 2012 - 02:17 PM

Kovy Y!
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#5 DaneykoIsGod

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Posted 20 January 2012 - 02:51 PM

He still is somewhat of a cherry picker, but he's doing a better job of choosing his spots. He'll contribute in the defensive zone -- and do a much better job of anticipating and stickchecking than we've seen in the past -- but the second the puck touches a teammates stick, he darts out looking for the homerun pass. And there's nothing wrong with that. That's one of his strengths, and it's how he opened the scoring against Winnipeg.

To me, one of the most impressive things about his evolution as a player is his skill on the cycle. He used to look at the cycle like it was something alien. Now he's chipping off the boards where he used to hold the puck for too long, and he's cycling down low where he used to drift around the zone waiting for a pass.

He's improving in every aspect of his game while leading the team in goal scoring. It's hard not to enjoy watching him grow as a player.
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#6 Neb00rs

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Posted 20 January 2012 - 02:58 PM

Something a lot of you said couldn't ever happen is happening in his second full year on the team. That's the way I look at it right now - and to say he will still make mistakes is fair but to call him a liability is ridiculous - we would be much worse off without him on the ice.
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#7 Onddeck

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Posted 20 January 2012 - 03:43 PM

just read this article myself earlier, and Im glad he's getting recognition. I can honestly say Kovy's my boy for a while now but I know that doesn't stand for everyone... he's the man, and he's like our quarterback

:cheers:
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#8 Chuck the Duck

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Posted 20 January 2012 - 03:44 PM

Something a lot of you said couldn't ever happen is happening in his second full year on the team. That's the way I look at it right now - and to say he will still make mistakes is fair but to call him a liability is ridiculous - we would be much worse off without him on the ice.


+1. His contract will always provide fans with the easy excuse to make him the scapegoat for all of the teams problems (i.e. Alex Rodriguez w/ the Yankees), but he is invaluable to this team and his defensive game has gotten 1000% better over his 2 years here.
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#9 Onddeck

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Posted 20 January 2012 - 03:47 PM

+1. His contract will always provide fans with the easy excuse to make him the scapegoat for all of the teams problems (i.e. Alex Rodriguez w/ the Yankees), but he is invaluable to this team and his defensive game has gotten 1000% better over his 2 years here.

BINGO.. thats exactly it. and honestly, the contract is bad.. its massive and no one can honestly play as good as a contract over $100 million would ask for. Kovy is the man and just like you said.. "invaluable" to us.
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#10 ghdi

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Posted 20 January 2012 - 03:49 PM

This article makes me glad we signed him long-term. Hopefully things like this will help negate any backlash that would be directed at him if Zach walks.
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#11 ohms law

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Posted 20 January 2012 - 04:20 PM

and honestly, the contract is bad..


Is it though? Really?
I'll admit it up front that contracts don't bother me one bit. I do understand and appreciate where people are coming from in criticizing players who have large contracts, though. The thing is, Kovy is hardly alone (unlike how, say, A-Rod was for a long time). Ovechkin, Malkin, Crosby, Staal, Nash, etc... the list goes on and on. As a matter of fact, Kovy doesn't even make the top 25 cap hit's list on CapGeek.
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#12 Steven M.

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Posted 20 January 2012 - 05:46 PM

I was never a vocal critic of Kovy but I certainly had my doubts... how could you not the way he played here at first? That's just the world we live in... looking for instant gratification. But he has been improving so much and has turned into a sheer joy to watch. I am really glad he is a Devil.
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#13 njdevsftw

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Posted 20 January 2012 - 06:29 PM

I've said it before on these forums and I'll gladly say it again; Kovy for a 6,67 cap hit is a steal. Glad some of the Kovy haters are finally catching on. Sorry it took you so long.
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#14 Onddeck

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Posted 20 January 2012 - 08:10 PM

I was never a vocal critic of Kovy but I certainly had my doubts... how could you not the way he played here at first? That's just the world we live in... looking for instant gratification. But he has been improving so much and has turned into a sheer joy to watch. I am really glad he is a Devil.

na son the point is that mad people hated on him even this year. the guy was more than an explosion at the second half of last year. that, paired with the fact that everyone should just know he's a monster on the ice, shows that everyone was literally just hating for any reason
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#15 Triumph

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Posted 20 January 2012 - 08:45 PM

I've said it before on these forums and I'll gladly say it again; Kovy for a 6,67 cap hit is a steal. Glad some of the Kovy haters are finally catching on. Sorry it took you so long.


It's not. I am not a Kovalchuk hater, but that's not a steal, nor is it even fair value.

The thing I've noticed is that when he came here, he was always overstaying shifts, but now he's hardly ever doing that.
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#16 SterioDesign

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Posted 20 January 2012 - 09:18 PM

not a steal but its pretty fair to me... the guy is a big time scorer... top 3 best wrister in the league IMO, to me he has the best one timer(maybe Stamkos), He's big, strong and superfast, he will fight,

• He's a deadly sniper (top 3 best wrister in the league imo)
• The best one timer in the league (or just behind Stamkos)
• Super fast
• Can deliver huge hits
• He's really big and strong
• Can play on the point on the PP
• Really good in shootouts
• Can now play on the PK
• Can log HUGE minutes, he's a workhorse
• Can make really really good passes... he seems to be really underrated on his passing
• For a superstar he's not selfish at all and a terrific teammate apparently

i mean there's seriously not a lot of players in the league with that resume, so 6.6m is really not that bad for that package if you ask me
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#17 Blown01NJ

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Posted 20 January 2012 - 09:33 PM

Anyone who thinks the cap hit is bad is a retard.

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#18 ohms law

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Posted 20 January 2012 - 10:17 PM

Anyone who thinks the cap hit is bad is a retard.

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#19 insanity_gallops

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Posted 21 January 2012 - 12:15 PM

The thing I've noticed is that when he came here, he was always overstaying shifts, but now he's hardly ever doing that.

Ditto. Used to drive me nuts, I'd be yelling at the TV. Now sometimes he'll even come off the ice before the 2min PP is up, allowing a D-pairing to get on the ice as it winds down. He used to stay the full 2 minutes plus additional time.
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