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The Evolution of Ilya Kovalchuk


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#1 Devils Pride 26

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 11:15 AM

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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#2 thelastonealive

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 11:32 AM

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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#3 GoArmySports

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 01:11 PM

Today is the two year anniversary of the trade!
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#4 Neb00rs

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 01:18 PM

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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#5 thelastonealive

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 01:31 PM

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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#6 Dead

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 01:37 PM

Cooke is a piece of sh!t!
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#7 njdevsftw

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 01:50 PM

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, 05 February 2012 - 01:55 PM.

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#8 Neb00rs

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 01:50 PM

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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#9 RSC

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 01:51 PM

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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"The real fans are always going to be the fans. They’re always going to support you." Ilya Kovalchuk, 11/11/2010

 

"I am a greedy little pansy." Ilya Kovalchuk 7/11/2013

 

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#10 Devilsfan118

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 02:27 PM

Another multi-point game for the man..
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#11 Devils Pride 26

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 02:35 PM

Huge part of the first three goals today.
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#12 SS-SS

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 03:36 PM

Another multi-point game for the man..

your gif is AMAZING !!!!!!!
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#13 Jas0nMacIsaac

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 04:22 PM

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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#14 Daniel

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 05:00 PM

Even Bobby Holik appears to be a believer now.
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#15 DevilNurn

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 07:33 PM

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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#16 SwinginDead

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 07:46 PM

He is currently unstoppable, hope he keeps it up
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#17 Colin226

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 08:20 PM

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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#18 RowdyFan42

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 09:31 PM

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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#19 ThreeCups

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 10:51 PM

The Kovy KO shot on Schenn was amazing
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#20 Devilsfan118

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 11:12 PM

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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