DinLA: Hockey is the same as it has been. In one breath, you say that NJ had a hard time succeeding without Stevens and Niedermayer. Then you go on to say that the new NHL is about having top defensemen. I mean, what? You're saying the same thing. This 'New NHL' stuff has to go away - scoring rates are quite similar to the 'old NHL', and certainly aren't appreciably different. What wins hockey games is the same thing - getting shots on your opponent's net while preventing shots on your own. Which Kovalchuk doesn't help - he doesn't do either thing, really.
-Kovalchuk has tremendous talent to take the puck and make a move, but he does NOT bring anyone to the next level with him.
Go back and watch tonight's game and try to tell me that. Kovalchuk's passing in the offensive zone has been outstanding lately.
Kovalchuk is a defensive liability. He might score 35-40 goals, but if you are a -25 than you were out there for a goal. Sure you can come up with excuses all you want, but the other night was no isolated incident. I'd rather have a player put up less goals and have a better plus/minus. Anyone can score lots of goals and play for a team who doesn't win (HINT -See Atlanta when he was there).
Kovalchuk is a poor defensive player, but he shouldn't be -11.
The debate about him playing Left Wing or Right Wing is silly. He should be able to play both. Sure he might be better on one than the other, but we really haven't seen such dramatic changes that it should effect his play. Sure he is coming down his off side, but so what. Shanahan made it happen. Sykora does it. It seems like an excuse. The powerplay garbage about him not being good on the point is also garbage. For years Sykora played that point and didn't have NEARLY the same mistakes happen to himn. Why than is Kovalchuk having these issues? Isn't Kovy a better player? Don't even begin to say Sykora was a better defensively or who was his defensive partner (Ah... Brian Rafalski)? Please stop the excuses.
Sykora did not play the point during those years, Jason Arnott did.
Kovalchuk cannot hangle pressure. I've stated before he cannot handle being number 3 in the shootout. Being the number one shooter has zero stress, because NO MATTER what happens someone on your team will ALWAYS get a chance next. Kovalchuk cannot handle the stress of being the numnber 3 guy. Why does this matter? If he cannot handle that stress, he cannot handle the playoffs. He has already demonstrated both.
Yawn. Like Marv said, he has a billion overtime goals and will probably retire with the NHL record.
The Devils have always been about team. Kovalchuk is about himself. Sure he'll pass, but he is more interested in controlling that puck. It is his game and he seems to be just as excited stick handling through five guys than he is when he scores. This does not help the team and Ilya won't be changing his gamne so close to thirty years of age.
Remember against the Flyers in the playoffs when he stick handled through the team and then didn't score? He looked really happy after missing the net there, I can remember it well. He was laughing and joking with a Russian teammate on the bench afterwards.
lol whatever. Tonight was certainly progress but I doubt a mere secondary assist is what the Devils were hoping for considering all the chances Kovy got. He was all over the ice I'll grant you, one of his better efforts but it's kinda sad that people think that's enough for what we gave up and paid for him.
If he plays like this every night, you'll see 2 and 3 point games on the regular. The idea that this 'isn't enough' is ridiculous - he set up a ton of scoring chances tonight.
wow did i just read in this thread that someone thinks NJ has the best goaltending tandem in the league and has a bottom third offense and defense? yeah, sure. and parise and kovalchuk will both keep shooting at 7.5%, that's bound to continue
the booing of kovalchuk was because some dolts clearly got tickets who moved to north carolina or california or some crap and got upset that their one devils game of the year was ruined
you people do realize that kovalchuk's line scored both goals today, right? right. and that he was pretty much flying all game and made at least 3 great passes and had several scoring chances, right? and that the war room screwed new jersey again, right? right.
I don't expect the Washington Capitals, but I do expect a better record than 8-7-1 which translates to 17 points which puts us in a bad spot. The chances of us having a win streak like last season is very slim. I do expect a little but of chemistry, but we've only got the Elias line doing that. Once Kovy, Josefson and Zajac come back that's bound to offset whatever little chemistry the team has developed which puts us back in square one.
You do realize how silly this all sounds, right? I'm 90% sure you do, but in case you don't: If NJ had won tonight - something that was entirely possible, in spite of how poorly they played in the 3rd period - they would have been 9-6-1. Which is 19 points in 16 games or a 97 point pace.
The Devils won't need a win streak like last year's to get them in the playoffs as long as they get decent goaltending.
Ah, now you find the time to respond to me. Too bad you didn't have the common courtesy to return emails or reply (even when called out) in Marketplace when i sent you pics of an item and you dissapeared. Pick your battles a little better.
do you have a personal issue with everyone on this board? take it somewhere else. are the supporters a little full of themselves? sure they are. still, it's been a huge positive for the team and season where there hasn't been much. but we upset the forum dad so he's going to set us all straight.
I wasn't in support of signing Mark Fayne in the off-season - I figured he'd be another Nathan Perkovich, a player who hadn't been impressive at the college level who would just jam up the works here. In my eyes, he's gone from useless organizational depth at the beginning of the year to a legitimate bottom pairing NHL defenseman.
In his first game, the thing that impressed me most was his speed. He's got NHL speed - he skates well. For defensemen who don't have that, it's an uphill battle - they have to develop the other things a defenseman needs pretty quickly.
Sure his three goals are all a bit fluky, but what about his assists? I can remember 3 of them already - a great keep in that Elias eventually put home against the Flyers, a pass-shot that Zubrus tipped in against the Leafs, and an excellent cross-ice pass to Rod Pelley that he put home.
In his 31 games, he has only 5 minor penalties. That's not excellent, but it's very good, especially for a rookie just learning the NHL game.
I'll spare you the advanced stats breakdown, just be aware that none of them indicate that his play is somehow a mirage. To me, he's done with the minor leagues, and I think he should be penciled in on the Devils' back pairing next season. It just goes to show that stats aren't everything, especially when it comes to defensemen playing inferior competition in college.