from E.J. Hradek of NHL.com, DeBoer hasn’t been shy about sending Kovalchuk over the boards. In three of the club’s first six games, Kovalchuk logged more than 29 minutes. While all three went to shootout, those type of minutes are nearly unheard of for a forward.
On Friday night, against the visiting Sharks, Kovalchuk worked a season-high 32:25. In New Jersey’s previous game, on Oct. 15, in Nashville, he finished with 32:04. No other player has played more than 32 minutes in any game during the young season.
Through Monday, Kovalchuk was the clear ice-time leader among forwards, averaging 26:56—nearly full four minutes more per game than the next busiest forward, Anaheim’s Ryan Getzlaf.
more Tuesday notes…