from Michael Farber of Sports Illustrated,
Discovery Channel has Shark Week. Apparently this is Russia Week in the NHL. In a week dominated by Alex Ovechkin’s ice time in Washington and Alexander Radulov’s bar time outside Phoenix, there was no more noteworthy performance than by Kovalchuk, who, especially early in the contest, appeared rejuvenated despite his debilitating injury.
When Michael Jordan plays with the flu, a nation genuflects (and buys more sneakers). When a hockey player shrugs off the effects of a horribly wonky back and performs splendidly, it is accepted as part of the job description—just another night at the office. (Or maybe the doctor’s office. In the playoffs, you don’t blab if you have 102.4 fever or need open-heart surgery.)
His return was supposed to provide the Devils with inspiration.
Instead Kovalchuk, aided by a penalty kill that negated two of Flyers power plays in overtime, gave New Jersey a win.