Posted April 09, 2013 on
AP on Fox
Offensive catalyst Ilya Kovalchuk skated with the Devils for the first time since injuring his right shoulder more than two weeks ago and hopes to return soon to the struggling New Jersey lineup.
Kovalchuk would not set a timetable for his return, but coach Peter DeBoer said the Russian star probably will play before he is fully recovered.
The Devils are winless in seven games (0-3-4) since Kovalchuk was hurt crashing into the end boards against the Florida Panthers March 23. The skid has dropped them out of playoff position in the Eastern Conference with nine games left.
The defending conference champions have two home games this week, facing the Boston Bruins Wednesday and the Ottawa Senators Friday.
''Condition-wise, I feel good,'' Kovalchuk told reporters in the locker room. ''That was never a problem. I just want to make sure I'm 100 percent when there is contact, and I can shoot one-timers and take the hard wrist shots. It's definitely going to take a few more days.''
Kovalchuk, who has never had a major injury in his career, did not engage in contact during the practice.
''I'd take him at less than 100 percent,'' DeBoer said. ''He has work to do before he's an option. We're not going to put his safety in jeopardy, but we're not going to wait until he's 100 percent to get him back in. That's not realistic.''
Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur said Kovalchuk's presence at practice was good to see.
''We'd love to get him back,'' Brodeur said. ''His body will tell him when he's ready to come back. He's a guy who takes a lot of ice time.''
Besides skating on the top line, Kovalchuk plays on the power play, kills penalties and is usually the first player to take the ice when the Devils are involved in a shootout.
''It's not about one guy,'' Kovalchuk said. ''We showed that the last two years. (Center) Travis (Zajac) was hurt all year last year. (Former captain) Zach (Parise) was hurt the year before that. We know how to react. It's unfortunate we haven't gotten a win, but I think we are very close.''
Kovalchuk said his daughter, Karolina, has been watching games with him while he recuperates and has offered insight.
'''Hey, I think they miss you,'' he recalled her saying. '''You have to get back.'''
Kovalchuk has 10 goals and 27 points in 32 games.
''We have to find a way to win with the people we've got in the dressing room, and the people I have access to,'' DeBoer said. ''We should be able to win with the way we played and some of the things we've done. We should be winning games.
''We have to find a way to put points in the bank.''
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The New Jersey Devils continued to do what they've done since Ilya Kovalchuk has been out of the lineup: lose.
The Devils loss to the Bruins marks their eight consecutive loss (0-4-4) since Kovalchuk injured his shoulder. The difference between this loss and the rest is the Devils actually found a way to put some pucks in the net. The...
Ilya Kovalchuk will not play for the reeling New Jersey Devils until his injured right shoulder feels comfortable.
After skating with nine other players on Thursday, Kovalchuk was uncertain whether he would be able to play for the defending Eastern Conference champions on Friday against the Ottawa Senators.
The Devils have dropped eight consecutive games (0-4-4) and their chances...
Follow Todd on Twitter @ToddCordell. With just nine games remaining in the 2012-13 campaign, the New Jersey Devils are on the outside of the Eastern Conference playoff picture looking in. As it stands, the Devils are 9th in the Eastern Conference and are two points behind the New York Rangers and New York Islanders respectively with the same amount of games remaining. Based on current pro...
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As we’ve mentioned before, the L.A. Kings have one of the best social media teams in all of sports. Despite constant scrutiny, the Kings’ twitter feed continues to take jabs and troll other teams and their fans. Tonight, the New Jersey Devils were the latest victims after the Kings tweeted them the following message with this link attached. The Devils are typically more conservative...
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What happened to the Devils in such short period of time??!!
The easy answer is, Kovalchuk is hurt. But a team relying on one player so heavily is exactly what Uncle Lou Lamoriello has preached against and avoided.
So what happened????
Do not let last night's result of 5-4 loss to the Bruins fool you - it was not that close!
It's not often you see a team skate a mediocre game and win by a four goal margin. The Bruins beat the Carolina Hurricans 6-2 in a game thats easy to write off, Carolina is awful without Ward. Now the Bruins face a team that are an actual threat to them. A team similiar to themselves. The Devils.
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New Jersey has participated in 15 of the...
Photo courtesy of the Devils’ official website
By Kristin Tullo (@K_Tullo)
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