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Worst season of Kovalchuk's career

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07:09 AM ET 04.26 | Devils winger Ilya Kovalchuk has missed the playoffs before -- eight times, in fact -- including twice with the Devils. But this time was the worst. "With all the injuries and everything, this was probably the worst season of my career," Kovalchuk said after scoring the winning goal in tonight's 3-2 come-from-behind victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins at Prudential Center. "You know, it's not easy. Now a lot of guys are going to be unrestricted free agents, I don't know what's going to happen next year. We'll just have to wait and see." Kovalchuk missed 11 games with an injured right shoulder Mar. 25-April 18, but he is healthy enough that he will play for Russia in the world championships May 3-19.

The Star-Ledger

Ilya Kovalchuk, Getty Images Ilya Kovalchuk, Getty Images
Comment #1 has been removed
April 26, 2013  08:04 AM ET

It was a pretty sad game. It looked like a lot of both the penguins and devils were just going through the motions.

Comment #3 has been removed
April 26, 2013  08:38 AM ET
QUOTE(#3):

There were a lot of games like that. Florida barely moved until halfway thru the second. Tampa's "MVP candidates" looked perfectly content to hand Boston a slump-buster. After Dan Ellis basically gifted the NYR a playoff spot, after which Winnipeg decided to shift their focus to Minnesota boat parties.

Those boat parties are generally pretty memorable.

April 26, 2013  08:46 AM ET
QUOTE(#3):

After Dan Ellis basically gifted the NYR a playoff spot, after which Winnipeg decided to shift their focus to Minnesota boat parties.

Ellis sure didn't look like he was "gifting" anyone, especially in the 1st two periods.
The Rangers have an uncanny knack for making the average goalie look like Tretiak.
If not for Ellis, that game would been about 4-0 after the 1st oeriod

April 26, 2013  08:55 AM ET

Going through the motions? Yep, hope that is all that it was for the Pens considering they don't need to win, and avoiding injuries. BUT, I am not encouraged that since Malkin returned, we have dropped two, and they look lackluster. Can't afford to lose any fire facing any of the three opponents they could face (Islanders, Senators, or Rangers).

As far as Kovy goes....looked okay to me LAST NIGHT.

April 26, 2013  08:56 AM ET
QUOTE(#4):

Those boat parties are generally pretty memorable.

Just ask the Vikings :)

April 26, 2013  08:58 AM ET
QUOTE(#6):

Going through the motions? Yep, hope that is all that it was for the Pens considering they don't need to win, and avoiding injuries. BUT, I am not encouraged that since Malkin returned, we have dropped two, and they look lackluster. Can't afford to lose any fire facing any of the three opponents they could face (Islanders, Senators, or Rangers). As far as Kovy goes....looked okay to me LAST NIGHT.

No worries. They have the top spot wrapped up and just want to get into the playoffs without any more injuries. If Crosby does make it back for the first round starter, the Pens will be fine.

April 26, 2013  09:02 AM ET

Let's Go Pens!

Comment #10 has been removed
April 26, 2013  09:03 AM ET
QUOTE(#7):

Just ask the Vikings :)

Lief Erikson was quite the partier

Comment #12 has been removed
April 26, 2013  09:04 AM ET
QUOTE(#6):

Going through the motions? Yep, hope that is all that it was for the Pens considering they don't need to win, and avoiding injuries. BUT, I am not encouraged that since Malkin returned, we have dropped two, and they look lackluster. Can't afford to lose any fire facing any of the three opponents they could face (Islanders, Senators, or Rangers). As far as Kovy goes....looked okay to me LAST NIGHT.

I agree. Although I thought Malkin looked better last night than he did his first game back. Keep in mind the Pens have not been able to beat New Jersey this year. Its a good thing we don't have to face them in the playoffs.

April 26, 2013  09:05 AM ET
QUOTE(#8):

No worries. They have the top spot wrapped up and just want to get into the playoffs without any more injuries. If Crosby does make it back for the first round starter, the Pens will be fine.

No worries says the Flyers fan whose team booted our **** out last season. ;)

I see what you are doing.

April 26, 2013  09:05 AM ET

"With all the injuries and everything, this was probably the worst season of my career," Kovalchuk said ...

Well, Ilya, it helps if you work on your strength and conditioning during the off season, eat eat right and get plenty of rest. Try it sometime.

Comment #16 has been removed
April 26, 2013  09:10 AM ET
QUOTE(#13):

I agree. Although I thought Malkin looked better last night than he did his first game back. Keep in mind the Pens have not been able to beat New Jersey this year. Its a good thing we don't have to face them in the playoffs.

Did beat them once. In Jan.

But the Devils are always tough for the Pens.

Bruins and Rangers, not so much.

Let the Playoffs begin.

April 26, 2013  09:10 AM ET
QUOTE(#16):

Or Philly.

Well, this season, I wouldn't be as worried about them. ;)

April 26, 2013  09:10 AM ET
QUOTE(#16):

Or Philly.

Them too.

 
April 26, 2013  09:11 AM ET
QUOTE(#17):

Did beat them once. In Jan. But the Devils are always tough for the Pens. Bruins and Rangers, not so much. Let the Playoffs begin.

Peeps,

Playoffs are a different beast. Take no oppenent for granted. Everyone is desperation mode, and brings their A game. Rangers and Bruins won't be the same team we see in the regular season, and Hot Henrik is beast!

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