Atlanta Thrashers fans gladly pass on Kovalchuk 'drama'

ilyawnasathrasher.jpgAt the 18 day mark, we may just run out of thesaurus entries for the word “exhausting” when describing the Ilya Kovalchuk saga. Dare someone use the headline “Ilyawn” at this point? The give-and-take between the Russian winger and the Los Angeles Kings/New Jersey Devils has been drawn out beyond well-worn boundaries, not unlike the excessive buildup between two attractive co-eds in a typical sitcom. “Just get it over with, already,” we said a week ago. At least.

There’s at least one group of people who might only find this amusing: Atlanta Thrashers fans. One happens to write a column/blog for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and he expresses relief in not having to follow “As the Kovalchuk Turns” this time around.

So if there is to be a repeat of that holdout drama, then Kovy-Watch ’10 as only just begun.

About the only thing that seems to be certain regarding Ilya’s summer adventure this time is that he’s not going to get the same coin as the Thrashers offered up to him last winter. $10 million for 3 to 7 years or somewhere in the neighborhood of $100 mil for 12 years is now surely out of the question for Kovy.

So just where will Kovalchuk eventual wind up…and when will he wind up there? shrugs…I dunno. But all I can say is that I’m glad happy thrilledecstatic that Thrasherville is not the site of this particular saga.

In fact, I’m sorta looking forward this coming season in which the Thrashers aren’t having to deal with such distractions. You know, distractions such as whether or not superstars like Marian Hossa or Ilya Kovalchuk will re-sign…or if Kari Lehtonen’s back/groin/[insert issue here] will keep him out of the lineup for an extended period of time.

Quite frankly…Thrasherville can do without the drama.

(Not really sure why he employed the “strike-through” gimmick there, but to each his own, I guess.)

Rather than counting on mercurial talents, the Thrashers are shifting their focus to building a team that is about as subtle as a kick to the junk. It’s unclear if such a departure will actually result in an increase in victories, but at least Atlanta won’t be a glorified vacation for opposing teams any longer. A team once embodied by its departed Russian captain is already looking drastically different just six-or-so-months later.

We’ll see if Thrashers fans should like what they see starting in October.

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    Video: Pekka Rinne’s zero-margin-of-error stick save

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    Sometimes, the Nashville Predators were unlucky in November. Sometimes they were just bad.

    Either way, they’re likely glad to step into December, and they’ve already gotten a big bounce. Watch how close this near-goal was into crossing the red line before Pekka Rinne barely stopped it with a well-placed goalie stick.

    You can also see it up close via this GIF:

    Here’s the NHL Situation Room Blog explanation for it remaining a no-goal:

    At 13:06 of the first period in the Coyotes/Predators game, the Situation Room initiated a video review to further examine a play from 11:57. Video review confirmed the call on the ice that the puck did not cross the Nashville goal line. No goal Coyotes.

    Alexei Emelin was ejected for this hit on Matt Calvert

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    Alexei Emelin has been in and out of the Montreal Canadiens lineup, but this wasn’t the way they wanted him to keep his legs fresh.

    The hard-hitting defenseman received a game misconduct and five-minute major penalty for a late hit on Columbus Blue Jackets forward Matt Calvert on Tuesday.

    So far, it sounds like Calvert may be OK.

    You can see video of that hit above, as well as a GIF of the infraction via My Regular Face.

    Many believe that Emelin should not have been ejected.

    Injuries continue to dog Lupul as Leafs place him on IR

    Joffrey Lupul
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    Injuries have been a regular problem for Joffrey Lupul for much of his time with the Toronto Maple Leafs, and it doesn’t look like that’s changing in 2015-16.

    The team placed him on injured reserve retroactive to Nov. 28, calling up Rich Clune in the process.

    This IR stint means that Lupul will miss at least three games for Toronto.

    From the sound of things, it’s a nagging issue, as notes.

    “He’s been having the same problem here for a bit,” Mike Babcock told media members on Sunday. “He doesn’t seem to be getting the power back that they thought, so we’re just trying to monitor it the best we can.”

    Leafs Nation points out that Lupul has missed about one-third of Toronto’s contests since suffering a separated shoulder in April 2012.

    At 32, there’s still time for Lupul to fight through this, although injuries generally accumulate with age.

    WATCH LIVE: Wild at Blackhawks; Penguins at Sharks

    Scott Darling, Charlie Coyle
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    Will Ryan Suter say something foolish during tonight’s game? Is Brent Burns‘ beard so long that it’s finally starting to scrape the ice?

    We’ll find out the answer to those questions and more during Tuesday’s NBCSN doubleheader.

    Need to follow the two games online? Never fear.

    Game 1: Minnesota Wild at Chicago Blackhawks


    Game 2: Pittsburgh Penguins at San Jose Sharks