Ilya Kovalchuk

Devils getting their money’s worth out of Ilya Kovalchuk

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Ilya Kovalchuk is being paid to play hockey like a superstar in the league should. Signing a 15-year, $100 million deal will get you put on the ice at all times to help the team win. In Kovalchuk’s case, it gets him put on the ice no matter what is going on for the Devils.

Kovalchuk has been averaging just over 27 minutes of ice time so far this season, a crazy amount for a forward. While many players would see their game suffer playing so much, Kovalchuk is feeding off of it. The Devils are 3-1-0 so far and Kovalchuk has two goals and two assists to lead the team.

DeBoer explains to Tom Gulitti of Fire & Ice what’s up with all the ice time.

“I got a few calls from friends around the league wanting to know if I was going to burn him out by Christmas,” Devils coach Pete DeBoer admitted today. “But he’s got a big engine and he seems to thrive on the responsibility.”

So far so good, right?

Seeing this much ice time is a throwback to his Atlanta days and… Well, that actually worked OK. Rock on then. If playing this much means that both he and Zach Parise can make a run at 40 goals, the Devils will do that everyday of the week.

Lucic: If I wanted to hurt Couture, ‘I would have hurt him’


Last night in Los Angeles, Kings forward Milan Lucic received a match penalty after skating the entire width of the ice to give San Jose’s Logan Couture a two-hand shove to the face.

Lucic didn’t hurt Couture, who had caught Lucic with an open-ice hit that Lucic didn’t like. Couture’s smiling, mocking face was good evidence that the Sharks’ forward was going to be OK.

This morning, Lucic was still in disbelief that he was penalized so harshly.

“I didn’t cross any line,” Lucic said, per Rich Hammond of the O.C. Register. “Believe me, if my intentions were to hurt him, I would have hurt him.”

While Lucic knew he deserved a penalty, he said after the game that he didn’t “know why it was called a match penalty.” His coach, Darryl Sutter, agreed, calling it “a borderline even roughing penalty.”

And though former NHL referee Kerry Fraser believes a match penalty was indeed warranted, Lucic said this morning that he hasn’t heard from the NHL about any possible supplemental discipline.

Nor for that matter has Dustin Brown, after his high hit on Couture in the first period.

In conclusion, it’s good to have hockey back.

Related: Sutter says Kings weren’t ‘interested’ in checking the Sharks

Torres apologizes to Silfverberg and Sharks


A statement from Raffi Torres:

“I accept the 41-game suspension handed down to me by the NHL’s Department of Player Safety. I worked extremely hard over the last two years following reconstructive knee surgery to resume my NHL career, and this is the last thing I wanted to happen. I am disappointed I have put myself in a position to be suspended again. I sincerely apologize to Jakob for the hit that led to this suspension, and I’m extremely thankful that he wasn’t seriously injured as a result of the play. I also want to apologize to my Sharks teammates and the organization.”

A statement from San Jose GM Doug Wilson:

“The Sharks organization fully supports the NHL’s supplementary discipline decision regarding Raffi. While we do not believe there was any malicious intent, this type of hit is unacceptable and has no place in our game. There is a difference between playing hard and crossing the line and there is no doubt, in this instance, Raffi crossed that line. We’re very thankful that Jakob was not seriously injured as a result of this play.”

Silfverberg says he expects to play Saturday when the Ducks open their regular season Saturday in San Jose.