Ilya Kovalchuk

Ilya Kovalchuk is hurting, will miss Game 2


A surprise out of Philly this morning as Devils GM Lou Lamoriello addressed the media regarding the condition of Ilya Kovalchuk.

Lamoriello says Kovalchuk will miss tonight’s Game 2 against the Flyers thanks to a lower body injury, an ailment he developed during the first round against Florida. Kovalchuk looked less-than stellar in Game 1 and has appeared to play hurt through most of the playoffs. Lamoriello says Kovalchuk is day-to-day.

Whenever he’s been asked about whether he’s hurt or not, Kovalchuk has said he’s perfectly healthy. When he was pressed about his health after Game 1, however, he bristled at the question continuing to insist he was fine.

Seeing is believing, however, and now the Devils will have to make due without one of their most important players. Taking Kovalchuk’s spot in the lineup will be Tim Sestito and finding a way to juggle the lines without Kovalchuk will be a tall task for coach Peter DeBoer.

It looks like Havlat won’t make Panthers

Martin Havlat
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As PHT’s mentioned before, the Florida Panthers stand as a fascinating contrast between youth and experience.

Let’s not kid ourselves, though; fresh faces usually beat out gray beards, at least when it comes to teams that are still trying to build toward contender status.

While it’s by no means official, two Panthers beat writers – the Miami Herald’s George Richards and the Florida Sun-Sentinel’s Harvey Fialkov – report that the Panthers are likely to pass on Martin Havlat.

It wasn’t just about the likes of Jonathan Huberdeau and Nick Bjugstad leading the charge. Other young Panthers (maybe most notably Quinton Howden and Connor Brickley) made the team, thus making Havlat less necessary.

One would assume that it might be tough for the 34-year-old to find work, at least if he insists upon only an NHL deal.

Health issues continue to dog him, but he’s no longer one of those guys who tantalizes with talent when he is healthy enough to play.

Havlat also doesn’t really bring much to the table defensively. While other veterans can kill penalties and show a little more verstaility, Havlat’s greatest selling point is scoring.

Could this be it for a solid career that may nonetheless end with a “What if?” or two?

Silfverberg is set to practice again after Torres hit

Jakob Silfverberg
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Considering all of the controversy surrounding the 41-game suspension for Raffi Torres, some might have lost track of the guy who received that hit: Jakob Silfverberg.

The good news is that, at the moment, it seems like he’s OK.

The Anaheim Ducks announced that he skated on his own and will be involved in the team’s next practice:

That falls in line with some of the fall-out from the hit, as head coach Bruce Boudreau let out a relieved “thank goodness” at the young forward seemingly dodging a bullet.

Here’s video of the hit and the suspension decision:

Silfverberg, 24, enjoyed a nice breakout in 2014-15, especially during the playoffs.

Keep in mind that injuries can sometimes crop up later than expected, especially potential head injuries/concussions. Still, it seems like the initial reaction is that the damage was minimal.