Kovalchuk “in good spirits” after yesterday’s own goal

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If you prick Ilya Kovalchuk, does he not bleed? If you tickle him, does he not laugh? If you poison him, does he not die?

(Answers: Yes, yes, and maybe, depending on the poison.)

The point is, Kovalchuk is a mere mortal like the rest of us. Just because he makes millions of dollars, lives in a mansion, takes a helicopter to work and owns two horses that ran in the Kentucky Derby (probably) doesn’t mean he’s immune to feeling awful about scoring a goal on his own team.

“You think these superstar players are super human,” said Devils coach Pete DeBoer today. “They’re not. They’re sensitive. They have feelings.”

Cue teary Darryl Strawberry!

Fortunately, the Star-Ledger reports that Kovalchuk “was in good spirits today, flying on the ice during practice.”

New Jersey hosts Buffalo Wednesday. For Kovalchuk, it’s an opportunity for redemption.

“Myself, first of all, I have to be ready, show up and show my teammates I can be much better than that,” he said yesterday.