Ilya Kovalchuk has excelled in many areas of the game over the course of his career, but traditionally, the shootout hasn’t been one of them. Going into this season, he had found the back of the net in 11 of his 42 shootout chances. Enter Martin Brodeur.
“He told me a couple secrets about the goalie and what angle I should take to get more options and it’s working, for sure,” Kovalchuk said.
Kovalchuk leads the NHL in shootout goals this season with 10, including one in New Jersey’s 1-0 shootout victory over the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday. He’s one of the main reasons the Devils have picked up 11 critical shootout victories this season in 14 attempts. For the Devils, those 11 extra points have been the difference between holding onto the Eastern Conference’s sixth seed and not even being in the top-eight.