Ilya Kovalchuk hasn’t had many opportunities in the past when it comes to the playoffs. Like all other players, his ultimate goal is to win the Stanley Cup and with the Devils he’s got a genuine shot to do that this season.
As Tom Gulitti of Fire & Ice found out, you’d better not ask Kovalchuk his thoughts about winning the Cup and what it would mean to him.
“Let’s not talk about that right now,” he said. “We just want to make a little step forward at a time. We want to do well in the first round first.”
Doing well in the first round is something a lot of people are counting on them to do. Sure the Devils are the sixth seed in the East, but they’ve got a better record than the third seeded Florida Panthers and are the chic pick for a first round upset.
Kovalchuk has seen the playoffs just twice in his career – once with Atlanta in 2006-07 and in his first half-season with New Jersey in 2009-10. In nine career playoff game, Kovalchuk has eight points and just three of those are goals. For the Devils to have true Stanley Cup aspirations, he’ll need to do better than that and with Zach Parise and Patrik Elias riding shotgun with him, there’s no reason to think he won’t do well.