The ice-cold New Jersey Devils might just get crucial winger Ilya Kovalchuk back on Thursday, according to the Newark Star-Ledger.
Devils head coach Peter DeBoer continues to label the Russian star as day-to-day. He sat out Monday’s loss against the Toronto Maple Leafs, but it sounds like he has at least a shot at playing later this week against the Philadelphia Flyers.
That would be a great relief for New Jersey, a team that hasn’t won a single game (0-6-4) since he suffered a shoulder injury on March 23.
DeBoer spoke to the Star-Ledger about how much Kovalchuk, 30, means to the Devils.
“Ilya either creates himself or, in an indirect way, creates at least a goal a game for us in my mind. A lot of nights, if you look at the nine-game stretch, that would’ve been the difference either in winning or getting points,” DeBoer said. “We have to fill that void other ways. Our power play hasn’t helped with that. Some other guys have to step up and help fill that, too.”
The Devils trail the eighth-ranked New York Rangers by six points and now have one fewer game left to catch up. The obvious question, then, is if Kovalchuk’s return might end up happening too late.
(H/T to Rotoworld.)