Kovalchuk Bedevils New Jersey and Me

By now the entire hockey world knows that Ilya Kovalchuk has retired from the NHL leaving behind $77 million dollars and the New Jersey Devils and their fans in a state of disbelief. The following is an attempt to piece this all together.
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Comrade of the Night-Alexander Ovechkin

(courtesy of Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post)

With his fiance in the crowd and his best buddy opposite him on the ice, Alex Ovechkin exploded against the Devils on Saturday afternoon. The Capitals captain came to life against a dismal New Jersey team where he tallied his first hat trick of the year after not scoring in the past three games. Ovechkin opened the scoring for the Caps on the power-play in the second period when Mike Ribeiro found him wide open to slot past Johan Hedberg.
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Poni Express Headed to Newark (Again)

Call it deja vu, call it what you want, Alexei Ponikarovsky is a Devil once more. Left for the greater pastures of Winnipeg, the 32-year-old winger is back with New Jersey after a total of 12 games with the Jets.
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Devils Acquire Andrei Loktionov from Kings

Earlier this evening, the NHL had it’s first trade of the shortened 2013 season involving a Russian player. 22-year-old Andrei Loktionov who has spent his entire career with the LA Kings was dealt to New Jersey for a 5th round pick in this years draft. Loktionov spent most of his time with the Manchester Monarchs in the AHL where he scored 29 goals in 132 games. The Voskresensk native was assigned the Devils farm team in Albany, NY and could be available for Saturday’s game against Syracuse.
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Andrei on-the-Mark-ov earns Comrade of the Night

(photo courtesy of theprovince.com)

On a night where many Russian NHL’ers were getting their first goals or wins of the season, one man stood above the rest. Having only suited up 17 times for the Montreal Canadiens since Nov. 9, 2010, Andrei Markov scored two goals against the Florida Panthers and showed (at least for one night) that he still has quite the cannon from the point. Finally past the two anterior cruciate ligament surgeries on his right knee, Markov showed little hesitance on using his beloved slapshot, making netminder Scott Clemmensen look absolutely hapless on both goals.
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In Defense of Ilya Kovalchuk

It seems that in the past few days there has been quite an uproar in the Devils fan community regarding their star winger Ilya Kovalchuk. Like many of his compatriots, Kovalchuk returned to the country where he learned to skate to continue playing the game he loves when the NHL hit it’s fourth work stoppage since 1992. Joining one of the Kontinental Hockey League’s top clubs, SKA St.Petersburg, he quickly became the team’s star and even took over as captain while scoring 42 points in 36 games.
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Poni Express Heads to Newark as Canes Deal Ponikarovsky


(courtesy of Pawel Dwulit/Associated Press)

Having spent time in Toronto, Pittsburgh, Los Angeles, and Carolina the Poni Express was routed to New Jersey Friday night as the Hurricanes dealt Alexei Ponikarovsky to the Devils for fourth-round draft pick and an AHLer. The 31-year-old Kiev native has become something of a journeyman going to his fourth team since 2010.
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Waive Bye-Bye to Nikolay

A 15 goal season to date is not something to scoff at in today’s NHL.  However, if you score 15 goals and fail to abide by Peter Laviolette’s system, that apparently warrants subsequent benching and a waiving of your 2 million dollar contract.  Now Nikolai Zherdev waits for yet another possible destination in his long road to redemption in the NHL.

From the beginning of the season, it should have been clear to the Flyers ‘higher-ups’ thought that Zherdev was a player who put his needs before the team’s.  In his days with Columbus and New York, Nikolai was never talked about as a “team player.”  In his first few games, Flyers fans were treated to many dazzling tricks the Ukrainian-born, Zherdev, had to offer.  He used his impressive stick-handling to elude defenders and create offensive opportunities.  But there is always a price to pay no matter how much talent one player possesses.  Zherdev’s defensive game, inconsistent play, and, ultimately, his lack of effort, did not sit well with Flyers coach, Peter Laviolette.
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How Kovy Got His Groove Back


(courtesy of Paul Bereswill/Getty Images)

It wasn’t so long ago that Ilya Kovalchuk and the New Jersey Devils were the laughingstock of the NHL. Losing to everyone possible while having their $100 million free agent signing showing minimal signs of his potential. Who can forget the botched shootout attempt that pretty much summed up the Devils season at that point? Although it shouldn’t happen the brunt of the criticism for the team’s lack luster play was aimed towards #17.
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Anton Volchenkov Suspended 3 Games


(courtesy of Getty Images)

The A-Train has been forced to temporarily hit the breaks as word comes from the NHL hierarchy that New Jersey’s Anton Volchenkov has been given a 3 game suspension. The defenseman is suspended for his elbow on Carolina Hurricanes Zach Boychuk midway through the second period of last nights 3-2 Devils win. He will now be on head coach Jacques Lemaire’s naughty list even more so after receiving two (and only) other penalties in the game.
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