Return Of Ilya Kovalchuk Can’t Come Soon Enough For New Jersey Devils

Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

We’re about right at the time when Ilya Kovalchuk could soonest return from the injury that has kept him out of the New Jersey Devils lineup for the past couple of weeks.

Kovalchuk went down with a shoulder injury and was placed on injured reserve March 24th. The original timetable on the injury was between two and four weeks, though we still have yet to get a real indication of when Kovalchuk might be back. The Devils better hope it’s soon.

The Devils are currently on the outside of the playoff race in the Eastern Conference, as their slide down the standings continues. At one point, they were one of the top clubs in the East. Due to a variety of factors, including the Kovy injury, they’ve stumbled quite a bit over the past few months.

They’ve won just two of their last 10 games, though they managed to get another four points in games that went beyond regulation. They’re the second-worst offensive team in the game, as far as their goals-per-game are concerned. The fact that they’re about middle-of-the-road defensively is what’s keeping them afloat.

Kovalchuk, despite not having played in two weeks, is second on the team in points, and in goals. He has 27 points on the season, which includes his 10 goals, which is tied with David Clarkson and Patrik Elias for no. 2 on the team. As a top line winger, it’s no secret that the Devils need him back as soon as possible.

Obviously they don’t want Kovalchuk to rush it. But if it takes him the full timetable, which would be another two weeks, the Devils could be in some serious trouble.

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