The New Jersey Devils ended the regular season as a pretty massive disappointment, failing to qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs after reaching the Cup Finals last season. Some of their players have continued to play on, joining their respective countries for the IIHF World Championship over in Europe.
So far, the stars of the tournament representing the Devils have been Ilya Kovalchuk and Stephen Gionta. Kovalchuk, in particular, has been terrific in the tournament, while Gionta has stepped up in big moments in playing for Team USA.
Kovalchuk has been one of the leading scorers for Team Russia, and for the entire tournament. He had three points in a win over Austria on Monday, running his total up to 13 points in seven games. Five of his seven tilts have featured multiple points.
He spent a good chunk of the shortened season injured, after he busted his shoulder sliding into the end boards. He missed 11 games on the year, not playing for almost a month from the end of March until April 20th. He finished the regular season with 31 points, including 11 goals, in 37 games.
On the American side, Gionta hasn’t quite put up the points that Kovalchuk has in the tournament, but has been an important contributor for the Americans. He has three goals in six games, tied for the second most on the team. He’s averaging over 14 minutes per game.
Gionta isn’t the only American representing the Devils, of course. Ryan Carter is also participating, but doesn’t have a point in six games. He does have eight penalty minutes, though. The tournament runs for about another week, with the Gold Medal Game taking place in Stockholm next weekend.