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07-02-2011, 05:47 PM
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Charlotte, NC
Originally Posted by
Gaborik is better defensively, does work harder, and is more professional. The difference in terms of offense is more than slight, however. Gaborik is ineffective with the puck on his stick. He can't beat good defenders one-on-one. He needs help creating time and space, and he's at his best when he only touches the puck when it's time to shoot. And he's very good in that situation, but that makes him easier to shut down.
Kovalchuk creates his own time and space. He's bigger and a lot stronger than Gaborik. He runs right through defenders. He creates his own offensive opportunities, and when he gets help, he is responsible for excellent scoring opportunities more shifts than not.
At his best, he's an unstoppable offensive force. He's just as dynamic, if not more, than Ovechkin, but as much of a bull as he is physically, he still doesn't match Ovechkin's sheer brute force and physical will. I actually think he has higher hockey sense than Ovi, too.
And I believe that Kovalchuk is a lot like Kovalev. In games that are big, he steps up his effort. The guy has spent his entire career on **** teams. Never great goaltending behind him. Never great defenses behind him. Never any teams that featured roster-wide depth at the forward positions. In a couple of years, when the Devils get a good defense and possibly move on from Marty with an adequate replacement (and one or two are available every off-season), they'll be very good (assuming they hold on to Parise, which I think they will).
Kovalchuk is a great player, no doubt. I never said he wasn't. I just would prefer not to deal with the floating and the petulance. And honestly, so would our coach. Kovalchuk is just not a fit for Tortorella.
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