Trade Proposals Thread
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04-11-2013, 12:34 PM
Join Date: Jun 2011
Originally Posted by
Kershaw, I must ask you about your obsession with Kovalchuk. You obviously value puck possession and ES play highly since you often bring it up in player comparisons, yet you make this bizarre exception for Kovalchuk. He's been a mediocre-to-poor puck possession player since 2007-2008, and since coming to the Devils his ES production has declined rapidly; from 2.00/60 in 10-11 to 1.55/60 in 11-12 to 1.12/ this season. That is comparable production to Pääjärvi, Stoll, Wolski, and Ponikarovsky.
Even though he does have a significant impact beyond his numbers and his special teams play is still very good, his ES numbers have dropped to such a low level (both compared to players around the league, AND players on his own team) that I can no longer with a straight face call him a top-5 winger.
I'm very biased to Kovalchuk, I will admit. But I think the eye test has a lot to do with it. Of course, that is very flawed.
I think he is the best special teams player in the entire league. Maybe Shea Weber and PK Subban are better, but that's where the list ends.
He was floating with a + differential SH last season and early on this season. Last season Kovy had 4 PPGA and 5 SH points. That's insane.
The reason his possession numbers are down is probably based on the fact that he gets double and triple shifted often on all lines on the Devils team. He is a very versatile player and has the most workload by a forward in the league to produce. Of course he won't maintain possession everytime out there because he will have linemates that will drag him down.
The reason he doesn't get the top competition is because the Devils have the luxury of having Elias, who is a puck possession phenom. Or at least he was, last year. He is the perfect shudown player alongside Zubrus and Clarkson, one of the best 2-way lines in hockey last season.
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