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06-11-2013, 09:59 PM
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Originally Posted by devilsblood View Post
Should be noted Kovy has been here 3.5 years. We did not make the playoffs in 2 of those years, and got booted in the 1st rnd in the 1/2 year. He also missed a grand total of 11 games this year. So it is certainly not as easy as "we are cup contenders with him and pitiful without him". Honestly If I'm looking at what was different between our 2 recent non playoff years and our one cup run it would appear to be Parise.

I agree Kovy is a game breaker. On pure physical ability it's Kovy by a wide stretch. But Elias imo, is clearly a more cerebral player, a much better defensive player, and a player who gives a more consistent effort. So he closes that pure physical gap by a decent amount.

As to why Kovy gets grief while Elias gets the love. Elias is a homegrown talent who has won 2 cups. Kovy was traded from an awful team and has been the "best player" on 2 teams that has not made the playoffs while in NJ.

Not trying to attack Kovy here either. I'm a fan. Just trying to give an honest critque.

Remember why we actually missed the playoffs with Kovalchuk:
1. John Maclean - end of story. When the team had Lemaire, it went on fire and proved that not only would the team have made it to the playoffs with him all season but it could have finished first in the east.
2. Kovalchuk couldn't play for a quarter of the season - The team lost every game besides 1 that Kovy couldn't compete in.

The point is simple in that the Devils missing the playoffs had nothing to do with Kovalchuk at all. It was either the team or the coaching that failed. Remember, in the playoffs Kovalchuk played injured and led the team in scoring. The only full season Kovalchuk played with the team in the playoffs was the one where they went to the SCF.

Elias is good and I understand the defensive argument, but he just isn't Kovalchuk good. Take Kovy out of the lineup and the team couldn't win. Elias' absence would hurt the team but there is no way the team would win 1 in 11 games with Kovy in the lineup and a capable head coach. Remember during the SCF run Elias was invisible in point production and the team still made it that far. If it was Kovy who was invisible that run would have been cut short.

I don't think Kovalchuk gets the most hate or anything either. He is easily the most popular player on the team not named Brodeur (just look at the amount of jerseys in the crowd) and people chant his name throughout the games and nobody gets that treatment besides Henrique which really was just a rookie sensation chant. The only type of hate Kovalchuk receives is probably the media looking to attack him and making a story. He's just a perfect target because of the contract that he got and his nationality. That's why the stories of him not returning to the NHL to attend an informal practice for KHL games were ever written because he's just a good scapegoat used by the media.

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