by David Pavlak on 11/15/11 at 12:45 AM ET
The New Jersey Devils may have the services of Ilya Kovalchuk as early as tomorrow against the Boston Bruins.
Kovalchuk, who has missed the past four games with a lower body injury, looks to be healed and healthy enough to make the trip and grab some ice time.
Head Coach Pete DeBoer is excited to have the powerful Kovalchuk back on the ice.
“We don’t change anything philosophically, other than the power play. We don’t have the one-timer there (without him),” coach Pete DeBoer said to Rich Chere of the Star Ledger. “We don’t make changes based around him. But you’re obviously a different team with him in the lineup. He has the ability to create things out of nothing. There is only a handful of guys in the league that can do those type of things.”
Kovalchuk skated on his own before the team was due to take the ice where he worked on his speed and took shots on net. After his performance, Kovalchuk practiced with his teammates.
“Yeah, I feel good, so I’m going on the trip,” Kovalchuk said. “I’ll skate one more time (Tuesday morning) and make a decision. Those three days made a pretty good difference.”
Petr Sykora has been a pleasant surprise for the Devils this season after receiving a roster spot after a try out during the offseason. He currently has three goals and four assists through 15 games.
“I think offense has been his most important contribution,” DeBoer said to Chere. “He’s one of the guys in our lineup capable of scoring every night.”
Every game Sykora makes sure to play his hardest so that his age or work ethic never comes into question.
“Each night I have to prove myself that I deserve to be in the lineup,” he said. “Honestly, I don’t even think about scoring before a game. I just want to do the right things. The right forechecks and all the little things I believe are going to keep me in the lineup.”
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