by PuckStopsHere on 12/30/10 at 04:31 PM ET
The worst +/- rating in the NHL belongs to Ilya Kovalchuk of the New Jersey Devils. He has a -26 rating. This is not the result New Jersey hoped for after a summer where he was the most sought after free agent signing and his ordeal to get a contract accepted by the NHL was the summer`s biggest hockey story.
This +/- rating is largely an indictment of the New Jersey Devils team. New Jersey has the worst team +/- rating at -53. The worst three and five of the worst six +/- ratings in the league are Devil players. Playing significant minutes on the Devils is going to get any player a bad +/- rating. Kovalchuk is third in ice time on the team. The two players who are ahead of him in ice time (Andy Greene and Henrik Tallinder) are the second and third worst +/- ratings.
Kovalchuk has never been a strong +/- player. The only time he finished a season as a plus player in his career was last season. He is generally a dominant scorer and a strong power play attacker, though he hasn`t had his usual offensive effectiveness this season and that has been a problem.
Kovalchuk has only ten even strength points so far this season. That puts him second on his Devils, who have the worst offense in the league this year (behind Patrik Elias).
Ilya Kovalchuk has not been able to score as much as expected this year. It is a combination of bad luck and poor teammates. He has never been a defensively strong player. A player like Kovalchuk who plays on a poor team like New Jersey is going to have a poor +/- rating. It is an indictment of his team as much as it is his individual play. Everyone with lots of ice time on the Devils has a poor +/- rating.
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