The New Jersey Devils are mired in the midst of an eight-game losing streak that has seen their playoff chances dwindle. Sitting tenth in the east and a full four points back of the New York Rangers, the Devils won’t be getting any reinforcements back for tonight’s game when they host the Ottawa Senators. Here’s the latest updates on some key injuries out of New Jersey.
Ilya Kovalchuk will remain sidelined for tonight’s game with a shoulder injury that has kept the sniper out for more than two weeks. While neither Kovalchuk nor head coach Peter DeBoer would speculate on a timeline for his return, it is expected that it could come next week as per Tom Gulitti, beat reporter for the Record via Twitter.
DeBoer on Kovalchuk:”It was obvious he’s not close enough to help us or help himself. I don’t think he’s far off but definitely not tonight”
— Tom Gulitti (@TGfireandice) April 12, 2013
Since Kovalchuk’s injury that he sustained on March 23rd in a game against the Florida Panthers, the Devils are 0-4-4 and as mentioned have free fallen out of the playoff picture just one year after making it to the Stanley Cup Finals.
The team recognizes the need for Kovalchuk’s services and DeBoer recently told the media that he’d dress the Russian goal scorer even he wasn’t one hundred percent. He followed that up by saying that he doesn’t want to “jeopardize his safety” but that it’s “not realistic to wait until he’s 100%” – courtesy of the Globe and Mail.
The words were some contradicting to what Kovalchuk had said previously when he stated that he wants to wait until he is one hundred percent when there is contact. Playing with any type of shoulder injury will run the risk of re-injuring it if it isn’t healed completely. It’s easy to understand the Devils need to get him back in the lineup, but is a long-term injury worth it?
Gulitti further tweeted on the status of captain Bryce Salvador who wasn’t skating at practice this morning and won’t dress for tonight’s game. Gulitti writes that Salvador’s right wrist is “no better than it was yesterday” and will remain out of game action.