As expected, Ilya Kovalchuk practiced with the Devils again Wednesday. After the session, Kovalchuk told reporters that he thought he could play tomorrow against the Flyers and that he would be traveling with the team. Pete DeBoer, however, disagreed with Kovy’s sentiment.
I’m not sure the benefit of dragging this out and to be honest, I’m getting tired of writing the same thing over and over. There’s no reason for Kovalchuk to play this season. Absolutely none. If he does return, especially at less than 100 percent, the Devils are just tempting fate. If they string this out day by day, they’re just wasting people’s time. But I’m not Pete DeBoer. I’m not Ilya Kovalchuk. I’m not Lou Lamoriello. I’ll let them make the decision, even if it is a poor one.
This is pretty on message with what we’ve been hearing and doesn’t really change our opinion that Salvador shouldn’t play again this season.
Kovalchuk didn’t play Monday and remains out with a shoulder injury. We’ll update you after Wednesday’s practice.
Bryce Salvador has yet to return and the “fairly significant bruise” on his right wrist is starting to look a lot worse than originally thought. To that end, the Devils send their captain for another opinion, hoping to get some clarity on whether Salvador will be able to play again this season.
I said it over the weekend and I’ll say it again now: Shut him down. I really think we’ve seen the last of Bryce Salvador this season. The wrist injury is obviously fairly serious and he still has to deal with at least two other injuries if he’s going to return to the lineup. The Devils are not going to make the postseason so there’s no reason to rush him back into the lineup. What’s troubling is that X-rays and MRIs continue to be negative, yet the injury isn’t healing. When those tests show something, doctors can prescribe a clear rehab path, be it surgical or otherwise, in order to get the player back to 100 percent. The question now isn’t “When will Salvador return?” It’s, “What’s going on with his wrist?” The second question is a far more worrisome one to answer than the first.
Bryce Salvador missed Friday’s game with a bruised wrist and it looks like two days off won’t be enough to get him ready for Monday’s trip to Toronto. Salvador sat out practice again Saturday and Pete DeBoer was not optimistic about his captain’s chances.
Shut. Him. Down. He’s as banged up as anyone on the roster right now and there’s no way he’s going to get healthy enough in time to be of assistance to the Devils this season. You know how you know this wrist injury is serious? Salvador hasn’t been seen anywhere near practice since it happened. If he were even close to being able to play, he might be skating on his own or doing work before practice. Nope, no sightings, no work — just rest, which he should get a ton of this summer. Because he shouldn’t play again until the 2013-14 season.
Ilya Kovalchuk (shoulder) practiced with the Devils again on Saturday, when the Devils decided to devote the entire session to the power play. Kovalchuk manned his usual spot on the left point but apparently declined to unleash his signature shot from that location. There (once again) were no slapshots and Tom Gulitti didn’t catch him taking any one-timers either.
With two days until the Devils’ next game in Toronto on Monday, there was thought that Kovy could return against the Leafs. Kovy, however, isn’t exactly feeling that idea just yet.
I’m sure there are probably some players that think Kovy should be back Monday because the Devils are in such dire straits. In fact, I’d bet the longer he sits, the louder that group will get. But let’s be real — the Devils are such long shots to make the postseason at this point there’s really no point in rushing him back even more just to play in a desperation game they would probably be outmatched in anyway. The Devils and Kovy have already said he’ll return before he’s 100 percent, but you don’t want him coming back at 50 or 60 percent and risk suffering a serious injury that will sideline him into next season. Would he be playing if this were the postseason? Probably, but it’s not. In fact, if the Devils lose Monday, it wouldn’t be the worst idea to let him rest and heal the final six games. Just saying.
This means Keith Kinkaid will serve as Brodeur’s caddy against the Senators tonight.