Puck Blog

Kovalchuk nets No. 50, could be considered for MVP

Ilya Kovalchuk scored his 50th goal of the season last night vs. Philadelphia, marking the second time in his career he has reached that feat. This added to a resume that already includes two 40-goal seasons. One would think that Kovalchuk’s name would have to be taken into consideration, along with Washington’s Alexander Ovechkin and Pittsburgh’s Evgeni Malkin, when discussing the league’s MVP. Though it appears unlikely that Atlanta will make the playoffs, Kovalchuk has remained consistent, having been among the NHL’s top 2 goal scorers for the entire season. Kovalchuk also owns the distinction as having scored the most goals since entering the league in 2001. “Kovy” has accounted for over 25 percent of Atlanta’s goals this season; Atlanta’s offense currently ranks 12th in the NHL.

Kovalchuk’s 50th goal can’t save Thrashers

Kovy denied tying goal with only second remaining

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Published on: 03/19/08

Philadelphia — Remarkably, Ilya Kovalchuk was wide open between the circles a few feet in front of Philadelphia goalie Antero Niittymaki.

Down one goal, as the final seconds of the third period ticked away, Slava Kozlov shot a pass in Kovalchuk’s direction. Kovalchuk ripped a one-timer with 2.7 seconds remaining, and the players and coaches on the Thrashers’ bench jumped up in anticipation of a game-tying goal. But Kovalchuk was stoned. Niittymaki made the save, and as the final buzzer sounded on the Flyers’ 3-2 victory over the Thrashers, Kovalchuk collapsed to the ice, laying on his back, staring at the Wachovia Center rafters.