"I had no confidence in the shootout," Kovalchuk said. "I just closed my eyes and shot. The reason we won was because of Marty. He stood on his head."
This is really frightening to me, and not what you want to here from your star player. Kovalchuk is a great hockey player, and has the potential to be an elite player in this league, but he has to get his groove back. Very few times this season I have seen the Kovalchuk that we brought in from Atlanta, the one who gallops through the neutral zone and puts everyone on the edge of their seat, the one who if he had the puck in the high slot that there was a very good chance that he was picking a corner with ease. It is great that he is perfect so far in shootouts, but in order for our team to be successful, we need players like Kovalchuk to step up in regulation, heck, even overtime. In my opinion, in order for Ilya to be successful, we have to put him on a line in which he can carry his linemates and be more selfish. I feel like he feels pressure to dish it off to players like Parise because he is a star as well. If he was paired with players such as Zajac and Palmieri, he would be more inclined to shoot the puck (he does have one of the best shots in the game), and he has players who are trying to set him up more often so than Parise and Henrique grinding it out in the corner. If Kovalchuk had to carry his linemates, he would feel more confident in his abilities. Thats my reasoning on why Kovalchuk is struggling, but I want to here yours. Thanks for reading!