Kovalchuk is expected to discuss his role for 2019-20 with Kings GM Rob Blake in the near future, with his defensive performance likely to be addressed.
Kovalchuk was never expected to be great on defense, but a minus-26 wasn't what he or the Kings had in mind, as that was his worst plus-minus finish in his NHL career. His season went south after the Kings fired John Stevens, and it's a concern as to how much he'll play in 2019-20, as it's unclear whether the Kings' new coach will be in the mold of Stevens or Willie Desjardins, with whom Kovalchuk clashed all year. What is clear is that he'll almost surely be with the Kings for the next two seasons; after paying his signing bonus in July, they'll only owe him $5 million total until the end of the 2021-22 campaign. In the right system, Kovalchuk is a great bounce-back candidate, but if he doesn't play within the team's system, he won't be of much use to fantasy owners.
Kovalchuk scored on both of his shots and went plus-3 in Saturday's 5-2 win over the Golden Knights.
Kovalchuk ended the year with 16 goals and 34 points in 64 appearances after a five-year hiatus in the KHL. He also had a minus-26 rating, matching his worst campaign in that category. Kovalchuk turns 36 years old on April 15, and it's questionable if he will have much of a fantasy impact outside of deeper formats in 2019-20.
Kovalchuk (coach's decision) will play in Monday's home tilt against the Flames, Jon Rosen of Fox Sports West reports.
Kovalchuk has been deemed ready to play by the coaching staff, as he hasn't seen game action since March 18. The 35-year-old had an assist in his last game, and has 31 points in 60 games this campaign. Kovalchuk will take the place of Johnny Brodzinski in the lineup.
Kovalchuck (coach's decision) won't suit up in Saturday's home contest against the Blackhawks, Jon Rosen of Fox Sports West reports.
Kovalchuck hasn't suited up in game action since March 18, and his absence will continue until his coach feels he's ready. The Russian could make his return to the lineup "soon" per Rosen, but his return date remains to be seen. The 35-year-old likely won't have a huge fantasy impact for the rest of the season once he returns, as he has 31 points in 60 games this campaign.
Kovalchuk (coach's decision) isn't with the team on a three-game Western Canada road trip that begins Monday in Calgary, Jon Rosen of LA Kings Insider reports.
Kovalchuk is staying behind to work with skill and development staff, as he would be unable to do so on the road trip due to a lack of practice days. Assuming he doesn't join the team Tuesday in Edmonton or Thursday in Vancouver, Kovalchuk's next chance to suit up should come in Saturday's home tilt against the Blackhawks.
Kovalchuk has publicly voiced frustration about interim Kings coach Willie Desjardins keeping him out of the lineup for two of the past three games as a healthy scratch, Lisa Dillman of The Athletic reports.
Getting relegated to the press box is discouraging in its own right, but Dillman writes that Kovalchuk was especially fired up about the Kings using an extra defenseman rather than another forward with the Russian scratched against the Sharks on Thursday. "It's horrible," Kovalchuk said. "That's the worst. But (coach Willie Desjardins) didn't play young guys. He plays 7 D. That's his new strategy." The 35-year-old has posted 14 goals, 17 assists and a minus-26 rating through 60 games -- his first NHL campaign since a final go-around with the Devils in 2012-13 (and following five years in the KHL). But alas, this may be a blessing in disguise, as Kovalchuk noted he'll "find a way to get through it" and certainly seems motivated to prove to the coaching staff that he still has gas in the tank.
Kovalchuk generated an assist in Monday's 3-2 loss to the Jets.
He added two shots in the contest. The helper gives him 31 points (14 goals, 17 helpers) in 60 appearances, though he's also collected a minus-26 rating. It's likely not what many were expecting from the Russian winger after a five-year absence from the NHL.
Kovalchuk (coach's decision) will play in Monday's game against Winnipeg, Curtis Zupke of the Los Angeles Times reports.
Scoreless in his last five outings, Kovalchuk was a healthy scratch during Saturday's loss to the Panthers. In his first NHL season since the 2012-13 campaign, the 35-year-old has just 14 goals in 59 games this year.
Kovalchuk (coach's decision) wasn't present for warmups ahead of Saturday's game against the Panthers, Curtis Zupke of the Los Angeles Times reports.
It appears that Kovalchuk will be a healthy scratch, with coach Willie Desjardins noting Friday that he wants to shake things up and find more playing time for Jonny Bordzinski. It's been a tough debut season for Kovalchuk, as he's stacked only 14 goals and 16 assists against a minus-25 rating over 59 games.
Kovalchuk earned a goal and an assist in Saturday's 6-3 home win over the Blackhawks.
The distinguished scoring winger returned from an upper-body injury, helping the Kings play spoiler against a team that had long odds of extending its season even before LA doubled up on Chicago's score in this home contest. Kovalchuk has five goals and eight points through 14 games since the beginning of February.
Kovalchuk (upper body) is expected to return to the lineup for Saturday's game against the Blackhawks, Curtis Zupke of the Los Angeles Times reports.
Kovalchuk missed Thursday's matchup with Dallas due to an upper-body issue, but he was never expected to be on the shelf for long. The veteran winger will return to a top-six role as well as a spot on the Kings' top power-play unit against Chicago.
Kovalchuk won't play Thursday against the Stars due to an upper-body injury.
This news comes as a surprise, as there was no indication that Kovalchuk was dealing with an injury until he didn't take the ice for pregame warmups. The veteran forward is considered day-to-day with his upper-body issue, so there's a chance he'll be ready to return Saturday against Chicago.
Kovalchuk scored his 13th goal of the season in Monday's 3-2 defeat against the Capitals.
Kovalchuk has four goals and two assists in nine games in February. Over that span, he's fired 29 shots on goal and skated to an even plus-minus rating. He's not the consistent 40-goal scorer he was early in his career, but he can still help owners in deeper formats make a playoff push.
Kovalchuk found the back of the net in Saturday's 4-2 loss to the Bruins.
He scored a power-play goal to knot the score at 1-1 in the middle of the second period, but two late goals by the Bruins left the hosts empty-handed in the end. Kovalchuk had gone scoreless in his four previous outings. With 27 points in 48 games, the Russian winger's return to North America has been far short of triumphant.
Kovalchuk scored in his return to New Jersey, helping his current squad earn a 5-1 win over the Devils on Tuesday.
The return to the NHL hasn't been what anyone was hoping for from Kovalchuk, but he's stepped up in 2019, scoring nine points in 13 games since the calendar turned. This could be a boon for his owners, as his production is sure to increase his trade value. That could land Kovalchuk in a much better situation than what he has with the Kings, who are likely going nowhere this season.
Kovalchuk notched two assists in Monday's 4-3 overtime win over the Rangers.
The 35-year-old has turned back the clock over the last month, racking up three goals and eight points in his last 10 games. Kovalchuk may not be able to continue that hot streak for much longer at this stage of his career, but with 10 goals and 25 points through 42 games on the season he's shown that he still has something left in the tank after his long stint in the KHL.
Kovalchuk is slated to rejoin the top line alongside Anze Kopitar and Dustin Brown on Saturday against the Sharks, Jon Rosen of LA Kings Insider reports.
Saturday marks the first time since the first six games of the season that Kovalchuk will work with Kopitar. The veteran winger tallied six points over that span, but he's managed just 13 in the other 26 games he's played in this season. The two will look to rekindle the early season magic Saturday, though it's unclear if this will be a permanent move.
Kovalchuk set up an Alex Iafallo goal in the second period during a 4-3 win over Vegas on Sunday in overtime.
Kovalchuk hasn't set the world on fire in his return to the NHL, but he's been a decent player and one of the few legitimate options the Kings have had on offense. His value could rise if he looks like his pre-KHL self now that he's back from his ankle injury, but at the moment, he's only worth starting in deeper leagues.
Kovalchuk scored two goals, including the overtime winner, in Saturday's 3-2 victory over the Sharks.
After missing 10 games with an ankle injury, Kovalchuk seemed determined to make up for the lost time -- his first goal, a power-play marker, opened the scoring inside the first five minutes of the first period. The veteran winger now has seven goals and 16 points through 26 games in his return to the NHL, and his consistent time with the man advantage gives him a solid fantasy floor despite the fact that he sees less overall ice time at even strength.
Kovalchuk (ankle) has been activated from injured reserve, per the NHL's official media site. According to Kings coach Willie Desjardins in a report by Helene Elliott of the Los Angeles Times, the power forward will not face a minutes restriction against the Sharks on Saturday.
On Wednesday, Kovalchuk received the green light from the bench boss to return for this game, which will be the 4,000th regular-season contest for the Kings in the history of the franchise. While it's great that Kovalchuk isn't expected to be confined by a minutes cap, that doesn't change the fact that Los Angeles ranks dead last in scoring at 2.23 goals per game.
|Last 7 Games|
|Complete Game Log|
| 23 || 24 || 25 || 26 || 27 || 28 || 29
| 30 || 1 || 2 || 3 || 4 || 5 || 6
|MORE CAREER STATS|
|MORE POSTSEASON STATS|