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Kovalchuk injury hurts more than one owner

Ilya Kovalchuk is tied for second in the league in goals scored with nine.
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Thrashers left winger Ilya Kovalchuk might just be the best player that the "casual" hockey fan doesn't know. He doesn't exactly play in a "hockey hotbed," like Montreal, or Boston, instead toiling away in Atlanta.

So despite scoring 91 points last year (43 G, 48 A) and averaging 88 points over the last five seasons, Kovalchuk wasn't a first round pick in most leagues. His preseason ADP was 13 - an early second-round pick.

This season, Kovalchuk is tied for second in the league in goals scored with nine, although his linemates have yet to score, limiting his points total to just 10.

Yesterday it was announced that Kovalchuk will miss four weeks with a broken bone in his right foot which he suffered on Saturday against San Jose.

Rookie Evander Kane replaced Kovalchuk on the first line after the injury and Thrashers Coach John Anderson liked what he saw, so he'll probably stay with the top line. Kane has three goals and two assists primarily playing with the third line.

For the owners with Nikolai Antropov and Bryan Little on their roster, the next month is bleak without Kovalchuk. Both players should probably be sitting on the sidelines, unless Kane blossoms into a top-notch sniper.

Atlanta's Top Line Statistics
Player GP G A Pts +/- PIM PPP SOG %Own
Ilya Kovalchuk 8 9 1 10 -1 8 4 27 100
Nikolai Antropov 8 0 7 7 2 2 4 5 54
Bryan Little 8 0 5 5 2 0 1 12 35
Evander Kane 8 3 2 5 3 10 0 16 7


Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Steve Schwarz at sschwarz@sportsnetwork.com.

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