Kovalchuk Takes the Plus Out of Plus/Minus
The Puck Stops Here : Kovalchuk`s Worst +/- Rating
The worst +/- rating in the NHL belongs to Ilya Kovalchuk of the New Jersey Devils. He has a -26 rating. [...] This +/- rating is largely an indictment of the New Jersey Devils team. New Jersey has the worst team +/- rating at -53. The worst three and five of the worst six +/- ratings in the league are Devil players. Playing significant minutes on the Devils is going to get any player a bad +/- rating. Kovalchuk is third in ice time on the team. The two players who are ahead of him in ice time (Andy Greene and Henrik Tallinder) are the second and third worst +/- ratings. Kovalchuk has never been a strong +/- player. The only time he finished a season as a plus player in his career was last season. [...] Kovalchuk has only ten even strength points so far this season. That puts him second on his Devils, who have the worst offense in the league this year. [...] Ilya Kovalchuk has not been able to score as much as expected this year. It is a combination of bad luck and poor teammates.
Yes, it certainly is bad luck that Kovalchuk's own contract made it impossible for the Devils to field a complete roster of NHL-caliber players. Who could have foreseen this?