Expectations in Jersey exciting for Kovalchuk

Bill Kostroun / AP

NEWARK, N.J. — Ilya Kovalchuk doesn’t require the Vladimir Zharkov shuttle service to and from Prudential Center anymore. That’s good news considering Kovalchuk has had to tell his younger Russian teammate to slow his Porsche down a few times.

The Devils left wing finally got his car earlier this week after having it shipped from Atlanta. He also has his own apartment in Hoboken and as soon his wife, Nicole, gives birth (she’s due any day now), he will be all set up just in time for the fun to begin.

Kovalchuk has a different air about him as spring gets set to dawn because instead of trying to scratch and claw with the Thrashers just to make early April games mean something, he is scratching and clawing with the Devils so they can secure home-ice advantage and perhaps the Atlantic Division title.

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