I know that Ilya Kovalchuk is a great player and all but it's always hard to tell how much any one player can carry a team. After seeing the highlights from last night's Hurricanes/Thrashers game, it's clear that the Thrashers owe a lot to this kid (and yes, I know he leads the league in goals). It's really hard, and actually a little painful to imagine what this team would be like without him. Without him, you know, going into your defensive zone and scoring on your doodz.
Kovalchuk scored a goal and assisted on three of the Thrashers' five goals (see he can do more than score), giving the team a win in a game which they arguably had no business winning. Why do I say that? Now I'll be honest I didn't see the game, but when one team has two and a half times the shots that the other has, the team with the lower total usually has no business getting points out of the game. The Canes out shot the Thrashers 36-14 (yes, 14) but lost 5-4 in overtime. And to say Cam Ward's save percentage is going to take a hit would be an understatement. How does .643 sound? Ouch.
Anyway, check out this insane video of Kovalchuk going coast to coast to beat Ward.