- Forward Ilya Kovalchuk is expected to make his Montreal Canadiens debut Monday at home against the Winnipeg Jets
- BetOnline is offering props on whether Kovalchuk will collect a point or score a goal in his Habs debut
- The odds are against him scoring a goal (-300) or collecting a point (-140)
Making his bow for the Montreal Canadiens, Ilya Kovalchuk is also coming full circle along his NHL journey.
The Russian winger is expected to make his Habs debut Monday at the Bell Centre against the Winnipeg Jets. The Jets used to be the Atlanta Thrashers. Kovalchuk made his NHL debut for the Thrashers on October 3, 2009.
BetOnline is offering prop wagers on whether Kovalchuk will score a goal, or at least collect a point as he skates in his first game for the Canadiens.
Kovalchuk is at odds of -300 to not score a goal. BetOnline is giving odds of -140 against him registering a point.
Ilya Kovalchuk Montreal Canadiens Debut Props
|Outcome||Yes Odds||No Odds at BetOnline|
|Score a Goal||+250||-300|
|Record a Point||+110||-140|
Odds taken Jan. 6
Kovalchuk posted 3-6-9 totals in 17 games this season for the Los Angeles Kings.
Kovalchuk a Gamble to Be Sure
A two-time 50-goal sniper who won the 2003-04 Rocket Richard Trophy as the NHL’s leading goal scorer, at 36 Kovalchuk is a shadow of his once-productive self. He netted 19 goals in 81 games with the Kings. His per-game goal average of 0.23 was well below his NHL career mark of 0.49.
But the Canadiens are desperate. They’ve lost five in a row and scored just four goals over the past three games.
Ilya Kovalchuk Stats
|2016-17||SKA St. Petersburg||KHL||60||32||46||78|
|2017-18||SKA St. Petersburg||KHL||53||31||32||63|
|2018-19||Los Angeles Kings||NHL||64||16||18||34|
|2019-20||Los Angeles Kings||NHL||17||3||6||9|
His contract terminated by LA, this will be his first game action since November 9th.
For Starters, Canadiens a Better Bet
Based on his past history of debuts with NHL clubs, things tend to go better for the team than for Kovalchuk. The Canadiens will be his fourth NHL squad. In his first game with each of his previous three NHL teams, he’s never scored a goal.
In his Thrashers debut, Kovalchuk was held pointless in a 2-1 win over the Buffalo Sabres. Traded to the New Jersey Devils in 2010, Kovalchuk dished out a pair of assists in his first game, a 4-3 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs.
He departed from the NHL in 2012 and spent five seasons in Russia’s KHL. Signed as a free agent by the Kings in 2018, Kovalchuk made his debut against the San Jose Sharks. He was held off the scoresheet during a 3-2 overtime setback.
Kovalchuk’s teams are 2-1 in his debuts. He’s 1-2 at registering points and 0-3 in scoring goals in those games.
Kovalchuk to Score a Goal: No (-300)
Kovalchuk’s Opportunity is Knocking
This is clearly Kovalchuk’s last NHL chance. And the Canadiens are giving him every opportunity to make the most of it.
At Monday’s morning skate, he worked on the top line with Tomas Tatar and Philip Danault, taking the spot normally filled by the injured Brendan Gallagher, Tatar and Danault are pointless in two games without Gallagher on their line.
Kovalchuk was also working with the #1 power-play unit.
— Canadiens Montréal (@CanadiensMTL) January 6, 2020
Play a hunch here. Kovalchuk is going to be fired up. The Jets have surrendered 28 goals over the past six games, including a 6-2 loss to the Habs. That was Montreal’s most recent win.
The only time he’s collected points in his debut with an NHL team, it was against Toronto, a Canadian club.
Kovalchuk to Collect a Point: Yes (+110)
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