Goal-scoring isn't Ilya Kovalchuk's problem. Count 'em: 406 goals in 779 NHL regular-season games. That's what earned him a 15-year, $100 million contract with the New Jersey Devils.

It certainly wasn't his defense.

A career minus player, mostly with the former Atlanta Thrashers, Kovalchuk was justly criticized for being one-dimensional. When coach Peter DeBoer took over before this season, that changed.

"I think just more of a commitment, you know, an understanding that you have to play a 200-foot game at this time of the year in order to win," DeBoer said. "Everybody's doing it. The good teams that survive this long don't get here unless everyone's committed to doing that."