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27 февраля 2004 года. 
Tardy Kovalchuk punished, misses first game - The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

East Rutherford, N.J. -- Thrashers left wing Ilya Kovalchuk, who entered Friday tied for the league lead in goals with 33, was a healthy scratch after missing a team meeting prior to the team's 11:30 a.m. pregame skate.

At home games, the Thrashers skate first, at 10:15 a.m., and the skate is followed by an 11:15 video session and meeting. On the road, however, the video session and meeting comes first.

Kovalchuk overslept and missed the 10:15 team bus to Continental Airlines Arena. He caught a cab from the team hotel to the arena, which is only a few miles away but is separated by a confusing snarl of highways.

The cab driver got lost, and Kovalchuk arrived late. Kovalchuk was not allowed to participate in the skate, and afterwards coach Bob Hartley said the 20-year-old would not be in the lineup.

Asked what had happened, Hartley would only say, "He [Kovalchuk] will provide the details."

Kovalchuk was unavailable for comment. His agent, Jay Grossman, said Kovalchuk was disappointed that he was scratched.

Kovalchuk was one of three Thrashers to play in all 64 games entering Friday, with Patrik Stefan and Shawn McEachern being the others.

It is the second time in recent weeks Kovalchuk has been singled out by Hartley for disciplinary action. In the team's last game before he headed to the All-Star Game, Kovalchuk committed a costly neutral-zone turnover in the second period and was benched for the remainder of a 5-1 loss to Philadelphia.

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