So, here we go.

Ah, the eve of playoffs in New Jersey. A favorite time here at 2MA. We’ve done this a few times already on the good ol’ interwebs, but it just doesn’t seem to lose its luster to rant and rave about Black ‘n Red and our (somewhat) irrational hopes at Silver Salvation.

Oh yes, playoffs.

I may be crouched in the corner of a somewhat rank apartment surrounded by Hawks fans in the middle of the Windy City, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to just sit back and idly root for a team that hasn’t made the playoffs in, what, thirty-seven thousand years?

Sorry Amy.

Seriously, this is the time. Second season. It all counts now. One goal. Insert various quotes from the epic 300 here. I could go on, clearly.

I will not though.

We have a mission on hands, folks. While I may not be able to squeeze my butt into the spacious seats at the Rock (I’m working on it. Thanks Jenny Craig!), the boys and I will be bringing you the wonderful (or should I say colorful?) coverage you’ve all grown to know and love for the duration of the Devils’ quest at glory.

Check back for pregame pleas and post parading (I hope? Don’t ruin my dream, Carolina!) as second season starts now here at 2 Man Advantage.

Remember, Martin Brodeur might only have one fully functioning elbow at this point, but we all still have fully functioning fingers just waiting to receive the flow of creative juices from our fantastically full brains, and really — who could ask for more?

Yeah, I totally just went alliteration on all y’all. That’s how it’s done here.

One away from greatness?

It’s been a tough season for Mr. Martin Brodeur.

Taken out by a bum elbow, “MB30” had to take a back seat to witness his boys claw back from the pits of adversity and skate towards one of the NHL’s best records this season.

Yeah, Marty ain’t used to that.

We’re talking about a netminder who plays 8593 contests out of an 82 game season here. It surely could not have been easy.

Fast forward to March, where the three-time Cup winner is now one win away from shattering Patrick Rooooooooooooy’s record of 551 career wins.

Fancy.

It wasn’t easy, sure, but Marty’s almost there. He has his shot, Tuesday, against the surging Chicago Blackhawks. Cue dramatic orchestra music here.

…wait, what? The Hawks are good this year?

This really is a weird season.

Anyway, the stage is set and the leading roles have been assigned. Starring for the Devils, of course, Brodeur along with his comrades Zach Parise, Patrik Elias, and Jamie Langenbrunner. For the Hawks? Eh, who really cares. It’s Marty’s night, right?

Nine million years in this league, it’s his time to shine, his time to show us what he’s really made of, yadda yadda yadda.

…oh…no. I think all the Vezinas, 40-plus win seasons, and Stanley Cups already proved to us that Marty is the man.

So when Marty laces ’em up and settles in between the pipes on Tuesday, forget about the numbers and records. We don’t need 552 wins to tell us something we don’t already know.

#30 already is the best.

Is this my last plea for the season?

Gosh, I sure hope not.

We’ve tried the whole desperation thing. Failed. We begged and bribed, to no avail. It’s simply impossible to wake the beast, I fear.

Have I given up? Oh, no. Not at all.

Am I trying some whole reverse-psychology deal, secretly hoping that if I kick the dog, (dog being New Jersey of course) the boys will actually win the game tonight?

Of course I am.

Jokes people, jokes.

Seriously, what does it take to get these boys to get the job done? Surely, goals would be nice. They’ve been scoring handfuls here and there the past few games though. This is not the problem. Physicality, maybe? Oh, yeah, the physical edge is also great and all, but I’ve seen enough of that as well.

Yes, Marty is being pushed around in his cage, but let each and every Devils fan exhale first, this is not the concern. The only way Mr. Brodeur gets hurt in net is by his own doing. I worry he may pull a muscle with his dramatic flops, but that’s neither here nor there.

(Somewhere, about 20 miles East of here, a bunch of clowns in blue are laughing and agreeing with the above statement. That’s fine.)

Grand scheme of things, folks. The boys aren’t clicking on all cylinders. Even if they were, it’s still not enough. The Rangers are no juggernaut, but they are light years ahead of Black ‘n Red in the talent department. No fooling ourselves, that’s not allowed right now. They’re the better team.

Just because New York may be better doesn’t mean they should win though. I know, it kind of doesn’t make sense at all, but when does hockey really ever make sense? It’s all about riding a hot streak, a beautiful wave of precision and determination to Lord Stanley’s Cup. Sure, we’re only Round 1 and all, but you gotta start somewhere, yes?

Let the Devils start somewhere tonight. Get the engine goin’, rev it like no one’s business and ride it out. It can be done.

I say this now, and I do hope it is not the last time I say it this season: GO DEVILS!