Your first round playoff schedule

So the Devils officially have a first round date with Cam Ward and the Carolina Hurricanes.  I’m not sure how I feel about this, ask me again in two weeks.

Here’s the first-round schedule.  Note the wonky 7:30 PM start times.  I approve, unless a game were to turn into a multi-overtime crazyfest on a work/school night.  Then 7:30 start times could be brutal.

Wednesday, April 15th – Prudential Center – 7:30 PM

Friday, April 17th – Prudential Center – 7:30 PM

Sunday, April 19th – RBC Center – 7:30 PM

Tuesday, April 21st – RBC Center – 7:30 PM

Thursday, April 23rd – Prudential Center – 7:30 PM (if necessary)

Sunday, April 26th – RBC Center – TBD (if necessary)

Tuesday, April 28th – Prudential Center – 7:30 PM (if necessary)

Open Letter to the NJ Devils:

(Yes I am still fighting this shakedown and I will until it’s resolved :p)

I sent this email to [email protected] in response to the “Frozen Price” shakedown… feel free to pass it on to the 209ers and do the same!! And I want as many of us in the $25 seats to make a shit about this so we get done right!!!

I’ve been a loyal season ticket holder with this club since 2003, I’ve been buying tickets to Devils games since 1993. I’m very distressed with the new season ticket plans you’ve offered me for the 2009-2010 season

I feel I am being done very wrong by this new plan.
As a man on a budget and planning a wedding in the next year or so… I’ve been very careful to allocate my money so I can keep my Devils tickets going… as I had planned when I first bought my seats in Section 209, I had bought them with the plans of being the only person to ever see a hockey game in those seats and I intend to keep doing it as so….

However, I have a major objection to the current payment plans for the season tickets.

I had planned out all year to make my 3 payments in June, July and August as had been done every year before. I am also self-employed and I take a major hit paying my taxes each and every April.

With this in mind, and knowing a second playoff invoice is on the way I find this new Season ticket “pay by April 17 to keep my prices plan” to be completely unfair and unacceptable… how am I supposed to pay in full when I don’t know what the full price will be (there will be playoff credits… there always are). I was even planning on expanding to a third ticket as my future wife will also be settled in the area and using my season tickets was my plan to get her hooked on Devils hockey as well.

But after an almost 50% raise in my ticket prices since the opening of the Prudential Center (and I have researched around the league, NO TEAM charges you $29 a seat to sit in the second to last row of the arena)… I am very distressed and feel I am being priced out of the arena unfairly and I am not the only one who thinks and feels like this in my section. Our little group in Section 209 has become a family
and quite honestly ourselves and Section 233 are the only reason that arena is not a silent morgue most nights of the year.

Pricing us out like this under the guise of “well if you pay it now you keep your price” is completely unacceptable…. all we ask for is that you reward our loyalty and be fair to us like I would to any of my customers and let mus make out payments in June, July and August like we have done so loyally year after year.

I’m very upset at this change in policy and I find it unfair that you are doing this to the true hardcore fans and families that choose the NJ Devils as their lone entertainment source for the year.

Thank you for your time and I hope to hear from you soon.

The Day After

It’s been said over and again, by Scott last night, by comments both here and elsewhere, by talking heads on TV.  Last night, simply, was amazing.

I sat down to try to put something up on this blog before heading back to my much-less-thrilling day job, and I wasn’t sure what I was going to say.  I’m 60 words into this thing and I still don’t know, really.

I do know that last night’s game re-affirmed my love for this game, for this team, for that goaltender, for this franchise.  I’ve never been to a Stanley Cup Final game – I can only imagine that the atmosphere in the Rock last night was as close as it gets without Lord Stanley’s mug riding on the outcome of the game.

I love that this game fell on St. Patrick’s Day.  There was a nice, loose atmosphere to the crowd – whether it was the history-in-the-making aspect, the beer flowing pre-and-during game, or (most likely) a healthy combination of both, it made the Rock truly feel like home for perhaps the first time.  Sure, there was the stray Blackhawks fan (and the obligitory guy in a Rangers jersey despite their team actually playing a pretty important game at the same time), but last night, the Prudential Center was the DEVILS building.  That is what it should have felt like during last year’s playoffs, and hopefully will feel like this year.

I love that Patrik Elias’ record-setting assist was a primary assist, and that everyone in the building saw the play and recognized it for what it was instantly.  The eruption for Patty’s assist was worth the price of admission alone, regardless of Marty’s feat.  I love that the response to Patty’s record-breaking point was so intense and so overwhelming that I actually had to look up who scored the goal just now, because for the life of me, I couldn’t remember.  It was Brian Gionta, by the way, and it was shorthanded.

I love that there was no scripted cheesy celebration after the game, that Gary Bettman didn’t hit the ice to shake Marty’s hand and present him with a plaque.  There will be time for that before another game, but the celebration last night was rightfully focused on Brodeur.  As awkward as it became after a few minutes, I love that he was given scissors and cut down the net.  I love that the rest of the team jumped in to help out so Marty could take his victory lap.  Without his team, he wouldn’t have won one game, let alone 552, and without his team, he would still be cutting that net down this morning.

I love that we had the greatest play-by-play man in all of hockey (and arguably all of sports) in house to call the historic game, just as we have the greatest play-by-play man in all of hockey to call every game, historic or mundane.  Doc Emrick, as we’ve stated many times on this blog, is one of the greatest perks to being a Devils fan.  We’re lucky to have him.

We’re a lucky fan base in general, I think it’s safe to say.  We’ve got the greatest goalie of all time.  We’ve got the greatest point-scorer in Devils history on the ice right now.  We’ve got the greatest announcer.  We’ve got three Stanley Cups, four Eastern Conference championships, seven Atlantic Division championships, sixteen consecutive winning seasons, eleven consecutive playoff appearances.  A good number of those will likely go up by the time this season’s over.

We’ve also got among the greatest fans in hockey.  Let’s face it, it’s not always easy to be a Devils fan.  We’re too quiet.  We can’t fill our building most nights.  We’ve got a preoccupation with the team on the other side of the Hudson.  We’ve heard all of that before and undoubtly will continue to hear it for a long time.

But last night – last night I was proud of our fan base.  Proud of our franchise.  Proud of our owner, GM, coach, team, game-day crew, ushers, building, city, state.  Last night was one of the greatest nights I have ever experienced as a Devils fan.  A night I will never forget.  Thank you, Mr. Brodeur.  Thank you, Mr. Elias.  Thank you, Mr. Lamoriello, Mr. Vanderbeek, Mr. Sutter.  Thank you, Mr. Langenbrunner, Mr. Clemmensen, Mr. Weekes, Mr. Martin, Mr. Parise, Mr. Zubrus, everyone who’s ever skated with a Devils crest on their chest.  Thank you to everyone involved in getting that building where it is, to the people who make the games happen every night.

Thank you to those who read what we have to say on this site, whether you like us or…not so much.  Thank you, Devils fans.  Last night was special, because of all of us.  Hopefully, this is not the last time that building feels like it did last night.

…not bad for not knowing what I wanted to say, eh?

A ‘Stone For The Rock

Stone as in MILE-stone. Those of you who were thinking KIDNEY-stone look pretty foolish right about now.

So does anyone else realize the big milestone? Well, yesterday Prudential Center celebrated its one-year anniversary of Devils hockey. Yup, a solid 365 days had passed since that inaugural drop of the puck. It’s just too bad that said puck-drop was the only thing worth remembering on that night, but I’m not here to split hairs.

I remember walking from Newark Penn Station to the arena for the very first time last October. I had never felt so much anticipation in my life. Once inside, I was awe-struck. I couldn’t believe this incredible building was our new home.

That season seemed to come and go in quite the blur. I caught about fifteen home games last year and I still got that feeling of anticipation every time I made the walk down Market St. Though it may have gone quick, The Rock saw some heavy action and incredible moments in it’s inaugural year.

Now, for all of you out there – regardless of what team you follow – if you had the chance to experience Prudential Center last season, use the comment thread to share some of your favorite memories from the first ever season at the Rock.

Allow me to kick things off with my most memorable moment — Patrik Elias finishing off a beautiful 2-on-1 with Zach Parise to score the OT game winner vs. Boston. The Devils fell behind 3-0 in that game but battled all the way back for the win… December 5th, 2007.

Allow me to refresh your memory:

Pre-Season Continues, Devils Drop To 2-2

It’s been a pretty stellar pre-season for the Devils thus far, despite a 3-2 loss to the Washington Capitals last night at Prudential Center.

The Red ‘n Black roster, consisting mostly of Lowell regulars and a few main-stays, handled the competition pretty well. Considering that competition consisted of guys like Alex Ovechkin, Niklas Backstrom, and Michael Nylander — I’m alright with the loss.

Washington was able to grab a 3-0 lead in the third period, but the Devs were resilient, adding two late tallies thanks to Zach Parise and a Petr Vrana deflection. Kevin Weekes went the distance for New Jersey.

The next tour of duty for the Devils will find them in the Nassau Mausoleum tomorrow night for a 7:00pm faceoff. The contest will be the only home pre-season matchup for the New York Islanders. I’ll be in attendance, Section 325 / Row A for those 2ManAdvantage fans on Long Island ;)

Martin Brodeur is expected to play the full contest tomorrow night.

Getchur Devils Tickets!

Just a reminder boys, girls, and marsupials:  Individual game tickets for the upcoming season go on sale TOMORROW MORNING – SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 20th at 10 AM.  Ticketmaster.com, Prucenter.com, Newjerseydevils.com, Prudential Center Box Office – you got choices.  Snatch up the Devils/Rangers game tickets before the Rangers fans get a chance to, eh?

For those interested in a hunt, rumor has it there’s a pre-sale going on as we speak, until 10 PM tonight.  You need a password though, I wonder what it devpru could be…?

Pre-Season, You Say??

Ahh, pre-season. Music to any starved hockey fan’s ears. Well, the Devils provided some relief by releasing their 2008-2009 Pre-Season Schedule which looks a little something like this…

…four games at The Rock is tantalizing, however I’m a little disappointed that there aren’t any games scheduled for Bridgeport, CT or at Sovereign Bank Arena.

The real fun gets under way October 10th from Prudential Center with the New York Islanders coming to town.

EDIT: My apologies for the absolutely horrid quality of the image.  Gotta love Photobucket.

I Just Couldn’t Resist.

Clearly, I need not remind you that updates around here have been few and far between this off-season. So given the fact that I am suffering from a writer’s block that could easily be mistaken for the after-effects of a lobotomy, you could imagine how I reacted when I read this.

It was too good to be true… just the thing I needed to get myself going!

But where oh where do I begin?? Maybe I should compliment the author on his prodigious use of the English language and befitting grammar. Perhaps I could chalk his argument up to the rose-tinted glasses he so blatantly dons. Tempting? Yes. However, doing so is far too pellucid. That being the case, allow me to generalize my rebuttal: Michael M. Ramos, you are a cretin.

use it, don't abuse it!

I should have halted my eyes when I realized that the opening argument against New Jersey was the ol’ “Mickey Mouse” comment. (Although I can’t blame the poor chap, it was either that or the infamous attendance crack…). Granted that 1983-84 season was dismal… but since tallying 7 Division Titles, 4 Conference Championships, 3 Stanley Cups, and a four-year winning streak over the New York Rangers, I think it’s time to put that comment to bed, eh? If those credentials make the Devils a “Mickey Mouse” franchise, then the New York Rangers should be branded as the NHL equivalent of John Holmes with Erectile Dysfunction — nothing more than a marquee name that can’t live up to the glitz and glamor.

As if citing a 25-year-old Wayne Gretzky faux-pas wasn’t bad enough, now we have to deal with the Barry Melrose factor. First of all… the words “Barry” and “Melrose” are meant to be used solely in conjunction with “pompous ass” at all times. Yes, Mr. Melrose did make a comment to the effect of “Don’t carry your wallet with you when visiting Newark“. But how convenient of you, Michael, to conveniently forget to mention the part about Barry admitting, after the fact, that he had never even been to Prudential Center and thusly accepted a tour of the city from Mayor Corey Booker that he thoroughly enjoyed. I guess it’s fitting you find his words worthwhile.

On a somewhat related note, the “closing” of Prudential Center this summer that you refer to was merely due to technicalities because of documents not being turned in on time, not for “endangering the lives of all those who attend.”

Wow…all this, and we haven’t even hit the ice yet!

Now, I cannot sit here and say to you with a straight face that I am not disappointed by watching the likes of Scott Niedermayer, Brian Rafalski, and Scott Gomez leave the team after such memorable moments. What I can say to you, is that they (with the exception of Niedermayer) left for a big paycheck elsewhere. I would rather have a group of guys that are willing to compete fiercely every shift for a shot at glory than have a roster full of Scott Gomez’s that feel they deserve a $10 million paycheck for 13 goals. While I admit that Lou Lamoriello hasn’t exactly struck gold in the FA market since the lockout, and I won’t sit here and feed you some bullsh!t about me liking Vlad Malakhov, I will point out how you graciously opted to ignore the addition of Brian Rolston not even a month ago. Not a wise move. Not a wise move at all.

Others like Grant Marshall, Brad Lukowich, and Richard Matvichuk were victims of the new Salary-Cap era, not roster eviscerations. Speaking of the Salary Cap, I’d be a little worried if I were you, Mr. Ramos, as it seems that the Rangers have over $145 million combined tied up in 5 players until the 2013-2014 season. Not to mention The Rangers will be paying Bobby Holik even more than we are this season, and he’ll be playing for US! What were you saying about ludicrous signings? 2002 wasn’t that long ago.

It’s obvious that down in Lowell things haven’t been all roses, but saying that the team is filled with “old AHL players without any chance to make it to the NHL” is a little much… I mean, you did just sign Aaron Voros didn’t you?? Delving further into the minor leagues, I’d like to point out that the Trenton Devils of the ECHL will not be kicked out of their building… it is nothing more than a rumor. And a weak one at that.

Allow me to end this with some blogger-to-blogger advice… An article meant to ridicule a rival that is devoid of facts and supporting arguments is about as effective as a mesh condom. The next time you are going to write a whole bunch of smack, it might be a good idea to at least do your homework.