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thecoffeecake

Best and worst moments in the first decade at the Rock

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If you can believe it, In less than two weeks, the ten year anniversary of the first Devils game at Prudential Center will be here. I'm putting an article together for it, and thought it would make for a good discussion here. What are your best and worst memories in the not-so-new barn?

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1 minute ago, Bonginator11 said:

Best - “They score! Henrique! It’s over!”

Worst - Loss to Carolina in Game 7 in 08-09 season

Yea, absolutely on those two. Getting eliminated by the Flyers in 2010 was bad, too.

Edited by thecoffeecake
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Year 1 was rough at the Pru Center. Rangers won Game 5 here to eliminate us with a ton of fans in the building. Way more than usual. I think I recall Lundqvist doing that dopey stick salute that they do as well on our ice (but I don't recall if any other Rangers did it)

Game 1 here vs. Ottawa was weird. Chris Neil scored the first official goal. Gionta scored on a weird centering pass that deflected off a defenseman and in.

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The lights going out in that game against Tampa (2010? 2011?) and having to finish the game like two days later... Pretty weird stuff. As far as adding to the best moments- 3/17/09- 552 for Marty, and Patty became the franchise's all-time leading scorer on the same night.


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2 minutes ago, MadDog2020 said:

The lights going out in that game against Tampa (2010? 2011?) and having to finish the game like two days later... Pretty weird stuff. As far as adding to the best moments- 3/17/09- 552 for Marty, and Patty became the franchise's all-time leading scorer on the same night.


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Patty's biggest moments seemed to be overshadowed. Between that and his 1,000th point coming on a poke check out of the zone on an empty net goal that went unnoticed or unscored for a while.

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Great idea for a thread!

Goddamn that THAT go by quickly!  I actually just checked to make sure...and yep, it's almost 10 years.  I'll never forget that 9-game road trip to start that season...I think the Devils went 3-5-1 IIRC, but definitely had a rough go of it early on.  I remember that they lost 4-1 to the Senators in their first home game.

Just off the top of my head:

The good: 

1) Being blown away by the place in general the first time I went (for some reason I don't even remember the game or opponent, but it was early on in their first season there)...just having multiple concourses and $10 seats was a treat.  Everything had such a modern feel compared to the CAA, which just seemed stuck in the 80s. 

1A) Ditching the Fire and Ice Lounges.  They looked interesting in graphic mock-ups and were kind of cool at first, but they didn't age well and quickly felt cheap and tacky.  Glad this was recognized and corrected.

2) Nieds' retirement night and Marty's retirement night...Marty's was so well-done and top notch...the other retirement nights were special too, but the production value that went into Marty's night took it to a higher level.  (Was there for both, sadly I won't make Elias')

3) Marty's 552nd win.  (Was there for that one too)  And like MD2020 noted, Elias becoming the all-time franchise leader in points (I had forgotten about that part of that night).

4) "Henrique!  It's over!"  (Man I wish I was there for that one)

5) Didn't the Devils put up an 8-spot on Lundqvist at the Rock one night?  In a regular season game?

6) Jay Pandolfo (yes, Super Jay) notching a hat trick against the Lightning I believe.   (Was there for that one and the guy I was with had on a Pando jersey)

7) Seeing a 4-0 drubbing of the Penguins with my daughter in tow.

 

The bad:

1) Being there for the Carolina disaster AND the Ranger knockout. 

2) Kovalchuk flubbing a shootout attempt, which really got the crowd on him (deservedly).

3) All the times I took my daughter to a game and told her on the way how much fun it is to watch hockey...only to see the Devils not score ONE...DAMN...GOAL.

 

The sublime:

In the first season at the Rock, the Devils were losing 5-0 to the Penguins and even that score wasn't a true indicator about how bad the Devils were really playing.  I snuck into the Fire Lounge near the end of the game and Doc and Chico just looked so pissed and frustrated with the way the Devils looked...Doc at one point threw his hands up after several minutes of just fugly play (it was cool to witness the human side of both of them, though Chico has never exactly been a closed book...of course both kept their demeanor professional on the air, but I remember thinking "Damn, they're just as flustered by this team as we are!").  Chico, as he always does, chatted with a bunch of us after the game, and I mentioned that I didn't get the Zubrus signing at all, and he gave me a high-five and basically said he didn't think Zubrus was much of anything.  Zubes had a decent career here (though I don't think he was consistently dialed in), but it was cool just to see Chico be so open and honest like that with fans...in so many ways, he never hesitated to be one of us, and I've always enjoyed him for that reason.  I was with a friend and even he was blown away with how down-to-earth Chico was...he just thought it was so cool that someone in Chico's position could be so friendly. 

8 minutes ago, MadDog2020 said:

The lights going out in that game against Tampa (2010? 2011?) and having to finish the game like two days later... Pretty weird stuff. As far as adding to the best moments- 3/17/09- 552 for Marty, and Patty became the franchise's all-time leading scorer on the same night.

I was supposed to go to that game but got as sick as a dog...can't say that I'm sorry that I missed it. 

Edited by Colorado Rockies 1976
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That comeback win over Toronto when we just got Kovalchuk was fun. Things were really looking up. And it foreshadowed Toronto's collapse to Boston in the playoffs. Both were 4-1 late 3rd gag jobs.

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A few that haven't been mentioned yet. Marty's last game as a Devil, when he shutdown Boston in front of a packed crowd. He got an excellent ovation after the game and when he was named first star if I recall correctly. It's a shame he got scored on with like 15 seconds left.

Patty's last game when he got to skate with Zacha, put up 3 points, and scored in the dying seconds of the game. Same kind of thing as Brodeur's last game, got the first star and all the ovations. I was there for that one.

The comeback against the Leafs in 2010, coming back from 3-1 in the final minutes to win in regulation. It was funny to see the Leafs pulling their goalie a good 20 seconds after the Devils had an empty net.

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33 minutes ago, Bonginator11 said:

Best - “They score! Henrique! It’s over!”

Worst - Loss to Carolina in Game 7 in 08-09 season

Wow, nailed it.

Has to he these two.

Also best - not game action, but the retirement ceremonies have been real special.

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7 minutes ago, thecoffeecake said:

A few that haven't been mentioned yet. Marty's last game as a Devil, when he shutdown Boston in front of a packed crowd. He got an excellent ovation after the game and when he was named first star if I recall correctly. It's a shame he got scored on with like 15 seconds left.

Patty's last game when he got to skate with Zacha, put up 3 points, and scored in the dying seconds of the game. Same kind of thing as Brodeur's last game, got the first star and all the ovations. I was there for that one.

The comeback against the Leafs in 2010, coming back from 3-1 in the final minutes to win in regulation. It was funny to see the Leafs pulling their goalie a good 20 seconds after the Devils had an empty net.

All good ones.  Wasn't there for any of them, but saw them all on the telly.  Lots of emotions for both Marty and Patrik...it was clearly time for both of them to go (though the door was left open for Patrik for as long as it needed to be last season), but in both games I knew I was seeing both of them doing their thing for the very last time on Devils home ice.  The final death throes of an incredible era of hockey in NJ. 

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Good: Marty win record and Patty franchise record game in March 2009, Devils beat Rangers in game 6 of the 2012 ECF, retirement nights.  Getting rid of the kiddy stuff on the concourse from the JVB years (includes the theme lounges).

Bad: Playoff rounds from 2008-2010.  Lighting fiasco.  Blizzard game against the Blues.  The sweaty, slovenly looking guy they hired from Ottawa to take off shirts and throw to people while convulsing.

Edited by DevsMan84
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Worst was definitely game 5 against the Rangers.  

Best was game 6 against the Rangers.

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I'll stick with the ones that I was actually there for, which seem to be already mentioned.

- All of the jersey retirements have been special

- Rico's goal against the Rangers was the best Devils moment I've ever been in the arena for by far

-Marty's record setting night against the Hawks was great. Patty with the Green hat after, especially memorable. 

- Zajac scoring in OT against Florida in game 6, 2012

-Ponikarovsky scoring against Philly (I may have been politely asked to leave the arena that night after getting into it with some D-Bag from Philly) also in 2012

Obviosuly very 2012 playoff heavy but those are my memories from the Rock. I also loved the pregame from games 1 and 2 from the SCF despite the close losses. Arena was electric. Lots of other memories from Continental including my first game, first playoff win, etc.

Edited by NLinfante
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Can I add a category to the hilariously awful that doesn't really have anything to do with the Devils but the fact that the Xanadu / American dream mall project broke ground during the lockout of 04-05 and during that span of time we got an arena built and played it in for 10 years? Lmao. 

The good - all the big ones have been said already, game 6 ecf, the retirement banner nights, st pattys game with Marty breaking the record and cutting the net.

Another one to add for me was trading for Cory at the draft that the Prudential Center hosted in 2013, that was a holy sh!t moment that nobody saw coming. 

The bad - losing game 1 and 2 in ot in the finals, just an awful feeling leaving that building that night having a feeling it was going to be almost impossible to come back. All the other ones I agree with were covered. 

Edited by Satans Hockey
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56 minutes ago, DevsMan84 said:

Good: Marty win record and Patty franchise record game in March 2009, Devils beat Rangers in game 6 of the 2012 ECF, retirement nights.  Getting rid of the kiddy stuff on the concourse from the JVB years (includes the theme lounges).

Bad: Playoff rounds from 2008-2010.  Lighting fiasco.  Blizzard game against the Blues.  The sweaty, slovenly looking guy they hired from Ottawa to take off shirts and throw to people while convulsing.

Honestly that Blues game wasn't that bad to me, the roads weren't that bad, I got to the game and back with no problems and we scored like 6 or 7 goals on them to win lol

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18 minutes ago, Satans Hockey said:

Can I add a category to the hilariously awful that doesn't really have anything to do with the Devils but the fact that the Xanadu / American dream mall project broke ground during the lockout of 04-05 and during that span of time we got an arena built and played it in for 10 years? Lmao. 

The good - all the big ones have been said already, game 6 ecf, the retirement banner nights, st pattys game with Marty breaking the record and cutting the net.

Another one to add for me was trading for Cory at the draft that the Prudential Center hosted in 2013, that was a holy sh!t moment that nobody saw coming. 

The bad - losing game 1 and 2 in ot in the finals, just an awful feeling leaving that building that night having a feeling it was going to be almost impossible to come back. All the other ones I agree with were covered. 

The Cory trade, awesome one!

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Ughh, the “professional fan.” Sends shivers up my spine thinking about it.

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6 minutes ago, Daniel said:

Ughh, the “professional fan.” Sends shivers up my spine thinking about it.

That guy has an amazing scam though, I'll give him credit for that. He's still going around to different sporting events doing the same bit and people actually pay him to do it lol

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Personal bests:

Marty's 552 night

Clemmer shutting out the Rangers 2-0 when Marty was injured

Elias shootout goal against Toronto a few years back.  Not an important game, but I'll never forgot how that stadium exploded.

Personal worsts:

Kovy losing the puck in a shootout against Buffalo.  Not really an important game, but the guy hadn't done ANYTHING in his time with the team yet, then to see that happen was just "UGH"

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Ughh, the “professional fan.” Sends shivers up my spine thinking about it.

That guy was awful. Absolutely fvcking awful.


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Kovalchuk's first home game at the Rock against the Leafs.    2 goals in the last minute of the game to win 4-3. 

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I see a lot of the Buffalo flubbed shootout attempt and rightfully so. One of my favorite moments, however, came the next game against Edmonton. Kovalchuk scored the game winner in OT. Thought it was vital for him to bounce back that quickly. Can still hear the PING of the post followed by the "AHHH!" of the crowd. Also had really good seats that night. Believe Vasyunov (RIP) scored that game as well. 

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I had season tickets from opening day in 2007 through 2010. Missed only a few. Aside from many of the glaringly obvious, I’ll post some of mine.

The first win at the rock: I remember Gionta (or madden?)  scoring and I remember feeling like “finally, we got a win”

Brodeur’s return from injury: Devils won convincingly against (Colorado I think), Parise had 2 UNBELIEVABLE goals. I mean really just sexy goals. Place was so electric that night, I’ll never forget feeling like that was a cup team.

Game 5 against Carolina: Devils won and Brodeur (and his 40+ saves) shut-out Ward. Felt really amazing leaving that stadium; don’t think a single person could have envisioned what was coming.

The 8-5 win against NYR. 5-0; 5-5, 8-5. Exciting, gut-wrenching, and then amazing. I went with 5 rangers fans friends, the train home was just amazing. 

Langenbrunner’s game-tying goal on Emerick night. I remember the place still buzzing and nobody seemed to notice Malkin had a breakaway as time expired. Brodeur made an amazing save that was met with almost zero cheers; I lost my fvcking mind.

An all-time favorite was the Kovalchuk’s first game against Toronto. Down 3-1 in the 3rd; wining 4-3 in regulation. I thought the Rock was going to crumble. 

 

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Some of the best moments at the Rock came in the year J-Mac led the team to a league worst start and then Lemaire came in and led us on an unbelievable run. Anssi Salmela, Tedenby, and no-name all had huge OT goals during that Spring 2011 run.

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