All-time Favourite Player:
Favourite 4th Line Grinder/Enforcer/Goon:
Debated this one for a while, but I really enjoy Cam's first go around with the team. Every shift was all sorts of run. Rob Skrlac's story was pretty good, that made it high on the list.
Random Player that you Love(d):
Tommy Albelin. I went from hating this guy to loving this guy. The ultimate team player. A man who either bleeds read and black or is just crazy. Probably both. And that love for the organization has continued after retirement.
Favourite Backup Goalie:
Greatest Game You Have Seen Live:
Brutal fact. I've never seen the Devils win a playoff game. I've seen them lose 5 or 6 playoff games to the Senators. But game 1 of the 2003 Eastern Conference Finals was the best game I have ever seen live. The atmosphere in the Corel Centre was insane. The Devils came back from a 2-0 deficit only to lose quickly in OT. But the overall experience was the best I've had at the game and made it the best game live.
Biggest Reaction to a Devils’ goal scored:
This can be positive or negative. The 2000 Cup run is one I'll always remember, and I think I went more crazy when Patty Elias scored the GWG in game 7 of the 2000 Finals than any Devils goal ever scored, including Arnott's OT Cup winner. The team had just badly underachieved from 1996-1999 and fell down 3-1 to the Flyers. All of that was erased with 1 goal.
Angriest/Upset You’ve ever been at the Team/Management:
Weird one here, but as I get older and after seeing a few Stanley Cup victories, I have become a lot more calm and taken everything in stride. But that wasn't the case in 1999. The Devils had just come off 3 terrible disappointing seasons; The first 3 seasons I was a big fan. 1996 missing the playoffs on the final day of the season and not being able to defend the cup. 1997 losing in 5 games to their arch rivals as Atlantic Division Champs. 1998 losing to the 8th seeded Senators in 6 games in the first round (double whammy is that I live in Ottawa). So here we are back in 1999 playing the Penguins in game 6 up 3-2. The story is Jagr playing with a bad groin injury that forced him to miss some games. Yet there is Jagr tying the game with just over 2 minutes left in the 3rd. Then in OT, Straka abuse Niedermayer and goes across to a wide open Jagr who puts it in the perfect spot under the bar. The series was tied and I just knew the Devils had no chance in game 7. Another division title...another conference championship down the drain. I lost it as bad as I ever had watching any sporting event. And can't imagine I will ever come close to being that angry/upset/emotional.
Game 6 Highlights
Regular Season Game You’ll Remember the Most:
A few options and it doesn't have to be because of anything that happened during the game when you pick. I think the final game of the 2006 season stands out the most. We all know the story. Devils have a disaster first half, Larry re-signs. Mogilny and McGillis get sent to the minors. Malahkov "retires". But in the second half, Elias returns and the team starts to soar with Lou behind the bench. I think they win 9 in a row in January, and had come into the final game of the season winners of their last 10. A win against Montreal and some help, and the Devils somehow win the Atlantic division. But the Devils find themselves down 3-1 with 10 minutes left. The great comeback looks a bit short. But Gionta scores his franchise record 48th goal of the season with under 9 to go. Then Elias ties it with 5 minutes left. And finally on a 3-on-1, Langenbrunner decides to hold it and score himself to give the Devils a lead with 2 minutes and change to go. A lead they would never relinquish, and the division was there.
Jame's GWG here
Favourite Highlight Reel Goal/Save/Hit:
I actually can't find my favourite goal, which was a ridiculous OT winning play by Elias/Sykora that had two Bruins' defensemen collide and fall down on an Elias/Sykora criss-cross move It defined the chemistry these two had for each other. I am sure it's in the Second Heaven video. So as a substitute, I'll go with this ridiculous play by Elias and Sykora that also shows what connection there was between these two guys. Bonus points for the stage it was done on. And because I can't find the original clip, I'll throw in another highlight, which is Brodeur robbing Lehtinen in game 5 of the 2000 Finals. Bonus points for Lehtinen's reaction.
Elias to Sykora
Brodeur Robs Lehtinen
By the way if you are looking to refresh your memory of great Devils plays throughout the year, click here and here
Favourite Individual Devil's Skill You Enjoyed Watching:
This can be anything from a player's shot, to Madden's SHG ability, to Brodeur's glove hand or stick-handling. I'm going with Scott Gomez end-to-end rush ability. Even though he was one of the most frustrating Devils players to watch, nobody could create something out of nothing (sometimes for both teams) like Scott Gomez taking the puck behind the net from a defenseman and then generating a boatload of speed while weaving around helpless forwards until he got into the other team's zone From there it could always be dicey but when a goal was scored, it looked beautiful.
Gomez Goes Coast-to-Coast
Gomez to Elias
Favourite Devils Fight:
So what if it wasn't the best fight, and so what if Big Jim suckered Domi. It needed to be done, and I enjoyed it the most.
McKenzie Gives Domi the Business
Funniest/Miscellaneous Moment You'll Always Remember:
Two-way-tie! I think the first one will always stick with me. It was another Devils-Sens game that I'm at in Ottawa. One of the worst games I've ever seen. The Devils lose 6-0, but the low point comes on a Devils delayed PP, where Lyle Odelien throws the puck to nobody at the point, and it goes all the way down the ice for a goal. The last person to touch the puck for the Senators is Damian Rhodes who is credited for his first and only NHL goal.
Odelein's Own Goal
Second one. Mike Rupp trash talking Paul Mara, and it all being caught clearly on TV. The best part is the announcer saying, "we wanna see if we can decipher this conversation." Cue Rupp letting Mara know what he thinks of him.
Rupp Trash-talking Mara
Favourite Individual Accomplishment:
This can be a career record, season record, or amazing game. Whatever comes to mind. I'm going with Marty Brodeur's all-time win record. What a night it was even though I never saw the game live. It didn't matter to me. What a career it has been.
Best Playoff Series:
Use any criteria that you like. But the 4-game beatdown of the Rangers in 2006 was just so much fun. The possibilities sure did seem endless after that win. The final win made it 15 in a row. Jagr was useless. The Devils scored amazing goals. They scored fluke goals. It was just as dominating of a series as you could imagine The Devils best players were dominant. Just great times.
My favourite moment had to be in game 2 when the Devils are down two men and the Rangers can't do sh!t. The crowd is going nuts with every clear. The Devils kill the 1st penalty and Madden comes streaking out of the box on a PP. Weekes makes the save, but Ozolinsh (for sdome reason I thought it was Rachunek) racing back accidentally puts the puck in his own net The building exploded and that entire sequence summed up the entire series for the Devils and Rangers.
Madden SHG at :15
Brodeur Robs Ozolinsh
Angriest You’ve ever Been at Another Team/Player:
Easily Tie Domi for one of the dirtiest plays in NHL history up there with Bertuzzi/Moore and Mcsorley/Brashear. Difference was there was no major injury, so it was all forgotten very quickly.
Greatest Individual Season from any Devils' Player:
So many good ones to pick from Niedermayer in 2004, Gionta in 2006 or Parise in 2009 But I'll go with Marty Brodeur's 2007-2008 season Sure he's had more wins, more shutouts, or a much better GAA before. But the 2007-2008 Devils team had no business making the playoffs let alone finishing with 99 points, good enough for 3rd most in the conference and a 4th place finish. Gone were Rafalski and Gomez. The season started with extended injuries to Langenbrunner and White. The Devils had a new coach who was implementing a system that was not a good match for the team at hand, and he really had no idea how to deal with NHL players let alone NHL veterans. There was no Stevens, no Niedermayer, no Daneyko, and as I said, no Rafalski. White missed 30 games. This left a defensive core of an unfinished product in Paul Martin, and a newcomer plucked out of obscurity in Mike Mottau who at 29, had not played in the NHL 5 years and only had 23 games under his belt. It also featured 75 games of Johnny Oduya, 59 games of Andy Greene, who certainly wasn't the Andy Greene of 2009-2010 or the one we know now, 69 games of Vitaly Vishnevski, who by the way was awful, 47 games of Karel Rachunek, ditto, and 44 games of Sheldon Brookbank.
Brodeur single-handily won so many games that year. It was the best I've seen him, and to anyone who says he was a product of the system and great defense in front of him, and couldn't put up great numbers otherwise...I say look at the 2007-2008 Devils season.
Player That Frustrated You the Most / Player You Always Thought Would be a Lot
David Clarkson in the past two years has frustrated me to know end...more so than any other player.
Biggest WTF Devils Transaction:
This can be good or bad. Probably getting Doug Gilmour. Was my favourite non-Devil at the time. It was before I posted on message boards and read any rumour sites (if they were there), or checked New Jersey papers. So this deal came as a complete surprise, and I could not have been happier.
One Trade/Signing/Player/Coach You Couldn’t be More Wrong About:
This could be happy/sad to be wrong about. I'll go with Lou's non-moves in 2003. There was that rumour about a Selanne deal with the Sharks that never came through. All that happened were deals for Marshall and Smehlik the days before the trade deadline and a deal for Pascal Rheaume on the deadline (I think I have the timeline right). That just didn't seem like much at the time. We had become used to giant deadline deals like Mogilny and Jamie/Joe. But it worked out real well. Marshall was fantastic during that whole run playing well beyond his skill level and Rheaume was an excellent depth forward.
Favourite Devils Reaction From a Game:
Again this can be from a goal, a save, a win, after a fight. Whatever. If I was a big fan in 1995, I'd probably say Mckay climbing the glass, but I wasn't so I won't, although I do love watching that. So many good things to choose from, but I'll go with Grant Marshall after scoring the triple OT goal against the Lightning in game 5 of the 2003 Finals to advance to the conference finals. It was obviously the biggest goal in Marshall's career, and his reaction was priceless, almost like he had no idea what to do. The reaction at 3:15 of the accompanying clip shows it perfectly.
Honourable mention goes to Jeff Friesen after scoring his second goal of game 7 to make it 3-0. It was the most cool and calm reaction to scoring a big goal that I have ever seen, He knew it was over and just skated down the ice with one hand in the air and one behind the back taking in the moment. So damn cool.
Friesen's Cool Celebration
Favourite Quote from Any Member of the Devils’ Organization:
This one goes to Larry Robinson. We all know the situation very well. Larry was the ultimate player's coach, which is why the switch from Ftorek to the easy going Robinson was so good for the playoffs. Everything was going perfectly until things just went upside down The Devils, who had been dominating the Flyers for almost 5 straight periods, just fall apart and lose 3 straight to the Flyers to fall behind 3-1. Larry hates yelling. He doesn't like getting angry at the players at all. Who does really? But some coaches can easily do it Not Larry. But after game 4, he gave it to his players, which left the team completely shocked. He famously kicked a garbage can making it go flying. It was this suprising rant from the ever-calm Robinson that really started the comeback and was the key turning point for the entire 2000 Cup run. After the rant, he faced the media where he said this gem that will stick with many Devils fans forever: "Guys stuck to the game plan for two periods," Robinson said. "And then for some rhyme or reason they feel they know more than the coaches do and tried to play their game and we paid for it. Until they get it through their thick skulls that our way is the right way then we are going to struggle and we aren't going to have success. If the game was that easy they wouldn't need coaches. We'd just need players."
Fun fact: I heard Larry tell this story about 9 years after the 2000 Cup run. He was waiting outside the locker room thinking of what he was going to say As he steps into the locker room he sees this large garbage can and decides to show his anger he's going to kick it hard. The problem was that he thought it was empty when it was completely full. So after he kicks it he is really hurt, but had to hold in some excruciating pain so the players would really take in his rant instead of giggling over their coach wincing in pain like Peter from Family Guy.
Favourite Devils Broadcast Call (local, national, radio) (video or audio clip if you can):
This one is easy for me from the great Mike Miller: "3..2..and 1. And the oldest trophy competed for in North America...Lord's Stanley Cup has made its way to the Lincoln Tunnel, to the Meadowlands, to the Garden State. The New Jersey Devils are the 1995 Stanley Cup Champions!
The Great Call
Most Disappointing Playoff Series:
Sadly there have been so many of these, but I'll go with 2009 against the Canes. The team just looked so good throughout the year. Parise was leading the charge, they overcame Marty's injury, and the Canes somehow found away against a better team with some devastating wins, which leads me to...
Most Heartbreaking Loss:
I think that would be game 7 against the Canes. That one stung pretty badly, although I was way more angry for the game 4 loss, where they were scored on with .2 seconds left. That series was all full of suck.
Most Entertaining Game You’ve Seen:
Even though it was a loss, game 5 of the 2000 Cup Finals was the best game I have ever seen. Brodeur made some of the best saves of his career, and he made two of the best saves he ever made. But the Eagle was bombarded all night and played at the highest level you'll ever see with the Stars' season on the line. The Devils dominated the first OT with a flurry of chances over and over. It was wild knowing that the next goal was for the Cup. I'll always remember Gary Thorne yelling "Elias for the Cup" and "It hit the post. It hit the post." I still get goosebumps watching all the clips below. Like most playoff games, it is forgotten by the average fan, but it's simply the best game I have ever seen. Gary Thorne gets a lot of flack on these boards, but he was exceptional calling this game.
Holik Hits the Post
Brylin All Alone Gets Stoned
"Elias for the Cup"
Belfour Stops Mogilny on the Breakaway
Brodeur Robs Lehtinen
Brodeur Insane Save on Cote
Brodeur's OT Save against Keane
Proudest You’ve Ever Been of the Team:
A slight edge to the Devils beating a much better Senators team in the 2003 Conference Finals over the 2000 comeback series win over Philly. The Sens were the much better team in game 5 playing for their season at home with the playoff debut of Jason Spezza. They won a weird game 6 in New Jersey on a wacky Chris Phillips goal. It just seemed like it was Ottawa's time coming back to their arena. It really seemed like it was their time when Magnus Arvedsson scored right away putting the Corel Centre into a frenzy. But the Devils overcame all the obstacles with two Jamie Langenbrunner goals in the second Ottawa tied it early in the 3rd and had plenty of great chances to take the lead in the 3rd, but Brodeur came up large. With a few minutes left, Marshall to Friesen and the rest is history.
Your Defining Moment in Devils History:
I wasn't around for MacLean and wasn't much of a fan in 1995. So for me, it has to be Jason Arnott scoring an OT Stanley Cup winning goal.
Arnott's Cup Winning Goal
Edited by devilsrule33, 08 August 2011 - 01:40 PM.