Went to the game last night and like others, I was really impressed with the updates that I saw. Didn't have a chance to tour the lower level but the uppers looked fantastic. There was a lot of different foods to be had but I eventually settled for the BBQ burger, which was really good. Not sure if they were understaffed but it took over ten minutes from the time I paid to when I got the food....oh well.
The 3D presentation was cool but I think they can do a bit more with it. Can dig the new goal song even though it (along with other music) was played too loud. It's a shame the YS crowd has to ruin in for everyone else. Considering how much the new owners have invested in remodeling a 7 year old arena and bringing in local and fresh(er) food options + actually marketing the team, some of the fan reaction is embarrassing. Don't understand the affinity for YS especially when you factor in that the chant didn't even originate in NJ.
Re: the crowd; was really loud during the presentation and player introductions, but there were plenty of lulls. It's not like the Devils gave us much to cheer about the first half of the game. There was a really good Bowman's chant in the first, though. In the third the crowd really came alive and there were some awesome "Cory!" chants before and after the penalty shot. If the Devils could've gotten an equalizer the Rock would've erupted. I think the statement, "The place is turning too corporate" is untrue. My section (119) was plenty loud and into the game and it seemed like the rest of the crowd was engaged as well.
Onto the game:
-Schneider was mostly solid and didn't have a chance on the first two. The third one was a clunker but he gave the team a chance when he stopped the penalty shot. You expect him to be a bit better, but he'll be fine.
-Severson and Greene once again handled their assignments at ES. Severson added three shots and his ability to get shots through is going to be a major + for this team
-Top two lines crushed it as well, especially 23-19-68. Cammalleri continues to be an animal with 7 shots and his goal was a beauty. One-timing a puck while skating close to full speed is pretty impressive. Like Brunner's game as well.
-Henrique line was meh but it was nice to see them cash in. I thought Clowe was good in the NZ with the puck.
-4th line was once again a mess. I think JJ should come in for Tootoo and they should roll 15-16-11.
-Granted, Larsson isn't a star or anything, but he has to be banging his head against a wall watching Salvador and Gelinas try to play defense. If he doesn't draw in against the Rags then Idk.
I've been watching all the KHL games that are broadcasted on One World Sports and I have to say that some of the defense and goaltending is absolutely brutal. Right now there are over 20 players above a point per game, including guys like Stephane Da Costa (1 less point than Kovalchuk). Even Nicklas Bergfors is almost a point per game player right now. Last year only saw 4 players finish above a point per game so I think the scoring is really inflated in the KHL right now.
When you think about it, getting rid of Kovalchuk was an absolute no brainer. They take up 8.5 million (compared to 6.66) on this year's cap and are two legit top liners. You can make the argument that both of them are better than IK and we don't have to deal with it Kovy's decline a huge recaputure penalty