552 & 702...Two Great Numbers!
It is a great day for hockey fans, especially New Jersey Devils hockey fans!
I remember being a wee lad watching the US Hockey team beating Russia in the 1980 Olympics. I certainly didn't understand the socio-political relevance of the game at the time, but that was when I became intrigued by the sport.
Fast foward to October of 1982, and a hockey team coming to New Jersey, the New Jersey Devils. My dad watched a lot of Devils hockey, and still does, so as I was growing up I watched a lot of Devils hockey.
I remember watching the OT goal in the last game of the 1987-1988 Devils season that brought them into their first playoffs.
I was surrounded by friends in a sports bar to watch the Devils sweep the Red Wings in 1995, winning their first Stanley Cup.
And I remember fondly when they won the cup again in 2000 and 2003.
I'm not a fair weather fan...I stuck by the Devils when they've had bad seasons...I've seen them fall apart...literally implode on themselves.
This season though, which is still a month from the regular season being over, may be the best season ever for the Devils.
When goalie Martin Brodeur was injured earlier this season, every sports writer wrote the team off, expecting them to self destruct without Marty in the net.
Instead, the Devils flourished, proving that they are a team...a team that has an amazing goalie in Martin Brodeur, but a team that can win games even without Marty.
And tonight the Devils made history, and to a long time Devils fan like me, it was a sweet as seeing them winning a cup.
In the second period of the game tonight against the Blackhawks, Patrik Elias, a part of the Devils for 14 years, added another assist point to his career record with the Devils, giving him 702, a franchise record for career points.
Congrats Patrik Elias!
And the other big record tonight, and one of the most moving moments for me in hockey, was watching Martin Brodeur break the 551 career regular season wins record that had beeen held by Patrick Roy.
I've been watching Marty play for the Devils since 1991. He was a huge part of all 3 Stanley Cups the Devils have won. It's so great to see him become the most winning goalie in the NHL. Every win he gets from now on is just proving his greatness.
Congrats Martin Brodeur!
I'm so choked up and full of energy right now, I can only hope this blog post has come out somewhat coherrantly.
Now on to the Stanley Cup!
Let's go DEVILS!!!!!