You might want to call this the humorist’s posthumous post. But I simply couldn’t resist. Besides, there might be one or two of you left (like the Dark Ranger and the Hockey Rabbi) to read it.
In front of a riled up, raunchy Rangers crowd (in New Jersey), the Blueshirts slew the Devils and all their apostles (the referees) on Friday night—completing an historic mercy killing of their Hudson Bay rivals.
The Devils, who have become the butt of their own joke franchise, proved once again that their Stanley Cup days are trapped back in the days of the Trap. The current Devils team is pathetic. Except for when pucks took fluke bounces off of Rangers sticks, body parts and goalposts, or when New Jersey was the beneficiary of atrocious officiating, the Devils couldn’t score a goal to save their playoff lives.
Of course, their Swiss cheese defense corps, who coughs up the puck as much as six sick Marek Maliks, didn’t help exactly help New Jersey’s chances. But when combining this with a once again less than hardy Marty, the Devils simply had no chance of winning this series.
However, unlike many teams who bow out in the playoffs, the Devils are not in a position to say “wait ‘till next year”. With Martin Brodeur’s second consecutive year of horrendous playoff goaltending and a minor league cupboard which would optimistically be called “bare”, the Devils are quickly going to “hell in a glove-hand basket”. In fact, it seems as if their entire organization is going along for the ride.
Clearly, Lou Lamoriello (New Jersey’s old fossil leader from the Mesozoic Era) learned absolutely nothing from last year’s regular season over-usage of Brodeur, as he did it again this year with the same lackluster playoff results. He also hasn’t learned that continuing to play regular season games in the most boring style allowed by NHL rules is not going to fill their new building any better than it failed to fill their old one.
This was especially hilarious tonight because there were so many Ranger fans in attendance; I first thought that John Madden had scored on his (bullshit) penalty shot, after a huge roar from the crowd erupted at the end of the play. In fact, so abundant and vocal were the Ranger fans, it literally shattered the Devils announcers into pieces.
This game was historic for two reasons. First, it was the only time I have ever watched a Ranger/Devil game and been happy that I was watching the Devils broadcast. Listening all night long to that twerp Mike Emrick and that annoying putz Chico Resch, while they grasped at the straws of the aforementioned hand basket—trying to convince themselves and all three Devil fans who were watching that the Devils still had a chance to win the series—was priceless.
But when Resch (practically crying) became completely unglued and unprofessional as the Rangers crowd dominated the arena and TV airwaves with their boisterous celebration, it was glorious to watch his agony and frustration. Although not as destroyed as Resch, both Emrick and Ken Daneyko also expressed their bitter disappointment in the lack of Devil fans and barrage of Ranger fans in attendance.
Daneyko even said in between the second and third periods that the Devil fans will have to due something about that next year. He doesn’t seem to get it. There aren’t enough Devil fans in existence to do anything about it. You would’ve thought that Daneyko might have figured this out years ago, when all the Devils could muster up for their Stanley Cup celebrations was a spattering of black and red inside of what amounted to a parking lot garage sale turnout.
By the way, the second reason that this game was historic is that it marks the first time in Devils history that they lost all three home games in a playoff series. This is further evidence of the Devils impending downfall. Make no mistake about it—in spite of a surprisingly effective regular season, the playoff series against the Rangers revealed the fatally flawed nature of this dying Devils team.
But perhaps the clearest indication that the Devils are in the midst of a franchise freefall came when super-putz Resch stated (after the game) how proud he was of the Devils and their coach. Talk about a lowering of standards and expectations!
What was Chico more proud of—the fact that the Devils had lost in the first round of the playoffs in five games, or the fact that despite receiving the majority of botched referee calls and fluke bounces, New Jersey still was no match for the clearly superior Rangers?
As far as being proud of Devils coach Brent Sutter, Resch must have lost his mind along with what little professionalism he had left. Sutter made Rangers coach Tom Renney look like a combination of Albert Einstein and General George Patton.
It is true that the Devils out-hit and out-hustled the Rangers for most of the series, but who cares. New Jersey wasn’t big enough for their hits to have any adverse affects on the Rangers, and the Devils hustle was hardly enough to make up for such an overwhelming Rangers advantage in scoring depth and ability, defensive ability, goaltending, and the ability to perform in the clutch.
All that the Devils players, fans and announcers have left is their memory of the franchise’s “glory days”. The days when New Jersey lulled the NHL to sleep with their defensive trap (nearly killing the league), while the Devils won the three most insignificant and unwatched Stanley Cups in NHL history.
Now the Devils, who love to talk about themselves (while disregarding and disrespecting their superior opponents), and who love to whine about the Rangers taking runs at their aging and declining “franchise” goaltender (despite having initiated most of the contact that caused the run-ins), will have all summer to talk and whine to each other.
In the meantime, they can relax and watch the Rangers continue to pursue the same Stanley Cup that the Devils no longer have any chance of winning—either this year or in the foreseeable future.
It’s not as though I didn’t see this coming a long time ago. In last summer’s magnificent manifesto: NHL Fans vs NJ Devils—Case Closed: THEY ARE A BORE!, besides ripping the Devils ten times more than I do in this article, I stated that with the Devils refusing to change their old (Lamoriello) ways, the rest of the league would pass them by.
Obviously, I was right. But there is still one item that I would like to amend from the end of that rather lengthy but consummate condemnation of the entire Devils franchise. The Rangers now hold an all-time 4 to 1 advantage over the Devils in head to head playoff series.
It’s been said that “he who laughs last, laughs loudest”. And my laugh is so loud that the Devils can hear it from Newark to Hell … and back. However, having the misfortune of visiting Newark once in my life, I’m not even sure that the Devil himself could tell the difference between the two locations.