The summer is over, training camps start in just a few days and before you know it, the puck will be dropping on the 2009/2010 season. I thought a good way to start this blog would be to talk about some of the games on the upcoming schedule. The following seven games (one for each month of the season) are seven games that I am REALLY looking forward to.
Saturday Oct 17th - Carolina @ NJ: The way the Hurricanes humiliated NJ in their own building in Game 7 of the first round of the playoffs last April has left a sharp pain in my memory. It's something that a Devils fan cannot forget but just to refresh the memory of those who have, the Devils were 80 seconds from moving on to the second round until Carolina scored 2 goals in those 80 seconds to bounce NJ from the playoffs. It was an awful feeling that lasted for days maybe even weeks. This will be the first meeting with Carolina since that disaster of a game.
Friday Nov 6th - Islander @ NJ: I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that John Tavares is indeed on the New York Islanders roster this season. (am I sure I want to make such a bold prediction??!!) This would be the first time the Devils would get to see Tavares in action. I watched Tavares last year in the World Junior's tournement where he helped Canada win its 5th straight gold medal and he was everything they said he would be in that tournament. Now we get to see him at the NHL level.
Wednesday Dec 16 Montreal @ NJ: Devils fans watched Scott Gomez and Brian Gionta team up for a number of exciting goals while they were teammates in NJ. Gomez left NJ for the rival Rangers and never seemed to have that spark he had in NJ. Meanwhile, Gionta also seemed to lose something in his game once Gomez left. Right before the UFA deadline this summer, the Rangers trade Gomez to Montreal and then on July 1st, the Canadiens snagged Giota off the UFA list, thus reuniting two players who certainly missed on another. This will be the first time the Gomez and Gionta reunion tour hits the Garden State. While I haven't and don't miss Scott Gomez, Brian Gionta is a different story. As Jack Edwards once said (it's in the following video) "it's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of fight in the dog and there is plenty in that guy"
Thursday Dec 31 - Devils @ Chicago: Chicago is my early favorite to be the Western Conference representitive come June in the Stanley Cup finals and this is the first time the Devils get a look at the Hawks. On top of all that, John Madden traded in his NJ address for an address in Illionis as he decided to sign with Chicago as an UFA on July 1. Let's hope he doesn't single handedly shut us down!! Plus, I really like the song Chicago uses for their goal song, I just hope to not hear it on this night.
Tuesday Jan 12th - Devils @ Rangers: The middle of the season is usually a good time to stop in on the Devils / Rangers rivalry. At this point we'll have a good idea how Lemaire is working out for NJ and how the Rangers rebuilt team is working out for them. I always love a litte Devils / Ranger rivaly in the dead of winter.
Friday March 5th - Devils @ Flames: I wish this game were taking place in NJ but since this is the only meeting with the Flames this season, I will have to settle for it being in Calgary. I hope Brent Sutter has this date circled on his calendar. This is the first time that Sutter will have to play the team he lied to, the team that he broke his contract with and quit on. Pay back is coming and you better believe that if the Devils were to go 1-81 this season, THIS would be the one game the Devils would win. Look on the bright side Brent, when NJ puts the beating on your Flames, at least you can go home and be comforted by your family!!
Wednesday March 17th - Penguins @ NJ: In a surprise move this summer, Lou Lamorillo announced that the Devils would put on the old Red White and Green jerseys for one game and one game only, that game being the St. Patrick's Day matchup with the defending champs. I think it will be kind of cool to see the old Red, White Green jerseys.