First of all, I was completely and unequivocally setup and I took the bait. Remember that 10 year-old kid? The Devil’s fan? His mom sends me an IM asking if I want to go to a hockey game.
Asking a Canadian if he wants to go to a hockey game is the equivalent of throwing a Twinkie into a room full of dieters at a fat farm—it sets off a frenzy with which all rational thought goes out the window. Without thinking clearly, I accepted.
In retrospect, the kid’s mom knew what she was doing. The Rangers dominated at the All Star Game and the Devils were well rested.
On the way to the game I debated back and forth with the kid as to who would be between the pipes—I said Brodeur would play—the kid was adamant that Hedberg would play. I won that battle—there is no way the Devils wouldn’t put their top gun in goal with the Rangers coming to town.
There were a number of good, clean, hard hits in the first period and Rangers fans seemed just as plentiful as Devils fans so each and every hit was loudly appreciated. Both teams had decent chances and Brodeur flipped and flopped more than a high jumper with ants in his pants making some remarkable saves until the closing minute of the first period when the Rangers found the back of the net.
Of course I jumped to my feet and applauded along with the rest of the jubilant Rangers fans.
The kid? He didn’t have much to say which is good because when the Devils beat the Rangers he has plenty to say.
In the second the Devils tied the game at 1 each.
In the third, the Rangers went up 2-1 and the Devils fought their way back to tie the game. With under four minutes to go the Rangers took a 3-2 lead and I’m thinking that I don’t want to razz the kid too much—it really was a great game and all, yadda, yadda, yadda... when David Clarkson picks up the puck right in front of ther Rangers net that had taken a very strange bounce off the boards and puts it in the net to tie the game with less than a minute to play in regulation. The kid goes nuts along with the rest of the Devils fans. He even ends up getting on the Jumbotron as well.
I’m pretty sure that his mom pre-arranged the Jumbotron thing too—nothing like sticking it to the Rangers fan now is there Devil-mom?
Of course Devil-mom had to give me the business on Facebook as well. I can’t say that I blame her really—after all, with Devils wins so hard to come by this year, she has to seize the opportunity to stick it to me when she can.
The score remained tied after overtime so off to the shootout. Well, let’s just say that the kid was in his glory last night at The Rock and that the kid went home a happy camper.
Even though the New Jersey Devils play there, the Prudential Center is actually a great venue to watch a game. The food is pretty good, the prices are stadium-reasonable and the place looks really, really good with wide concourses and plenty to do and see. Why they only have two escalators up to the section we were in is beyond me and it caused quite the bottleneck on the way out which of course provided even more opportunities for Devils fans and Rangers fans to communicate in a rather loud, boisterous fashion. Unlike in Philadelphia, there were no beatdowns that I saw.
If you haven’t been to Newark in a decade or two because of perceived safety issues, (that's a nice way to say the place was a real mess, had plenty of Dookies in their Pool and you would have been lucky to escape this your wallet and/or your life) I must say this; the City of Newark is making an incredible comeback. The downtown area is surprisingly clean and fairly safe. Besides, it’s also a lot less expensive for Rangers fans west of the Hudson to get to and to watch their Rangers.
On the way out, the Devils fans let the Rangers fans know who won the game loudly and clearly. The kid made sure that I knew who won the game as well.
I’m sure I’ll hear about it today.
And next week, next month and next year.
Thanks Devil-mom, you and your sister--the Satan Sisters I call them, have Dookies in Your Pools.