When we left of last time, the puck was just about to drop and the roof was ready to explode. The “Let’s Go Devils” chants are in full swing and the atmosphere is electric.
Once the puck drops the real fun begins. You hear the whooshing of the skates cutting across the ice and you see the snow get lifted up into the air and you finally get to see what the goalies really do when the puck isn’t in their zone. You get to have a full view of the ice and you can read the players’ movements better than ever before.
Finally, Elias gets through the defenders gets a breakaway and every single Devils fan in the arena holds their breath in anticipation of what will happen next. Elias fakes left, brings it right and scores to give the Devils the lead.
The horn sounds deafening (in a good way) as you and your friends high five and hug and celebrate (even if they aren’t your friends). Then the beloved drum beat of the Hey Song begins. In what is viewed around the NHL as one of the best goal celebrations, the fans join in. “Hey! You Suck!” Sure some people find it rude but it’s never too loud when they are playing the Predators or the Maple Leafs.
My oh my, when they play the Flyers, Rangers, Penguins or Islanders it can be loud. You hear it over Chico Resch on MSG, you could probably hear it from right outside the Prudential Center. You even get the “Flyers Suck” or “Rangers Suck” chants to go along with it.
Now that everything has calmed a little bit, the puck drops again. Once again you hear the fresh sounds of the ice being torn up by the players and now the crowd starts yelling in disgust. Rick Nash just worked around the ice to have a beautiful look at the goal and winds back for a monster slap shot. The stick clashes with the puck and the puck is absolutely ripped towards the net.
The crowd jumps into a roar of happiness. Martin Brodeur just made a spectacular glove save to keep the Devils in the lead.
Now in the third period, the physical play has ramped up ten-fold and things are getting chippy. Since the Rangers have been playing with Cam Janssen’s very short fuse, Janssen decides enough is enough and drops the gloves. Now, Devils fans, Ranger fans, heck even Oilers fans in the crowd (OK maybe not Oilers fans, but you get the point) all stand and give their opinion on this fight. Everyone watches in eager anticipation to see if their guy will win.
Janssen happened to pick on Ryan McDonagh and got beat, but he gave a valiant effort and truly entertained the crowd.
Late in the third, the Rangers pull Henrik Lundqvist to try and tie the game up. The Rangers are pressing but, WOW, another miraculous save by Marty. The “Marty” chants are in full swing, whether it’s the Rangers fans taunting him or the Devils fans celebrating him.
The Devils find a way through, however and Travis Zajac heaves a long shot that finds its way into the empty net to seal of the game for the Devils, 2-0. The same celebration festivities for the goal occur, although now it is most likely 4 times louder than before.
The final horn sounds and the Devils have beaten the Rangers. High five’s all around! The victory song plays and you hear the 3 stars of the game.
On your way out, everyone is still buzzing about the game and eventually the arena would be empty to start the cycle all over again.
Except now, the Flyers are coming in.
Thanks for reading my visualization (along with my somewhat minimal experiences) on why NHL and hockey games in general are the most enjoyable sporting event to see live.
Stay tuned to Pucks and Pitchforks for more articles including:
- More Prospects to be analyzed in Mike Stamas’ series.
- More Offseason Analysis compared to the Devils in Frank Maduri’s series.
- More 2013-14 Previews including next edition’s focus, Steve Bernier.
- The last Round Robin matchup in the WhatIfSports Tournament.
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