Mr. 1,000: Patrik Elias will play his 1,000th NHL game
In this season alone, Elias broke the Devils goal record (passing John Maclean with #348 on Dec. 17th) and broke the Devils record for power-play goals (Nov. 2nd with #93).
He will become one of three to play all of these 1,000 games with the Devils. Those other two? Ken Daneyko and Martin Brodeur. Another Devil also made his 1,000th NHL appearance this season. It was Dainus Zubrus, who reached the 1,000 game milestone on November 16th when the Devils visited Buffalo.
Game #1 came in the 1995-1996 on December 7th vs. Toronto. The Devils were the defending Stanley Cup Champions and Elias was called up from the AHL-affiliate Albany River Rats for one game. He remained in Albany for the rest of that season, but returned for 17 games in the next. Now, he reflects on the 16 years since then: “Everybody will tell you time flies all of a sudden. I went through great times, some great seasons playing with great players, then you have seasons when they’re disappointing, when you have to battle through adversity. It’s all part of the journey. It makes you grow up. You figure out what life is all about as a hockey player and just as a regular person, too. It’s how you face the challenges throughout the career and I’m pretty happy that I’m still doing it. I’d like to think that I’m doing it well a thousand games later.”
For those not attending the game, you can catch it on MSG+. Puck drops a few minutes after 7:00 pm. If you’re there, make sure to get some cheers going.
LET’S GO DEVILS