New Jersey Devils (13-11-6) @ Carolina Hurricanes (15-12-2)
TV: NHLN-US, MSG PLUS 2
RADIO: WFAN 660 AM & 101.9 FM
GAME TIME: 7:00 PM
The Devils are heading down to Carolina for their third and last match up with the Hurricanes. Carolina has two wins over New Jersey and we’re all hoping the Devils don’t get swept up tonight. To add fuel to the fire, the Devils fell out of the top eight while losing their third in the a row to the Rangers on Tuesday and the Hurricanes are trying to hold onto their playoff spot after their fourth straight loss.
With more NHL games canceled it was time to make my way to another AHL game. Last month I went to the Times Union Center in Albany to watch the Devils at home, so this time I decided to head into enemy territory – Hartford, Connecticut. Here are a few things I learned from the XL Center and the Connecticut Whale.
1. Corner seats are pretty amazing.
Since AHL tickets are more affordable then tickets to any NHL game, I’ve been taking advantage and sitting right on the glass. I know, I know, you can’t see a thing that close but I rarely have a chance to sit in these seats at the Prudential Center so I’m going for it while I can. For this game I tried corner seats and they were awesome! You get to be right up there for all the corner battles and big hits. You can hear the puck sliding along the boards at your feet and come face to face with pucks that are shot wide. I may or may not have jumped up a couple times thanks to high flying pucks.
I’ve been planning a trip to Albany since what would be the start of the NHL season and I wasn’t letting Sandy get in the way. After waiting in a long line for one of the few open gas stations, I filled up my tank and used that precious fuel to drive up to Albany and watch the Albany Devils take on the Connecticut Whale at the Times Union Center. This was my first trip to Albany, here’s what I learned.
After holding auditions for the upcoming season, the Devils took their top three contenders and let the fans vote on who should get the last spot on the dance team. Gabrielle, Sarah and Sarah-Ashley put their fate in the hands of the Devils Army and the winner was revealed at Texas-Arizona in Hoboken this past Tuesday.
This is just another way the Devils have gotten the fans directly involved with the organization. The most obvious fan-focused program is right here, the Devils Generals and Mission Control. This program is the first of its kind in the sports industry and focuses only on interacting with the fans not only through social media, but through viewing parties and making the Digital Zone the cool place to be during intermissions.
With these events along with featuring Fans of the Week, posting photo submissions on their social media pages (have you seen the official Pinterest page recently?), and letting the fans design last season’s playoff towels, you can’t deny the Devils are really focusing on building the fan community.
As for who the fans chose as our newest Devils Dancer - Gabrielle is a Jersey girl from East Hanover and won her spot with more than 14,000 fan votes. Congrats to Gabby, welcome to the Devils Army!
“Hey Chrissy, what are you doing tonight?”
“Watching the Devils game.”
Whether I was in a seat at Prudential Center or on a bar stool, I was watching the game. Even while on a family vacation, I (and a handful of other Devils fans) made their way to the sports bar on a cruise ship to watch a few games of the finals against the LA Kings in the middle of the Atlantic. The Devils took over my life this past season, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Mike “Doc” Emrick was the New Jersey Devils play-by-play guy for 21 years before he stepped down last summer. His voice was synonymous with the Devils and we were all sad to see him go. Starting this season, he has been calling games for NBC/Versus full time and while we still get to hear him cover a few Devils games now and then, it just isn’t the same.
But, we’ve got some good news – Doc is coming back on Friday the 24th and the Devils will be honoring him before the start of the game against Vancouver. If you don’t already have your tickets, I’d suggest you get them now. We have a great idea to show Doc – and everyone else watching – that we miss having him around the Prudential Center. We want to have a Doc-Out and we need you to help! It’s pretty simple, here’s what you need to do.
1. Click on Doc below, download the mask from Mediafire and print it out.
2. You can either tape a popsicle stick to the back and hold it up in front of your face. Or, tie some string to either side of Doc’s glasses, snug enough to stay above your ears and around your head, to make your mask hands free. Cutting out some eyes wouldn’t be a bad idea either.
See, easy. Get your masks ready and help us show Doc how much he means to the Devils Army by helping us create a Doc-Out!