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Devils to Retire Scott Niedermayer’s #27 on December 16

Originally posted in September, 2011.

Scott Niedermayer with Stanley CupWelcome to the rafters of Prudential Center, #27!  On Friday December 16th, Scott Niedermayer’s #27 will join Scott Stevens’ #4 and Ken Daneyko’s #3 as the only numbers retired in franchise history.  Scott was a key component of the New Jersey Devils’ success for over a decade, which culminated with four Stanley Cup Finals appearances (1995, 2000, 2001, 2003) and three Stanley Cup Championships (1995, 2000, 2003).  Scott’s value to the franchise is undeniable and will never be forgotten.

Niedermayer will undoubtedly be remembered for his stellar skating and offensive production.  In 2003-2004 Scott scored 14 goals and added 40 assists, for a total of a whopping 54 points.  After the conclusion of the season, Scott was named the winner of the James Norris Memorial Trophy as Defenseman of the Year, becoming the first Devil to do so.  Scott has won everything there is to win in hockey.  In 1991 he won a gold medal at the World Junior Championships as a member of Team Canada.  In 1992 he won the Memorial Cup as a member of the Kamloops Blazers, and was named MVP.  He won the Stanley Cup with the Devils in 1995, 2000 and 2003.  Scott also won the Stanley Cup in 2007 as a member of the Anaheim Ducks, and won the Conn Smythe trophy as playoff MVP.  Scott won gold medals as a member of Team Canada in the 2002 and 2010 Olympics.  He also was a member of the Team Canada squad that took gold in the 2004 World Championships, and a member of the 2004 World Cup winning Canada team.  Forget “trophy case”, the Niedermayer household needs a trophy ROOM.

I am extremely excited about Scott’s jersey being retired, and will be in attendance at The Rock cheering loudly on the night of December 16.  Please join me in applauding a true New Jersey Devils legend who has given so much to the organization.

What is your favorite Nieds’ moment?

What was in the Bruins’ “bru?”

Tim Thomas 2011 Stanley Cup“For the first time in 39 years, the Boston Bruins have won the Stanley Cup!”

The Stanley Cup Finals. It pits the two “best” teams in the league up against each other for a chance to lift Lord Stanley’s Cup. The most exciting time of the season.

When you hear Stanley Cup Finals, you think overtime hockey. You think close, exciting games. You dream of that game seven overtime goal.

At the end of game one, this is what we thought we were going to have as the audience. Raffi Torres scoring the game-winning goal for  Vancouver with 18.5 seconds left in the third period. A final score of 1-0. One of the most exciting game one’s I have ever seen.

Game two was no different, with overtime being forced and Alex Burrows scoring the second quickest goal in SCF history, at 11 seconds.

Game three was do or die for the Bruins. Boston wasn’t going down without a fight as they romped the Canucks, 8-1.

Since that third game, the verdict of the series was evident. Boston was going to win.  Boston was clearly outplaying the Canucks. In the games that Boston won, they outscored the Canucks 25-3. In the games the Canucks won, the difference was 5-2. Meaning, the Bruins scored 27 goals this series, while Vancouver only scored eight. Lopsided offense much?

The Bruins were also able to do something almost unheard of in the Stanley Cup Finals. They were able to chase the Canucks’ star goaltender, Roberto Luongo, from the game. You want your best players to be just that, your BEST players. Luongo was not the Canucks best player this series, on or off the ice. Karma struck Luongo after he criticized Tim Thomas’ playing style, as he gave up three goals within the first nine minutes of game six.

This Stanley Cup Final also saw the Canucks lose, even though they never trailed in any of their other playoff series.

To sum it up, congrats to the Bruins. They were clearly the best team this off-season. Their on-ice product is something other teams need to look at and try to duplicate. Claude Julien, former Devils coach, knows how to run a successful organization.

And a special congrats to Tim Thomas for becoming only the second American-born player in history to win the Conn Smythe Trophy (the other was Brian Leetch in 94, against the Canucks. I see a pattern).

PS: It doesn’t hurt to think of it this way: The Devils beat the Bruins in the final game of the regular season. Therefore the Devils beat the Stanley Cup Champions. Therefore, the Devils are the true champions.

Stanley Cup Game 7 – Get The Heart Pills Ready

2011 Stanley Cup FinalGame. Seven.

Two words that you never want to hear if your team is involved in it.  Tonight will be the final game of the NHL season.  There is no tomorrow.  At about 10:45pm EST (barring overtime, God forbid) we will know who will be raising Lord Stanley’s Cup.  I, myself, have been lucky enough to have gone to two Game 7’s in my life.  One on the good end, and one on the bad end. Read the rest of this entry

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