Classic barbecue food, music, games for the kids and a chance to chat with your favorite New Jersey Devils – I’d say that’s a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon. This past weekend the Devils hosted their second annual Devils Family BBQ and Fan Fest at the Prudential Center. It’s one of the cool events season ticket holders get to be a part of and a great way to kick off the season.
Anxious fans lined up outside of The Rock waiting to get in and meet their favorite players. They opened up the main concourse of the Prudential Center and let the fans roam. Lunch was served in the Fire & Ice Lounges. If you were lucky you caught Zach Parise behind the counter suited up to serve with an apron and chef hat. Rumor has it that Ilya Kovalchuk was handing out cookies. Bryce Salvador was taking care of the sodas with Nick Palmieri and Andy Greene.
There was plenty for the younger kids to do between shooting pucks into inflatable nets, hanging out with NJ and dancing with the Devils Dancers. All the players were happy to take pictures, share stories and even play a few rounds of floor hockey with the kids (and some of the adult fans, too). Parise and David Steckel played a couple games of hockey, followed by another game around the corner with Jacob Josefson, Mattias Tedenby, Alexander Urbom and Henrik Tallinder – only a few men short of a Swedish National team. Dainius Zubrus and NJ were hanging around the inflatable goalie nets watching our youngest Devils Army members practicing their slap shots.
Lines formed for both our veteran players and new additions to the team. Cam Janssen and Adam Larsson were pretty popular, as were Martin Brodeur and Patrick Elias of course. Even Lou Lamoriello and our new coach, Peter DeBoer, made appearances on the concourse. Every where you looked you saw a Devil in their jersey. It was surreal to see them on the concourse and to be honest, kind of weird. You learn a few things about the guys being so close. Did you know that Janssen loves to dance in place? David Clarkson seems tough on the ice but his face lights up when you mention his little girl (who will not be a hockey player). Clarkson is also a huge Jets fan and has a helmet signed by the team. Tallinder is a bit of a goofball, he was caught sneaking into pictures with other players and teasing Tedenby and Josefson when they lost their hockey game. Oh, and Rod Pelley has no front teeth – but you’ve probably noticed that before.
It’s great getting a chance to talk to the players and see them off the ice. Everyone had a great time and made sure to wish their favorite guys good luck during the season. There was tons to do and lots to see. Check out more photos from the BBQ on the Devils Generals Flickr page. Let us know if you find your face!
Stian Nevøy (@Stinev) lives in Stavanger, Norway. He lives in a big hockey town, being the home of 2010′s Norwegian Championship hockey team, the Stavanger Oilers. We have The Cup, they have The Bucket.
It all started 10 years ago when Stian bought an NHL video game. He decided to play with the team with the best goalie – New Jersey Devils had Martin Brodeur. Stian started watching hockey and naturally picked the Devils as his team. Since NHL doesn’t broadcast over in Norway, Stian has to keep up with the Devils through ESPN’s website.
Some of Stian’s favorite players are Patrick Elias, Martin Brodeur and our former captain, Jamie Langenbrunner. His favorite Devils moment is when the they beat the Montreal Canadians 4-3 in 2006 and had 11 straight wins.
Stian has never been to The Rock for a Devils game, but decided that needed to change. He’ll be attending his first Devils game at the Prudential Center this month. Hope you enjoy it, Stian!
You don’t have to live in New Jersey to be a New Jersey Devils fan. Devils fans can be found far and wide! This is the first of a series of posts featuring international fans rocking their red and supporting Jersey’s team.
Emanuela (@emanupo) lives in Cernusco sul Naviglio, near Milan, in Italy. She grew up watching sports with her dad and would go to A.C. Milan soccer games as a kid. It was her love of soccer that led to her love of the Devils. Her favorite soccer team followed a hockey team called “I Diavoli” – The Devils! It was when she met a few members of that team in the summer of 1999 that she learned about the New Jersey Devils in the United States and our Stanley Cup. Emanuela has been a Devils fan ever since.
Twitter, Facebook and a few blogs help Emanuela keep up with the team. Her favorite current players are Patrick Elias and Zach Parise. Her all time favorite player is Scott Stevens. (We think she has a big crush on him!) Emanuela has only visited the United States once and did not get a chance to make it out to The Rock for a game, but she plans on it!
If you are a Devils fan living outside the U.S. and would like to be featured as an international fan, email us at email@example.com.
The IIHF World Championship continued this week and even though Team USA is out, we’ve still got a few guys to root for.
This week opened up on Wednesday with the Czech Republic’s shut out win over the United States sending Mark Fayne and Nick Palmieri home.
Mattias Tedenby helped Sweden knock down Czech Republic, and Patrick Elias’ two goals, with an assist during their 5-2 win on Friday. Sweden will now face Finland with Anssi Salmela for the Gold medal on Sunday in Bratislava.
Including Elias’ two goals on Friday, he has put up four goals and five assists overall, leading the team with nine points in eight games.
Salmela and Finland shut out Russia 3-0, leaving Ilya Kovalchuk battling Elias and the Czech Republic for Bronze. Kovy scored the game winning goal in Russia’s victory over Canada (sorry Zajac!), it was his first goal of the tournament. He has earned six points in eight games with one goal and five assists.
The final games will both be played on Sunday, May 15th. The battle for Bronze will be at 10AM ET and Gold at 2:30PM ET.
Here’s this weeks breakdown.
Wednesday, May 11
Czech Republic 4, USA 0 – Elias, 2 SOG
Sweden 5, Germany 2
Thursday, May 12
Finland 4, Norway 1 – Salmela, 4 SOG
Russia 2, Canada 1 – Kovalchuk, GWG
Friday, May 13
Sweden 5, Czech Republic 2 – Elias, 2g; Tedenby, 1a
Finland 3, Russia 0
In honor of Cinco de Mayo, we’ve put together a few Devils facts focusing on the big number 5!
• The Devils played their first game on October 5th, 1982
• In 1982, we were 5th in what was then the Patrick Division (now the Atlantic Division)
• We had 5th overall pick in the 1989 draft
• The most points by a rookie in one game was 5 pts (Viacheslav Fetisov, 1989-1995)
• On May 5th, 1993, the Devils announced their relationship with the Albany River Rats
• We won our first Stanley Cup in 1995
• Zach Parise played his first game on October 5th, 2005
• Jamie Langenbrunner became captain on December 5th of 2007
• 2011 will be the start of the Devils 5th season in Newark after their first 25 seasons in East Rutherford
• There are 5 levels of seating at the Prudential Center
• Colin White currently wears the number 5
• The Devils shut out the Caps 5-0 in November of 2010
• Patrick Elias had 5 game winning goals in 2010-2011 season
Any big 5′s you can think of? Post them here!
Congrats to Team USA on securing their spot in the next round of the IIHF World Championship with a 4-2 win over Norway! Our very own Nick Palmieri had the game-tying and game-winning goals to help bring USA out from under their 0-2 deficit and into the second round.
Palmieri had 8 goals this past season with the Devils and is one of our upcoming star rookies, so I’m not surprised to see him doing well in the World Championship.
The Czech Republic have also advanced to the second round with a 6-0 win over Denmark with the help of Patrick Elias with an assist.