It’s over. Just like that, on a Sunday evening that feels more like October than May, the Devils are done for the season. No heads hanging down here, though, because it was a great season.
Who knew Marty would win 43 games and lead the NHL in wins?
Who knew Patrik Elias would recover from a case of Hepatitis A so bad that it would have literally killed someone like me? And he recovered enough to lead all scorers through two rounds of the playoffs.
Who knew that Cam Janssen would be so much fun to watch and single-handedly make many of us forget Bobby Holik (apologies to the 8 year old kids at the Little League fields yesterday; the guy I told you was Bobby Holik really isn’t, but I like having kids ask him for an autograph).
Who knew that Brian Gionta, one of the few (non-jockey) professional athletes shorter than me, would set a new season record for goals by a Devil?
And so this one is in the books. Now I can watch the playoffs a little more quietly, without packing my new Elias Metallurg jersey for this week’s business trip, and cheer for either the Ducks (with pseudo-cuz Vishnevski and former Devil Nieds) or San Jose (the work-related home team). I’ll follow the draft with one eye on the Yankees box score and one eye on the nhl.com website. Starting June 28th, I’ll begin worrying again about what trades, signings and contract flurries will fall around Lou’s office, and eagerly await the new NHL year on July 1 when we hope we have some new long-term franchise players.
On August 15th, Devils Youth Hockey camps start up, and the 06-07 season will officially be under way in our house again. I have merely three months off (from hockey, at least).
Thanks, Devils, for a great season. I’m already speculating about next year, because who knows?