It was a strange week. Last week was actually stranger, as I had a few rough work days strung together by red-eye, delayed and over-booked flights across the country. But it ended well, if not equally strangely, when the Devils broke their 6-game losing streak by grounding the Bolts. But even for a Devils game, it was a strange day, indeed:
Bubba announced, publicly, that the Devils would end their losing streak as he was attending the game. The Devils have never lost with little Bubba in the (new) building. Not once in 19 tries, and last Friday was indeed a try. When the Devils went down 2-0 Bubba was bent, but not broken. He’s got more of what my grandmother would call koyach (strength, backbone) than his dad.
Before even departing Bubba-dom, I wavered on my jersey selection. Yes, I wear an appropriate jersey to each game. Yes, it looks like I’m 4 months pregnant and wrapped in nylon. Normally, Bubba picks up his Czech Olympic Elias jersey and I wear my Metallurg Elias jersey, but for some reason I went very — very very — old school: The red Koho Devils jersey from 2000, with a crest more wrinkled than the face you make when Rupp takes another dumb roughing penalty. Bubba talked me out of it. Czech mates we were.
As soon as we landed in our seats (last row of Section 21), Chico came by ostensibly on his way to the bathroom. We got high fives. A period later, NJ Devil came by, and gave us more high fives (although in his larger than life state, they count as seven and a halves, I think).
Despite Holik taking (another) dumb penalty, the Devils wrangled a power play out of it when Jeff Halpern came flying in from the far circle to rough up Holik. Halpern? The Princeton guy? Bubba’s quote: He didn’t learn that in Hebrew school.
Shanahan scored on a penalty shot, becoming the oldest player to do so in the NHL.
Throw in the other strangeness of the night — Weekes getting hurt and Marty playing in a game he was meant to sit back and enjoy; two blown leads in the third period; the thrown stick resulting in the penalty shot; Elias coming onto the ice in a suit (nursing a leg injury) to honor Marty — and the net result should have been something bizarre. A goal overturned by Toronto. Holik or Rupp bouncing one in off of Marty’s rear end. But none of that happened; if there was a bottom to be found in the market for Devils wins, we found it. It was good. Weekes isn’t down for the count. Devils won in OT. The Bubba streak was preserved. It may have been a weird week, but upon further review, it ended well.