NEW JERSEY DEVILS: If you're going to the game this afternoon, take a second and LOOK UP!
The New Year doesn't seem any more promising than the last three months. I don't have the foggiest clue how to fix the Devils. I'm not so sure it's fixable because this is part of the natural downward progression of a DYNASTY.
The next great night in Devils' history will be when they raise John MacLean's jersey to the rafters.
But the Laws of Diminished Returns are dusting off the snow from their skates and are knocking at the Devil's Door. The LAST great night in this Devils' Era may very well be the night they retire Martin Brodeur's number and raise his jersey aloft with those of Scott Stevens, Ken Daneyko and their three Stanley Cup Championship Banners.
The Last Great Days of Devils' Hockey will be what you can make out of watching Marty play out the season (or two) in the final days of his career as he tacks on perhaps a few more wins and shutouts along the way to finishing as the Best Ever in those respective categories.
We are watching the sad final gasps of a glorious Devilish Era coming to a most certain end.
Patrick Elias will be left behind to witness and suffer through the final crumbling of the Devils much like (METS Reference..) Jerry Koosman was left behind to pitch when the lights literally went out on the N.Y. Mets back in the Black-Out of 1977 after Tom Seaver was traded; ALONE.
There is no escaping the Salary 'Chuk HELL the Devs now find themselves in. And there are no new "Lil Demons" coming up through the system. That's the Devils' present.
In the near future, there is no last hurrah for Marty, Langenbrunner, Elias and LeMaire. There will be no second shot at being a hero for Jason Arnott. Zach Parise? Sorry Bud...bad timing.
If you're going to the game this afternoon and find yourself getting "THRASHED" by Atlanta, look up, think back, and be grateful for a GREAT Run!
Somehow, from parts out west, you guys moved into the most populous and crowded metropolitan area in the country and built an Empire that for the last twenty+ years, Be-Deviled everyone.
Hell never had it so Good.