The NHL announced a January doubleheader at Yankee Stadium to conclude their “Stadium Series.” The games are as follows:
Rangers at Devils on Jan. 26, 2014
Rangers at Islanders on Jan. 29, 2014
Here’s an excerpt from the press release:
The two games at Yankee Stadium complete the four-game 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series™ scheduled for next season. On Jan. 25, the Anaheim Ducks will play the Los Angeles Kings at Dodger Stadium. On March 1, the Chicago Blackhawks will host the Pittsburgh Penguins at Soldier Field.
“The innovative nature of the Stadium Series affords the opportunity to have all three NHL teams in the New York-New Jersey metropolitan area play, outdoors, at one of the most-celebrated stadiums in the world,” Commissioner Gary Bettman said. “We’ll be able to create a multi-faceted, multi-day experience for our fans, and we thank the teams, Coors Light, the New York Yankees and Yankee Stadium for their support of this memorable NHL event.”
We’re on record as saying back in April that these rumored games feel like nothing more than a cash grab for a league that just lost half of its season to the lockout. Plus, while Devils season-ticket holders will get the first crack at seats for the Jan. 26 game, that doesn’t mean they’ll be anywhere close to your regular ticket price. The Devils have managed to keep most of their tickets relatively affordable, but by converting one of your 41 home games to a psuedo-Winter Classic, the NHL is jacking up the cost of that seat by probably at least 30 to 40 percent. Also, I can’t imagine the Rangers are thrilled with being a visiting team for both of these games. There’s a greater chance for injury due to the poor lighting and quality of the ice surface and they don’t get the gate form either event. Not that they need it — but I’m just saying.
Now for the positive, Devils fans will get to watch their team in a signature event, outdoors at Yankee Stadium against the rival Rangers. Also, with the theme of throwback jerseys in outdoor games, there’s a really good chance the Devils will wear some variation of their Christmas sweaters, which is awesome. The thought of that alone is pretty cool. The other great part is the fans that can afford to go will get the chance a really unique event in a different setting or possibly scalp their season ticket for who knows much above face value.
In the end, like most things in the NHL, there’s good and bad sides to this and it just depends on which way you want to look at it. For me, I see a money-hungry league obsessed with piercing the national consciousness ahead of and after the Olympics. I also see a diminished product put on a national stage on a dead sports day (outside of the Pro Bowl), which should draw pretty big ratings. And I guess any sort of business/ratings boon for the NHL is good for the hockey fan in me, right?
#NJDevils – #NYR Yankee Stadium game will be made official by NHL this week. Sunday before Super Bowl. Devils the home team.— Chris Botta (@ChrisBottaNHL) May 15, 2013
That it will be a Devils home game is a huge get for the franchise. Not only will the Devils get all the gate proceeds, but I believe Devils season-ticket holders also get more of the available tickets. We’ll have more reaction when it’s official later in the week.
Even though the Devils’ 2013 season is over, we can still look back at some great moments in New Jersey’s playoff history.
On April 29…
1994- Claude Lemieux’s power-play goal at 13:49 of the second period proves to be the game-winner in New Jersey’s 2-1 win over the Buffalo Sabres in game 7 of their Eastern Conference quarterfinal series.
The Devils win the series 4-3, claiming their first playoff series since 1988.
2000- Martin Brodeur stops all 20 shots, and Colin White scores the game’s only goal in the Devils’ 1-0 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs in game 2 of the Eastern Conference semifinals at Air Canada Centre. New Jersey evens the best-of-seven series at 1 game apiece.
2006- Patrik Elias records a goal and two assists and Brian Gionta’s shorthanded goal proves as the game-winner as the Devils polish off a sweep of the Rangers with a 4-2 win in game 4 of their Eastern Conference quarterfinal series.
Even though the Devils’ playoff chances are finished for 2013, we can still look back at some great moments in New Jersey’s playoff history.
On April 26…
1997- Martin Brodeur records career playoff shutout No. 5, as the Devils beat the Montreal Canadiens 4-0 in game five, claiming their Eastern Conference quarterfinals series 4-1.
2003- Jamie Langenbrunner scores the game-winning goal at 2:09 of the first overtime, lifting the Devils to a 3-2 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning in game two of their Eastern Conference semifinals series.
2006- Langenbrunner and Patrik Elias each record a goal and an assist, and Brodeur pitches another playoff shutout in New Jersey’s 3-0 win over the New York Rangers in game three of their Eastern Conference quarterfinal series at Madison Square Garden.
2012- Adam Henrique scores at 3:09 of the second overtime to lift the Devils to a 3-2 win over the Florida Panthers in game seven of New Jersey’s Eastern Conference quarterfinal series in Sunrise, Fla.
A lifeless start, a couple of bad penalty calls and suddenly the Devils were frustrated, losing and on their way to playoff elimination. All in all, a sad but fitting end (as far as playoff chances go) to a season that was flawed from the get-go. Some thoughts…
Two things: When you combine a lack or energy with some questionable officiating, you usually get one of two results. Sometimes the team will take on an “us against the world” mentality, snap out of their funk and go on a tear the rest of the game. That didn’t happen today. Instead, the Devils went further into their shell and seemingly quit on the game and essentially their season. Even Martin Brodeur admitted that he felt his teammates gave up when things didn’t go their way. The Devils basically mailed in the first period, negating to forecheck or apply any sort of offensive pressure on the Rangers. It was almost like the Devils came out assuming they were already eliminated from the playoffs. While it was a mathematical eventuality, it’s still disconcerting to hear players after the game talk about how they knew it was just a matter of time. When you hear stuff like that, you can understand why you get a first period like the Devils had today.