Saturday, May 26, 2012

Beast of the East: NJ Devils 2011-12 Timeline

"Ask Lundqvist if he'd like to join us.  No really!"

Last week, I broke down the LA Kings' 2011-12 season to date, and now, we know who they'll face in the Stanley Cup Finals: the New Jersey Devils.  Of course, this means I will be able to provide a completely neutral post with absolutely no bias whatsoever.  ...  Okay, seriously, stop laughing at me.

So how did the 2011-12 Devils come to be?  Here's a look back:

April 12th, 2011: Despite just a 3.6% chance to win the Draft Lottery, the Devils win the lottery and move up to 4th in the draft order.  Gary Bettman immediately fires everyone who planned the draft lottery in rage.

June 24th: The Devils draft Adam Larsson with the 4th overall pick.  Ten minutes later, Larsson realizes his Twitter account is now history.

July 19th: Lou Lamoriello is mocked by the entire world for hiring the recently fired Panthers coach, Peter DeBoer, because obviously not hiring a "trap" defensive coach turned out to be a huge mistake.

July 20th: In a bizarre unforeseen turn of events, Lou Lamoriello does not fire DeBoer the day after hiring him.

July 28th: The Devils trade Brian Rolston and his humongous contract to the Islanders for Trent Hunter.

August 1st: The Devils waive Colin White...and Trent Hunter.

September 12th: Lou Lamoriello awards a pre-season tryout to Petr Sykora.  When asked by Sykora if he could bring back Jason Arnott, Lou stared at him and said "that's not funny."

October 5th: Zach Parise is named captain of the Devils, in a move that obviously has nothing to do with persuading him to re-sign with the Devils the following summer, because bribery never happens in the NHL, according to a smirking Gary Bettman.

October 8th: Ilya Bryzgalov and the Flyers shut the Devils out on Opening Night.  It appeared as if the Flyers had fixed their goaltending problems.  Then they woke up the next morning...

October 25th: The New Jersey Devils and Los Angeles Kings meet for the second time in two weeks, which is a lot for inter-Conference teams in one season.

December 3rd: A 4-2 loss in Winnipeg drops the Devils to 12-12-1.  Peter DeBoer prepares his unemployment papers.

December 8th: The Devils overcome a 3-0 deficit to beat Ottawa, 5-4.  Seriously, what kind of team blows 3-0 leads??!

December 16th: The Devils retire #27.  The evening becomes slightly awkward when Mike Mottau enters the arena...

January 1st, 2012: The Flyers and Rangers played in the Winter Classic.  After the game, both teams discussed how they would both lose to the Devils in the playoffs.

January 25th: While dozens of NHLers gathered in Ottawa for All-Star weekend, the Devils were re-charging for a playoff run.

April 7th: Stephen Gionta gets called up for the last game of the regular season as a pointless move made to fill a lineup spot for one game.

April 19th: Martin Brodeur broke the playoff shutout record after being pulled the previous game and spending that game looking through record books to see what records he hadn't already broken.

April 21st: The Florida Panthers win their final game of the season.  Coincidentally, this coincided with the team's CEO, Michael Yormark, trolling Devils fans on Twitter.  Hmm...

April 26th: Adam Henrique scores in double-overtime to win the first round series against the Panthers.  He called it the "biggest goal of his life."  Related: this was one of the greatest days of Peter DeBoer's life.

May 3rd: Alexei Ponikarovsky become the first ex-Maple Leaf to score a playoff goal since the lockout.  Or something like that...

May 6th: Claude Giroux made history by becoming the first player to be Shanabanned as a result of an illegal hit to a Devil.

May 8th: The Devils knock out the Flyers.  David Clarkson Ilya Bryzgalov scored the game-winning goal for the Devils.

May 21st: Martin Brodeur picks up his fourth point of the playoffs, which is more points scored than about 75% of players in the 2012 playoffs.

May 25th: Henrique admits he was wrong about that goal on April 26th.  Related: this was one of the greatest days of Martin Brodeur's life.

May 25th: Ilya Kovalchuk takes the lead in playoff scoring, dethroning Claude Giroux, who hadn't played a game in four weeks and pretty much all of his points were scored on Marc-Andre Fleury.

And for the hell of it:

And because it never gets old: