Has it really been 16 years? At 11:09 PM on June 24, 1995, Mike Emrick said those magic words: "The championship to New Jersey! The Devils have won the Stanley Cup!"
Hard to believe it's been that long. Two more Cups have been added, but the first one is always the most special.
The NHL schedule was released yesterday, and, just as I (sort of) predicted, the Devils will have their first game against a nearby rival -- and, in fact, their first game period -- in the 2011-12 season on Saturday night, October 8. It'll be at home at the Prudential Center, against the Philadelphia Flyers.
The Devils get their first 3 games at home: Following the opener, they face the Carolina Hurricanes on a Monday and the Los Angeles Kings on a Thursday, before their first road game, the following Saturday night, at the Nashville Predators.
The Devils will visit the Flyers at the -- what's the arena's name this season? oh yeah, the Wells Fargo Center, on Thursday night, November 3. The first game against the New York Islanders will be a day-after-Thanksgiving matinee, on Friday, November 25, a 1:00 start at the Nassau Coliseum. And the first game against The Scum won't happen until Tuesday night, December 20, at home.
The regular-season finale will be on Saturday afternoon, April 7, at 3:00, home to the Ottawa Senators.
Hopefully, this season will end with a Playoff berth, like every season but one from 1990 to 2010 did, until last season.