Even I will admit that the title of this post is a little misleading. Obviously the nod has to go to God for constructing the world in seven days, but Ray Shero and Co. transforming the state of the New Jersey Devils in only 4 games is pretty goddamn (no pun intended) impressive. There are people that take months, and even years, to flip houses, meanwhile John Hynes just flipped the fortunes of an entire sports franchise in like 10 days. The oft-mentioned rebuild that many thought the Devils were set to undergo for the next few years is already complete. In real estate terms the sign has been nailed down in the front yard. Fly the balloons and schedule the open house bitches, this team is back. This team is special. Now, obviously those are relative terms, considering I don't expect the Devils to be skating Lord Stanley's Cup around the ice this summer, but one thing this team definitely isn't is bad. Rebuilds are how bad hockey teams justify long periods of ineptitude. If the Devils have proven anything this year it's that they aren't a bad hockey team. Shit, 10-3 after starting of 0-3-1? I would go as far as saying that to this point "good" might not even do them justice. Does that mean they can't turn around and lose 10 straight and make me look like an asshole? Of course not. However, nothing to this point, other than an undying sense of pessimism amongst the fanbase, shows me that is going to come to fruition. This team is gritty, persistent, and whats's that other word I am looking for? Oh yeah, RELENTLESS. They win games they should. They win games they shouldn't. They even win the symbolic, "too good to be true" games.
Come on. A 4-0 shutout of the Pittsburgh Penguins? Ray Shero, John Hynes, and Bobby Farnham reigning victorious over the organization that, at one point or another, sent them packing. You could masturbate to a picture that perfect. Is this real life? It's starting to feel like that time I woke up hungover and drooling on my couch when I was balls deep in Jessica Alba just seconds prior. I can't take that type of heartbreak again. Did someone drug me? I don't even think I can sleep long enough to dream up the euphoria that the last 13 games have brought me.
The Devils dominated a Penguins team that by every measure offensively is a far more talented team. Cory Schneider posted his first shutout of the season and honestly with how great he has been playing it seems almost criminal that it took this long. Mike Cammalleri had a wide open net and decided to slide it five hole in what has to be cockiest move a player wearing red and black has made since some backstabbing Russian got homesick. Bobby Farnham scored a goal that defied geometry and now has any many goals this season as SIDNEY FUCKING CROSBY. The Devils missed multi-breakways and still scored FOUR goals. Think about the team you have watched over the last two years and let that sink in. Who are these guys? Where did they come from. The world may never know, but one thing is for certain, they are NOT in need of a drastic renovation.
Who did it better?
Call it recency bias or pro-American prejudice, but I am taking Bobby "Wild Thing" Farnham.