I don't know much about New Year's resolutions, but I do know that they generally closely resemble something that you have continually told yourself over the course of the year prior. If that's the only criteria then I think my resolution was just made for me, and that resolution is to stop doubting the New Jersey Devils. Well, I guess it could use some tweaking, because the Devils have given their fans every reason to doubt them in games against subpar competition, but when the opposition is at it's most formidable the Devils have been at their most resilient. Given the up and down nature of the last month and half, and the fact that the team was coming off two straight victories, I wasn't exactly optimistic about tonight's game. That was only accentuated when Mike Cammalleri, the leading scorer on a team that is in dire need of every one of them, was ruled out just prior to game time. There was not a single thing that seemed to be working in the Devils favor before this game started, and that's probably when I should have known it was going to be a good night.
Once again, this team jumped out to the unlikeliest of leads, and I do mean unlikely. Nothing more unexpected than Bobby Farnham sniping Antti Niemi and somehow solidifying his role as the most prolific (I can't believe I just used that word to describe Bobby Farnham) scorer in the bottom six. Sure, the Stars jumped all over a vulnerable Devils team in the third period, tied it up, and turned the final minutes of regulation into an ass-clencher of the highest order, but that was to be expected. Let's be honest, as nice as the two goal lead was, Devils fans felt fortunate getting one point as they headed into overtime against arguably the most talented team in the league. I'd be lying if I said that seed of doubt didn't start to sprout again. Saying my expectations were tempered would be the understatement of this young new year. I had all but seceded the extra point before that puck dropped on the extra period, and the Devils did what they have done all season...
Of course they made me look like an idiot. Of course they won in overtime. Of course John Moore scored. Of course they overcame the insurmountable. Why wouldn't they? That's just what this team does. That's just who they are. An inexplicable, irrepressible group of overachievers whose success I can't possibly begin to understand. Skipping ahead on the schedule I was worried about what, to the naked eye, had the look of a goddamn murderer's row of opponents the next two weeks, but I can't waver now, not with my newly minted resolution. Bring on all the Detroit's, Montreal's, and St Louis's, that's when this team does it's best work.
P.S. Totally stealing John Moore's pre-clapper stick tap...