The 46th in our 118-part series.
No, Senators fans, we don’t mean your team’s Shanahan-mocked post-game workout. No, what we love today about hockey is those hard-working, grinding, earn-every-inch-of-the-offensive-zone, wear-down-the-D shifts that bring the crowd to their feet just for the effort the forwards are exerting. We think of the heady days of the A Line, pretty much the last time the Devils did anything even vaguely resembling cycling, and sigh with contentment. Obviously every goal is a good goal, but what fan doesn’t feel a special fondness for those goals their team hard-hatted its way to? These days the Devils are a reaction team — they’re just not that into the concept of puck possession, so on the very, very rare occasions when they actually work with the puck, fighting hard for the real estate along the boards, and demonstrating at least an interest in scoring, it seems like time well spent. And don’t get us wrong — we love our passive, defensive-minded boys, but we love them that much more when they’re cycling.