You may remember, Gentle Reader, that we took an almost half star-crossed trip to The Rawk in December as a Christmas gift for Boomer. We had such a great time at that game that we immediately decided to get tickets to the next Saturday home game that fit our very busy schedules. That game turned out to be yesterday’s historic 1-0 loss to the Blues. Why was it historic, you wonder? Well, because Chuck the Duck was making his first trip to Newark for it.
Chuck wishes all the interlopers would just get out of his seats already so he can watch skatearound.
We did not have nearly the drama getting to the arena this time that we did last time, but the fact remains that no matter whose directions you follow — the Devils website’s or Google Maps’s — there is still a major disconnect between what the instructions say and what the signage on the actual roads says. GPS people, get your shit in order, okay? Quit it with the using street names when the signs all have route numbers and route numbers when the signs all have street names.
Anyway, we arrived at the arena armed with Chuck, tickets for our second-row seats (!!!), and one of our small camera lenses outfitted with a star filter. The combined awesomeness of those three things would more than compensate for the sucky final outcome of the game.
A star filter is one of the funnest toys on earth. And the Devils’ Stanley Cup banners are one of the prettiest things on earth. Together, they make beautiful flower.
We are fairly confident we’ve talked up the intoxicating deliciousness of the Fire Lounge chicken fingers, right?
Chuck tells us that ducks are not so closely related to chickens that they have ethical issues with eating chicken fingers.
Boomer remarked at one point during the game, while thinking of how we used to have season tickets at the old arena, that she thinks this is a fair tradeoff — seeing fewer games, “but more palatially”. (Seriously, the club seats are so nice. They have HDTVs in the bathrooms, so you don’t miss any action, even during skatearound!)
The highlight of the game (for people who aren’t Blues fans) was the Janssen/Leblond fight. This is how it played out for us:
Oh. Look. A staged fight. Yawn.
Let’s take a bunch of pictures of Chuck watching the fight!
Good grief — they’re still fighting???
Well, while that’s going on, let’s take a while trying to get a picture of Chuck with the Devils bench in the background, as they all watch the fight.
Holy flirking schnitt! That fight just will. not. end!!!
Chuck is no big fan of the fights, either, but even he can’t believe what he just saw. That fight was RIDONK.
The game had a crisp pace, but it never really seemed like the Devils were going to score. This is when Chuck developed his drinking problem.
We took over 290 pictures during this outing, and only one of the action hockey shots was any good.
Pookie loves the wonky angles.
Now, we had season tickets in the fourth row at CAA for four years, but there is a world of difference between fourth-row seats and second-row seats. We’ve had first-row seats a few times in the past, as well, but those were always behind the Devils bench out in Arizona. The experience of watching the game as closely as we did this time was just awesome. The size of the players! The speed! And yowza — the hitting!!
This picture was taken mere moments before Brian Rolston was smushed into the glass right in front of us. There is no shot of the actual hit, because we were so busy cringing and recoiling.
It’s like they were being hit directly — and thunderously loudly — into our laps.
Rolston’s stick left a ghostly condensation outline on the glass after that hit. We took a lot of pictures of it.
And when there wasn’t massive hitting going on in front of us, the star filter gave us a reason to have a mini jumbotron photo challenge.
Pookie liked her shot of the Godzilla leading a rhythmic clap-along best.
Schnookie liked her shot of the flashing red spotlight best.
And while he might not have gotten to see a Devils win, Chuck did get to make new friends. The woman behind us had a Flat Stanley on hand, and wanted to get a shot of them together. Chuck was flattered.
After posing, Chuck and Stanley exchanged BFF lockets. And Zach warned them that BFF lockets are non-binding.
Our one regret during the action was that Rolston spent several TV timeouts skating back and forth across the ice directly in front of us. And when you’re sitting in the second row, you better believe you make eye contact often with the players. But we didn’t even think until it was too late that we should wink at Rolston. Once we decided we were going to do that the next time he skated his back-and-forth in front of us, he never came back. Oh, regrets.
After the game — and the booing the power play, Zach — was over, we headed up into the Fire Lounge to see if we could get Chuck some ink. He’s a tattoo-wearing kind of duck, and we knew just the person to take care of it. Unfortunately, Doc was in Boston for the NBC game, but Gel-O was on hand, and proudly informed us that this was the first time he’d ever signed a duck. (We’ll have more on Chuck’s body art tomorrow.)
Chuck, you don’t need to check the train schedule; we’re driving home.
All in all, it was a brilliant evening. The moral of the story is that it really doesn’t matter what happens in a hockey game when you’re sitting in the second row.