For the past few years, the NHL has been releasing DVD box sets commemorating the greatest games of some of certain teams. So far, the criteria has been original six teams, or teams with a historical dynasty, such as the Oilers and Islanders. Tomorrow, the Calgary Flames are getting their boxset done, and considering they moved to Calgary in 1980, the Devils might be somewhere up on their future teams list. They may wait until the team's 30th anniversary--which will take place during 2011-2012 season--or not, but suppose the Devils' 10 Greatest Games box set were to be released this year...what games would make the cut, and in what order?
Here is my list of 10 games, but please let me know if I have missed any or if any don't belong on here.
10. Scott Stevens' #4 Retired (February 3, 2006) - After retiring the first number in franchise history, that of former captain Scott Stevens, the Devils kept the energy going on the ice, completing the night with a 3-0 shutout of the Carolina Hurricanes. (Ceremony included.)
9. Martin Brodeur Scores A Goal (April 17, 1997) - With a two goal lead on the Montreal Canadiens in the first game of the 1997 playoffs, Martin Brodeur becomes just the second goalie in NHL history to record a goal in the playoffs, his first of two career goals scored.
8. The Streak (April 18, 2006) - The Devils end the 2006 regular season on an 11-game winning streak by defeating the Montreal Canadiens, 4-3. The streak marks the longest season-ending stretch in NHL history and the victory gave New Jersey the Atlantic Division championship, after trailing in the standings by 19 points on January 6. The Devils would keep the momentum rolling into the playoffs with a first-round sweep of the Rangers.
7. 2003 Eastern Conference Finals, Game 7 (May 23, 2003) - Jeff Friesen scores the series-clinching goal at 17:46 of the third period at Ottawa to defeat the Senators, 3-2, in game seven of the Eastern Conference Finals.
6. Devils Clinch First Ever Playoff Berth (April 3, 1988) - On the eve of the last night of the 1998 regular season, the Devils needed two points to clinch their first playoff spot in franchise history. After tying the game late, John MacLean also scored the game-winning goal in overtime as the Devils defeated the Blackhawks 4-3. They would not waste their first taste of the playoffs, as the Devils would go all the way to Game 7 of the Conference Finals before falling to Boston.
5. The Comeback (May 26, 2000) - Patrik Elias scores the game winning goal as the Devils become the first team in Conference Finals' history to erase a three-games-to-one deficit by beating the Flyers, 2-1, in game seven.
4. 2000 Stanley Cup Finals, Game 6 (June 10, 2000) - After coming back from a 3-games-to-1 deficit against Philadelphia in the Conference Finals, the Devils returned to the Stanley Cup Finals against the defending champion Dallas Stars. After Petr Sykora--one third of the Devils' electric 'A' line--was knocked out of the game, his line-mates came through, as Patrik Elias fed a Jason Arnott goal in double overtime to clinch the 2000 Stanley Cup for New Jersey.
3. 2003 Stanley Cup Finals, Game 7 (June 9, 2003) - The Devils, now perennial Cup contenders, rebounded from a disappointing first round loss in 2002 to reach their 4th Finals appearance against the Cinderella-story Mighty Ducks and hotshot goalie J. S. Giguere. In a series where the home team won every game, rookie Mike Rupp scored the game-winning goal and the Devils put the finishing touches on their third Stanley Cup in nine seasons with a 3-0 shutout victory.
2. Martin Brodeur's 552nd Win / Patrik Elias' 702nd Point (March 17, 2009) - In the first truly historical moment to take place at Prudential Center, Devils fans would have been satisfied to witness one record fall. Instead, they were treated to two: First, Patrik Elias scored his 702nd point to pass John MacLean as the franchise's all-time leading scorer. The Devils would then celebrate St. Marty's Day by beating Chicago, giving Martin Brodeur his 552nd career win, passing Patrick Roy and setting a new NHL record.
1. 1995 Stanley Cup Finals, Game 4 (June 24, 1995) - This needs no explanation (but here's one anyway). The underdog Devils defied the odds by riding reigning rookie of the year Martin Brodeur to their first Finals appearance, and clinch the first Stanley Cup in franchise history on home ice by completing a sweep of the heavily favored Red Wings.