New Jersey Devils: Top Moments of the 2016-17 Season

While the season was disappointing, there were a lot of feel-good moments throughout the last several months that we can reminisce and hope we see more of in the future. So, in particular order, here are (some of) my favorite moments of the New Jersey Devils’ 2016-17 season:

  • The Joseph Blandisi/John Quenneville OT winner against the Rangers and Line Brawl Part II: okay, so you knew this had to be on here. It was a great game and could be the revival of a rivalry; the Rangers are a fun team to hate and this game only solidified just how intense the rivalry is going to become down the road. And Quenneville scored his first NHL goal while Blandisi had the game-winner
  • Pretty much any game against the Flyers: again, this one is obvious. Every single Devils/Flyers game this year has been a spectacle, and while New Jersey won the season series, it was a hard-fought one, literally. Miles Wood found his footing in the rivalry pretty quickly, having scored three goals against a team he grew up watching and fighting Wayne Simmonds (twice). All five games have been nothing short of exciting and they were all fun to watch; the Devils/Flyers rivalry is being renewed too
  • Adam Henrique’s OT winner against the Stars: remember when Henrique scored the OT winner and immediately skated to the locker room because he had to use the bathroom? Yeah, that’s on this list for obvious reasons. The pass from Kyle Palmieri was beautiful and the goal was a nice sight to see but it’s also on here because, you know, Adam Henrique
  • Travis Zajac’s natural hat trick against Chicago: so Zajac has had a great season, especially when he started playing with linemates Palmieri and Taylor Hall. Despite the Devils not getting the win, it was nice to see Zajac put up a hat trick
  • Michael Cammalleri’s natural hat trick against Carolina: Cammalleri has not had a great season and didn’t up until this breakout game against the Canes; his three beautiful goals allowed the Devils to prevail in this one
  • The shootout win against the Capitals on the Dads’ trip: enough said. Beating the frontrunners for the Stanley Cup (arguably) on home ice where they’ve been dominant all year? This one is pretty self-explanatory. The Devils were also on their Fathers’ Trip so they gave their dads something to cheer about
  • The Hall/Henrique OT winner against Minnesota: I wish we could see more of Hall and Henrique passing to each other because they do have chemistry from their Junior days but this goal will have to do for now. They passed the puck a few times back and forth, until Henrique sent a nice pass in front of Dubnyk and Hall finished it off
  • Greene’s penalty shot OT winner against Buffalo: the Captain gets it done.
  • The comeback against Toronto and winning in a shootout: the Devils were better at completing comebacks at the beginning of the season when they were able to rebound from 3-0, 4-0 deficits and this game was no exception. They went down 3-0 to the Leafs (with two goals from Auston Matthews) but they were able to stay in it and prevail in the shootout
  • The comeback against Nashville and winning in OT: the Devils were down 4-1 in the third period (on the board because of a really nicely batted goal from Hall) but got goals from Cammalleri, Greene, and Henrique to send the game to overtime, where Cammalleri scored the game-winner
  • The Hall/Zajac OT winner against Vancouver: what a beauty. It was a tight game but Zajac made a really nice back check in OT to send the puck up the ice to Hall, who sent it into the back of the net to win the game. This was a highlight reel goal simply because of Travis Zajac, what a move 
  • Bennett’s game-winning goal against Minnesota, and pretty much that whole game: it was a feel-good win, that’s for sure. Henrique almost had a goal (the puck didn’t completely cross the line) but he made up for it moments later. Palmieri’s game-tying goal was initially called no goal but was overturned. The Devils never once led this game until Beau Bennett scored late in the third period to put New Jersey up 4-3; Bennett’s goal came off a nice diving pass from Blake Coleman
  • Devils’ rookies first goals: we had a lot of firsts this season but nothing is more special than scoring your first goal. Pavel Zacha, Steven Santini, Miles Wood, John Quenneville, and Blake Coleman all had their first NHL goals this season and hopefully many, many more to come. Quenneville’s goal is in the Rangers/Devils recap at the beginning of the post but if you want to watch it again…
  • The Devils rookies in general: honestly, I can’t say enough about them. We’re watching the team’s future and it’s exciting. There isn’t even a specific moment I want to put a video in for but they’re fast and fun to watch
  • And of course, honoring Patrik Elias: the Devils’ all-time leading scorer officially announced his retirement a little over a week ago and this last week of the season found him center ice. He dropped the puck against the Flyers, skated with the team on Friday, and had one last warmup skate on Saturday against the Islanders. It’s been one hell of a ride and I won’t ever forget what he meant to this team, to this organization, and to the fans. It was an honor to watch him play

And I’m sure there are moments that I’ve missed; if you think I forgot a pretty big one, let me know and I’ll add it in! The season itself wasn’t that great but there were moments that were.

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