The “Devils Fans’ Worst Nightmare” Drinking Game
As a Devils fan, I approach these Stanley Cup finals with less enthusiasm than I would bring to a colonoscopy. The best case scenario here is a sweep by the Kings, so we could dispense with this torment as quickly as possible. The worst case scenario is Henrik Lundqvist skating the Cup, which would signal the end of life as I know it.
Why? Because life as I know it involves taunting young Rangers fans about the fact that their team hasn’t won a title in their lifetime. Because my calendar says the Rangers aren’t due to win again until 2048. Because the Devils win Cups and the Rangers don’t, and it’s been that way since 1995.
If you don’t know what happened right before 1995, you’re about to find out in excruciating detail. I’ve spent 20 years refusing to dwell on it, instead skipping forward one season whenever my memory threatens to light on 1994. I’m not going to talk about it. I don’t need to. Everyone else will do that for me.
And we’re not just going to hear about the most painful chapter in Devils history; we’re also going to hear plenty about 2012, which didn’t exactly end with a lot of beaming grins in New Jersey, either. We get to see our most hated rivals compete against the last team to break our collective heart, and the winner will claim a prize we’ve thirsted to reclaim since 2003.
That might not seem like a long drought to most, but remember that in the 10 years before the salary cap era began, the Devils were the dominant team in the Eastern Conference and a Cup contender every year. We won it three times out of four finals appearances, and only Detroit got to parade it through their streets more times than we saw it gleaming on a temporary stage erected in our arena parking lot.
I miss those days. I miss them so much. And I loathe this day with all the seething hate in my heart.
I’m not much of a drinker, but if ever an event cried out for a drinking game it’s this horror show of a Stanley Cup final. If you’re a Devils fan looking to drown your sorrows, or just someone who enjoys the sound of your liver shrieking, feel free to play along. Here’s what to do whilst watching the broadcast:
Take a drink whenever …
…anyone mentions the 1994 New York Rangers.
…anyone mentions the 2012 Los Angeles Kings.
…anyone mentions the 1994 or 2012 New Jersey Devils.
Take two drinks whenever…
…the network shows Mark Messier’s face.
…anyone namechecks Martin Brodeur.
…the network runs a clip from any game in which the Devils are the losing team.
Do a shot whenever…
…anyone mentions Stephane Matteau (it’s still only one shot if they say “Matteau Matteau Matteau” – nobody needs to die for this).
…there’s a reference to Messier’s “guarantee.”
…anyone namechecks Zach Parise and/or Ilya Kovalchuk.
…anyone namechecks Wayne Gretzky.
…there’s a reference to the New York/Los Angeles rivalry.
Do two shots whenever…
…anyone references any NHL lockout.
…anyone mentions the Hudson River.
…the network shows a close-up of the Rangers’ or Kings’ Stanley Cup engravings.
Finish the bottle whenever…
…anyone namechecks Steve Bernier.
Then just pass out in a pool of your own vomit. It will be more fun than watching the rest of the game, anyway.
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