The 2016-17 New Jersey Devils, the 28th ranked team in the NHL, are limping to the finish line of the season. At this point that is fine, as it means a higher draft pick which is sorely needed after the team has fallen more deeply into this rebuild. Instead of dwelling on that mess, which makes it easy to forget the dominance that this franchise showcased for at least two decades, let’s discuss the one person in the news that brings back all of those positive memories.
It really is sad to see Patrik Elias retire, the last link to those perennial Cup contenders, but it does give us the ability to hark back to the times when it was Devils fans who had the run of the schools and office buildings around here, not the other two locals. Mike had a great article about him yesterday, and the title of his article was about as accurate a title to an article as you will ever see. I do not want to rehash the same feelings in the same format. So instead, I will take a different road. Instead of reading about how awesome he was as a fan, I’ve decided to simply just compile a bunch of videos of him doing amazing things in red and black. For the fans that were around to see him throughout his career, it should hopefully be a great trip back through memory lane; for the newer fans, it can be a great dive into one of the Devils’ all time greats; and for all of us, it can be inspiration that what once was with the New Jersey Devils can perhaps be again one day (soon, please).
Disclaimer: These are far from all of his great plays. Just trying to give a taste.
First, here is a 3+ minute video of different clips of Elias set to some hard rock:
Another highlight reel video:
And a third, because why not:
While not a sexy play to look at, here was his 1000th NHL point:
Here was his 400th goal, a nice snipe:
Another nice snipe in the Stadium Series game:
Here was the filthy spin-o-rama goal against Tampa in 2015:
Devils won this series 4-1 vs Philly, but this was the goal that began to turn that whole series (with the amazing goal song and chants after for all to enjoy):
You can get a good look at his ability to stay with a play and control a puck on this goal here:
Excellent play in game 3 of the ‘03 finals against Anaheim:
Here is his first ever NHL goal, wearing #22!:
Elias becomes the Devils’ all time leading goal scorer:
I know this one is in one of the highlight films above but it’s just so filthy, and a playoff goal:
Yesterday Mike showed the series winning goal against Philly, but here was the first goal of that same game, also by Elias, and arguably just as important:
Him embarrassing the Rangers, always a great look:
When Elias became the leader in points for New Jersey, an assist to Gionta:
Finally, his last goal last season vs. Toronto on last day of season:
Anyway, there’s a bunch of videos in one place for you to remember the greatest winger in Devils history. Hopefully it makes you smile at a time when it’s tough to smile watching the team on live TV. Please, link to some more videos in the comments, because why not? 26 was one heck of a player.