Blues vs. Bruins: The Ultimate Victory Song Matchup

May 24, 2019 - Devils Army Blog - View Full Article

Play Gloria!

After the St. Louis Blues punched their ticket to the Stanley Cup Final, Blues fans across the country were all thinking one thing: “Play Gloria!” The song “Gloria” by Laura Branigan became their victory song the day after a night out in Philadelphia, and it has since caught on, especially with the late season success of the Blues.

From CBS Sports: Why ‘Gloria’ by Laura Branigan has become the Blues’ goal song and so much more for its fans this postseason

Now that they’ve made it to the Stanley Cup, the song has obviously grown more popular, with one St. Louis radio station running the song for 24 hours after the Blues defeated the Sharks.

The Bruins’ Victory Tune

What the Blues don’t know, is that they’re running into a team with another heavyweight win song. The Boston Bruins have been playing the song “Dirty Water” by the Standells since 1995. I noticed this while watching the Bruins’ Game 1 win over the Blue Jackets when the song erupted in TD Garden after Charlie Coyle’s overtime goal.

Made in 1965, this song became a Boston classic, especially with the recent success of the Boston Red Sox, who also use it as their victory celebration.

This got me to thinking, as a New Jersey Devils fan, why don’t we have a something like “Gloria” or “Dirty Water?” Surely the team has one that they blast in the locker room after games, but shouldn’t there be one for fans alike? Chicago Blackhawks fans will tell you being able to sing “Chelsea Dagger” by The Fratellis after wins is one of the best parts of being a fan.

How to Pick a Victory Song

When picking a victory song, it seems the key for it to catch on is fans being able to yell the chorus. When the Devils made their cup run in 2012, their win song was Gary Glitter’s “Rock and Roll Part II,” and it was electric. Because when New Jersey scored, and you heard that guitar, you knew it was appropriate to yell “Hey, You Suck!” The same as chanting “Gloria” for Blues fans or “Boston, you’re my home” for Bruins fans. Devils’ fans didn’t pretend to be the class of the NHL, refraining from yelling “You Suck” at a hockey game. But, if you’ve ever googled Gary Glitter, you know why things have since changed. Now the Devils’ use “Howl” by Gaslight Anthem, which sounds like a song that only profited off of being in the NHL 10 video game soundtrack. Still, if the Devils want a new victory song, it can’t be forced onto New Jersey fans. This is something that has to happen organically for everyone to jump on board like it did with “Gloria.” So I’ll open it up to the fans… What do you think the Devils’ victory song should be?

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New Jersey Devils Trade Series: San Jose Sharks

May 23, 2019 - Devils Army Blog - View Full Article

The offseason may have just begun for the San Jose Sharks, but it’s never too early to start thinking of some trades the New Jersey Devils can make. Fresh off their Western Conference finals loss to the St. Louis Blues, San Jose is going to find itself asking what it can do to get themselves ready for the 2019-20 NHL season. For today’s DAB Trade series, we take a look at our Bay Area counterparts, the San Jose Sharks.

Despite their playoff loss, the Sharks are in a good, but yet interesting position. They have their aging veterans such as franchise legend Jumbo Joe Thornton, their unrestricted free agent superstar defenseman Erik Karlsson, but they also have their solid young(er) core of Evander Kane, Timo Meier, and Logan Couture. Not to mention that Martin Jones showed that once he’s on his game, there’s little to no stopping him after an off year this past season. Point is, sharks may not be in the mood for drastic changes, but some players that the Devils should be interested in may be available.

Kevin Labanc

Labanc is the Sharks third-line right wing, and he’d be the perfect player for the rebuilding Devils. The 23-year-old has shown steady increases in point production since first breaking into the NHL in the 2016-17 season. His 2018-19 totals came in at 17 goals and 39 assists for 56 points while playing in every one of the Sharks 82 regular season games. In the playoffs, he added four goals and five assists in 20 postseason games. He plays the role of a bottom-six forward on the Sharks but could easily be playing second line minutes on the Devils with his skill.

Labanc would give an immediate boost to the Devils’ power play that struggled most of this past season. 20 of his 56 points came on the man advantage with San Jose, which was ranked sixth overall this past season in the NHL. Labanc’s shooting percentage also took a dramatic leap from 7.2% to 13.1% this past season, nearly doubling. All signs point for things only to get better for him. Plus, he grew up playing on the New Jersey Devils junior hockey team, so a reunion between the two might be Kyle Palmieri-esque.

Here’s the catch, Labanc isn’t signed for next season. He’s a restricted free agent coming off of his entry-level deal, meaning that if the Devils make a trade before San Jose signs him, it would only be for the rights to negotiate a new contract. With all signs pointing to the Devils and Labanc being a good fit, they could secure his right for the cheap price of a third or fourth-round draft pick and then sign him to a deal post-trade. Obviously, San Jose would love to keep a player of his caliber, but the Sharks have a lot of difficult decisions to make in terms of signings this offseason. Gustav Nyquist, acquired via trade from the Detroit Red Wings, and bottom-six forward Joonas Donskoi are both UFAs the Sharks would like to hold onto. Meanwhile, Erik Karlsson is a UFA, and if the Sharks want to make a serious push at re-signing him, the cap space they save in moving Labanc could be extremely valuable. Besides, Labanc is sure to want a pay increase, and that price might be too high for the Sharks to justify.

Justin Braun

The Devils need a large, right-handed defenseman. In every article I’ve written for the trade series, I’ve tried to find one player from each team who fits that bill because it’s an obvious need for this Devils’ team. From the Sharks, the best player to choose would be Justin Braun.

The Sharks are a team of immense defensive talent, and as much as we’d all love to see a nearly point-per-game defenseman like Brent Burns come to New Jersey, the asking price would be way too high. Justin Braun’s 16 points in 78 games may pale in comparison, but those numbers aren’t necessarily bad for a stay at home defenseman. He might not have the flashy scoring touch of Karlsson or Burns, but he would be an outstanding addition to the Devils’ struggling blue line.

The Devils have to be cautious, for their experience in trading for defense man from San Jose isn’t exactly stellar with Mirco Mueller. Plus, Braun may be younger than Andy Greene, but he’s still on the wrong side of 30 (31 to be exact). Without a doubt, he’s still got a solid few years left in him, but his shelf life as a productive defenseman will start to trickle down after five years max. How willing are the Sharks deal Braun all depends on how much they want to keep Karlsson. The more they want Karlsson, the cheaper and easier Braun will be to move.

The Case For Erik Karlsson

Like was said earlier in this article, star defenseman Erik Karlsson is a pending unrestricted free agent. Up until July 1st, the Sharks can trade his rights to another team for a small price to have the first chance at signing him. If no deal is done before July 1st, that team, more or less, traded for nothing.

Erik Karlsson would be an outstanding addition to the Devils’ defense and would be their first true defensive superstar since Scott Neidermayer, who played a very similar game. But with no guaranteed contract, trading for Karlsson would be incredibly risky. For one, there’s no guarantee he signs or wants to stay in Jersey. Even if the Devils trade for his rights, he could just stay put and go somewhere else July 1st, rendering the trade a waste.

The Devils should definitely pursue Karlsson in free agency, but wait until you can sign him without compensation to San Jose. Sure, there will be competition, but at least if they miss out, it won’t cost anything. Ray Shero could just move onto the next one.

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