By Sam Della Fera
May 25, 2012, was one of the best days of my young life. That was in part due to the fact that 13-year-old me had just attended her first One Direction concert, and my mind was subsequently blown. Yet mostly, it was because of what happened immediately after the concert.
My friend and I clamored breathlessly into the car, eyes still glossy with wonder, and were met by the shrieks and yelps of our parents.
“We’re going to the Stanley Cup! We’re going to the Stanley Cup!”
You see, at the same time that I was dancing my heart out to the iconic riffs of “What Makes You Beautiful,” the New Jersey Devils were playing the New York Rangers, their bitter rivals, in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Semifinals. The game had gone into overtime, and the moment that I stepped into the car, Devils center Adam Henrique scored the game-winning goal, sending our team to the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time since 2003.
The Devils have not made it to the playoffs since that 2012 Stanley Cup run. Coaching changes, losses of star players and the resignation of their longtime general manager have led to a rebuilding era that hasn’t quite gained its footing yet. And while in this age of hockey it can be easy to get frustrated and trade in your home team’s colors for the likes of a Penguins or Blackhawks jersey, any team that can make a tween girl forget about One Direction has got to be something special. Boy bands break up, but hockey teams are (mostly) forever, and I plan on supporting this team for at least that long.