While I couldn’t watch most of last night’s latest disaster, getting the first update of 2-0 in the first period then all the subsequent updates after that – Rangers score with seconds remaining in the first, then come back to win 4-3 with Mika Zibanejad (sidenote: I’m surprised I got the spelling right the first time before looking lol) getting a hat trick was annoying enough. Seeing the blurb on the MSG postgame that Zibanejad’s hat trick was the first in NJ by a Ranger player since THE GUARANTEE was just icing on top of another crap cake.
I’m sure Derek’s done the recap of the game itself, maybe I’ll get around to watching the condensed game clip later during an unexpected off day. Then again why waste the nine minutes? For all I paid attention to this game I actually thought this ended in OT and not in regulation. Just as well since it’s one less useless point now that this season’s all about lotto balls and the trade deadline. With the state of this team while the Islanders and the Rangers have rebuilt in warp speed – could things be any worse for a Devils fan right now? I suppose we haven’t gotten into New York Knick territory just yet but we could very well this offseason.
Since I’m not going to talk about the game now it’s time to vent about season tickets, of which we did get our notices the other day about the 2019-20 membership details. As I bitterly predicted weeks ago, this franchise’s sales department is totally tone deaf. A 10% ticket increase after one of the most dissapointing seasons in recent memory with the team now having missed the playoffs seven of eight years with very little in the way of perks is shameful. Missing the playoffs is such a fait accompli this year they didn’t even bother to give opt-in privildges for the postseason. The crappy rewards program which gives you a certain amount of points for stuff like club seats, souvenirs and other PruCenter events was already a bit weak and now it’s only an optional perk, of which most of those choices are lame as well. Of course no food and beverage credit again which was at least a nice perk while it lasted.
Pretty much the only good thing about the season tickets compared to getting single-game tickets on the secondary market at this point is a player event or two and the eight-game buyback option that allows you to roll credit from games for this season you’re not using towards next season’s tickets. Which more or less took my $38 seats next season down to $32 for the games I’m using them on the next few weeks of this season, but really it’s embarassing the prices are that high to begin with since the last time tickets in the 100’s were in the high 30’s it was a ghost town – hence the Nordique fan invasion at the end of 2011 where blue filled up almost the entire 100’s behind the defending net among other areas and the slashing of those seats to $22 and $27 the next year, of which I had one of the $22’s. Of course they’ve been steadily jumping back up since.
As much as I like my seat and going to Devils games literally the buyback was the only thing that kept me from of opting out of season tickets next year. Why? Simple, there’s a ton of useless games over the next several weeks I’ll never be able to sell so rather than get $10 cash at most for any of them and/or probably go to a bunch of games I don’t want to, I might as well get $30-40 credit and defray the cost of next year’s season tickets so it doesn’t seem quite as onerous. I would rather take my chances on next year the season not being over by the end of December, and actually having games I want to go to. As it stands I’m only going to about 7 or 8 the rest of the season which seems high until you realize there’s still 17 home games left. Two of them I’m going to with a friend, a couple of them including the home finale against the Rangers I’ll probably wind up selling as well.
Maybe part of me is foolish for thinking this team can possibly turn things around next year but really at this point they have little choice. It’s either sign Taylor Hall, Sami Vatanen and go all-in on winning now, or trade both in the offseason and start yet another 3-4 year rebuild that isn’t exactly guaranteed to work any more than the first one did considering we have one maybe future goalie, very little defense and not enough top six forwards to play the John Hynes system of man-to-man all-out attack with no thought given to defense anyway. What a life. Things have been stressful enough lately personally, at least I can block out the Devil fan stress for the moment.