Wednesday, January 31, 2007

New Jersey

New Jersey

We realized after we settled in our hotel that we should have driven over to to New Jersey after the Islanders afternoon game. Oh well, live and learn. It was our first time that we had back to back games. It is easy to get around in the environ of the "New York" teams since they are so close geographically. The Islanders were a great help (thanks Justina) in getting us directions to a hotel close by. We headed over to New Jersey by the many highways and biways and found the Continental Airlines Arena with no problems. Graham was going to be present at the game day skate in the morning, so we managed to get their early. The New York highways are marked so clearly and we both thought it was very easy to navigate. Mind you, we never hit any major traffic jams, which I'm sure happen, but all in all it was much easier to get around in New York City and the surrounding area than it was in Los Angeles. The grid system for the streets in New York City also make it very simple to get around. We were right near the Lincoln Tunnel, so we crossed back to New York, hoping to find the Amsterdam Whitney Gallery. We weren't able to go there on Sunday or Monday because it was closed. It was an exciting trip for me to the art gallery. One of my neighbours in Elmira, Linda Brubacher is quite an artist and she had painted a couple of canvases this summer to put in this particular art gallery. The fun part for me was that two of her four paintings at the gallery were of the gardens at the front and side of my house. The area between my house and the McGovern's house next door is one huge garden. It has a gate at the front to walk through and Drew (my neighbour) designed and made the flagstone path which leads to both our backyards. It is a beautiful calming spot for me and a piece of work that is dedicated to Dan. Dan used to work for Doug Mooder who has a local landscaping company and he and I always had a project planned for every summer when he would get home from hockey. Every part of my garden is very near and dear to my heart because Dan helped plan a lot of it. I am also so lucky to have wonderful neighbours that have been such a big help in the yard. Anyway, I got to see Linda's paintings and it was kind of neat to see such a familiar scene hanging in an art gallery in New York City. After a stop for some lunch, we headed back to New Jersey. We travelled a bit in a southerly direction and went to see the Statue of Liberty. There is a state park along the waterfront where you can view the statue out on its little island in the river. You only get a view from the back, but that was OK with me. It is quite an amazing sight whether you see it from the front or back. Maybe another time on a visit to NYC we can take a harbour cruise of the lower Manhattan area. It was a very windy, bitterly cold day so we didn't linger long. Nearby within view was Ellis Island where immigrants were processed years ago when they entered the US by boat. We put in a bit of time at a local internet cafe and then went over to the rink. The only thing I didn't like about the Contintental Airlines Arena was the parking situation. The arena is directly across the highway from Giants Stadium. When you drive to the arena, you get directed back to the other side of the highway to park at the Giant's parking lot. Then you walk a long, long way to get back across to the arena. Through the parking lot, over the highway through a covered walkway, down a large ramp, and then over to the arena entrance. It was a good mile walk. And cold to boot. The walk back was even more interesting. Because we stayed after the game to meet Martin Brodeur and Patrick Elias to sign our posters, we ended up walking back to the parking lot alone. It was kind of eerie. For me anyway. New Jersey was solid the whole game and came out at the end with a 1-0 victory over the New York Rangers. There was a lot of taunting back and forth between the fans and there were just as many Ranger jerseys in the stands as Devil's jerseys. The fans were loud and had a great time with their numerous funny chants. It was another shut out for Martin Brodeur. We were able to meet with him after the game and he signed our poster. We also received an autographed Brodeur jersey. Patrick Elias also came out and spoke with us briefly and signed out captain's poster. The posters are filling up with signatures and are starting to look great. We will be getting them framed at the end of our travels and they will be part of an online auction, along with the jerseys that we have graciously received from so many of the teams we have visited. It is hard to believe, but this is the end of our New York area stops. This is stop number 22. Eight more stops to make and our record stands at 14 and 8 for home team wins while we're there.

Graham's Game Report

Jan 16, 2007
Continental Airlines Arena
New York Rangers vs. New Jersey Devils

The New Jersey Devils have been producing a familiar theme lately as they methodically work their way towards the top of the Eastern Conference. Score a goal or two and let team defence and goaltending take over. Tonight was textbook as Brad Lukowich scored an unassisted goal halfway through the first period and Brodeur and company gave the Rangers little chance for recovery. The Devils took no penalties in the game and on the few quality chances the Rangers did have Brodeur was more than equal to the task. The 1-0 final score was a testament to the effectiveness of a rigidly disciplined team effort. It is very seldom pretty to watch but it's sure hard to beat. Look for New Jersey to be very tough to crack come playoff time if they can consistently produce this type of game.

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