This day in New Jersey history: the Devils’ first Stanley Cup
It was on June 24, 1995 that the New Jersey Devils won the first of their three Stanley Cup championship, defeating the mighty Detroit Red Wings four games to none.
The ’94-’95 regular season wasn’t that outstanding for the Devils; in the lockout-shortened season they finished fifth overall in the conference and second in the division (to the Philadelphia Flyers). As a result, the Devils didn’t have home ice advantage in any round of the playoffs, but that didn’t seem to bother them as they defeated the Boston Bruins and Pittsburgh Penguins before facing Philadelphia in the conference finals. New Jersey won that series, too, taking all three games in Philly en route to a 4 games to 2 victory.
In the Stanley Cup finals, the Devils faced the #1 seed in the Western Conference, the Detroit Red Wings who hadn’t lost a game at home in the playoffs up to that point. Again, the road didn’t seem to bother the Devils took the first two games in Detroit.
The series shifted to the Devils’ home ice at the Brendan Byrne Arena and the Devils stayed hot, routing the heavily favored Red Wings 5-2. Game four was also on home ice, and the Devils cruised again, breaking open a close game in the third period to win 5-2, to win their first Stanley Cup in their 21 year existence. At the time, New Jersey was the lowest seed to ever win the Cup. The Devils have been in the Stanley Cup Finals four times since, winning two (’99-’00 and ’02-’03).
The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Doyle. Any opinions expressed are Bill Doyle's own.