Let's Show Some Love For Kevin Weekes
Tonight marks the first meeting between the Devils and Rangers this season. After years of this series being dominated by New Jersey, the Rangers struck back last year, winning seven of eight. The one they lost was the most crucial one: an overtime loss that clinched home-ice for the Devils against these same Rangers in the playoffs. Not that it mattered; the Rangers' regular season dominance carried over to the playoffs, and they won in five quick games.
As a Devils fan, I sincerely hope the Devils will return balance to the world this year, and once again defeat the Rangers every time they play them. Both teams had active offseasons, and are both undefeated coming in to this game.
With this in mind, I'd like to show some love to a guy who's played for both the Rangers and Devils. No, not the traitor Scott Gomez. I speak of Kevin Weekes, backup goalie for the Devils.
Weekes doesn't get to play much behind Martin Brodeur, despite being brought in as a competent backup so Marty could get some extra rest. In the Devils' last game in Pittsburgh, there was not enough room for all the players on the bench, so Weekes ended up having to sit in the stands with fans, and he actually seemed to enjoy it. The man comes across as a rather affable fellow, which is probably the most necessary attribute for Brodeur's backups. Seeing how they don't play all that much anyway, keeping positive is probably more helpful than actual skill. That said, Weekes is pretty good backup, something Devils fans would be more aware of if Brodeur didn't insist on playing every night.
After once again falling short in the playoffs, coach Brent Sutter might consider playing Weekes more often this year, so Brodeur won't be tired in the postseason. Considering that Weekes is experienced and fairly decent, the Devils can actually afford to rest Marty a bit this year.
Weekes was the first Devil to host his own website, kevinweekes1.com. The site features, among other things, Weekes' bio, photos of his goalie masks (each of which incorporates his current team's logo with the image of a panther, a tribute to the Florida Panthers, the team that drafted him), and a list of heroes. Among his heroes: Derek Jeter. Kevin Weekes is the man.
And so, let's hope the Devils remain undefeated, and show the Rangers that they're the best team in the tri-state area. Weekes will, in all likelihood, be watching from the bench, cheering on Marty and co.
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