Fan of the Week: Jon Bouchard

Jon (left) with his friends at Game 6 of the 2012 ECF

Jon (left) of South Amboy, NJ, with his friends at Game 6 of the 2012 ECF

Q. When did you go to your first Devils game, what do you remember from it?

A. I think I was 5 or so when I went to my first game. It was Devils/Whalers up at Brendan Byrne. I had just started playing hockey as a goalie, so I remember just watching Sean Burke play. He’s all I really paid attention to. I fell in love with seeing hockey played live at that moment.

Q.  What is your all time favorite Devils moment?
A. Game 7- 2000 Eastern Conference Finals. A bunch of us packed into a small living room and huddled around the TV for the game. I remember having a knot in my stomach that whole game. When Patrick Elias scored my friend jumped up and put his hand into the ceiling and left an imprint. To this date, it’s never been painted over! We went crazy. My brother-in-law is a Flyers fan…so getting to call him after that was a GREAT feeling!

Q. What is the best game you’ve ever attended?
Last year- Game 6 Eastern Conference Finals vs. The Rangers. My friend and I got tickets last minute and bolted to Newark for the game. The Rock was electric and the game was intense. When Adam Henrique scored, I jumped up, lost my beer all over the rows in front of me, and hugged a stranger next to me. I lost my voice that night, didn’t get it back
for over a week.

Highlight: Adam Henrique scores the OT winner in Game 6

Q. Who is your favorite current Devil?
A. Patrik Elias– I love Patty. To me, he’s the perfect little model of the Devils. He’s an incredible player who always flies under the radar, doesn’t get the respect he deserves, but is so consistent and really dangerous. I know he had a rough time when he wore the C, but I think he’s one of the biggest leaders on the team. He’s really humble too, which is always refreshing to see from pro athletes.

Q. Who is your favorite retired Devil?
A. Slava Fetisov. When I was 12 I had a negative run-in with Stephane Richer while trying to get an autograph- basically got pushed out of the way. Slava saw it and came over to me.. signed my jersey and took me outside to show me where all the players came out and where they parked. He sat with us for like 45 minutes. Here’s a guy who’s an international superstar, one of the best in the business.. but he took time to take care of a young fan. Always will love Fetisov. A great guy on and off the ice.

Q.  Who is your most hated player in the NHL?
A. I hate Scott Hartnell. Everything about him annoys me. He’s such a good player but wastes a lot of time being a goon. I really want to shave his head.

Q.  If you could spend a day with a Devils player, who would it be and why?
A. Martin Brodeur. He’s always been a hero of mine and he’s the greatest goalie to play the game. I’d take any opportunity I could to hang out with a living legend and hear some great stories. I read his book “Beyond the Crease”, so I definitely have some questions I’d like to ask.

Brodeur’s Top Ten Saves

Q. What is your favorite element about The Rock?
A. Just the whole experience of going to a game. Back in the Meadowlands there was nothing to do before or after the game, no way for fans to get together. It was in, out, and on with life. Now it’s a whole experience of hanging out in the plaza, at a nearby bar, or in the big concourses. I also love all the fan art and the NJ HS jerseys that are there. It feels like home.

Q. Devils fans are a tight knit bunch. What do you like best about Devils fans?
A. I love going to games and always seeing people I know. It’s great to catch up and chat about the game or the season. But I also love making new friends at each game. Unlike the Flyers and Rangers, I think Devils fans are younger and nicer. We know we’re not the biggest fan base, but we’re really proud of our team and we always stick together.

Q.  When you think Devils hockey, what’s the first thing that comes to mind?
A. Jersey’s Team. We’re stuck between 2 big cities and no teams to call our own… besides the Devils. I think the Devils represent NJ really well. A team that people count out and don’t give the respect they deserve, but they are always in the fight. That’s NJ to me, and that’s the Devils! Let’s Go Devils!

(The picture is me on the left and my friend Frank (in the hat). Most games that I attend, I go with Frank. Most of our friends are Rangers fans, and we’re the two who have stuck with NJ always. We met up with our friends Walt and George up there and took this pic. I believe this was Game 6 vs. the Rangers.)

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