I remember it like yesterday.
Normally for a SportsChannel Devils telecast I'd be picked up by an intern and driven to the Meadowlands. In this case the intern was Dave Katz who, by the way, I still see and we reminisce about the event.
Katz was very dependable so I had no doubt that morning that he'd be coming. That is, until I heard the weather report and saw the blizzard-to-be begin. But since I had not heard from Katz, I presumed that he'd be coming at the usual 3 p.m. departure time from my apartment on 110th St. and Broadway in Manhattan.
Shortly after Noon, I could see that this would not be a temporary snowstorm and I began to wonder whether Dave would make it from his Brooklyn home. I will say this; he sure tried. But at 3 p.m. my phone rang and it was, as I feared, Katz.
"I can't make it," he said. "Roads here are virtually impassable."
Plan B was the only one left: I told my wife, Shirley, who normally would drive to the game later in the day, that I was going to gamble on driving myself. She wished me luck and I walked down to my trusty little -- and it was little -- Honda Civic Wagon and proceeded to pray and drive.
Right off the bat I knew there would be problems as I headed north on Broadway to 125th Street. But I made it to 125th, then left and over to the incline to the West Side Drive, heading north to the George Washington Bridge. Getting up the incline to the elevated highway was touch-and-go and traffic on the highway was even worse, but somehow I got to the GWB entrance and wisely took the lower roadway which, of course, was shielded.
Once back in Snowland -- alias New Jersey -- I wondered if the plows had managed to leave any Turnpike lanes clear and, sure enough, there was just enough room to slither in and around the marooned vehicles and continue onward.
So far, so good with the Honda, but now it was getting darker and the snow was piling higher and the roadway was scarier with snow. The car managed to bob and weave its way until, alas, I actually was able to make it all the way to the service road that led to the arena parking lot and even got as far as a reasonable place to put the Honda near an entrance.
Once I made my way down to the SportsChannel studio, the next question was whether we had enough of a TV crew there and when I saw my director, Joe O'Rourke, I figured we might even get a show going after all.
Up until about an hour before game time, we really didn't know whether the game would be held because so few fans had shown up. But once the green light was flashed from NHL headquarters, we did our TV thing.