Having won the Stanley Cup three times, the New Jersey Devils has had its share of success, but at the same time, they also negatively impacted the popularity of the sport of hockey for their reliance on the neutral zone trap defense, a strategy to force turnovers from an opposing team proceeding through the neutral zone. The tactic is painfully boring to watch, and usually employed by teams that lack offensive scoring strengths. During the extended 2004 lockout, the NHL changed the rules of the game intentionally to reduce the effectiveness of this trap. Likewise, a trapezoid trap zone was added behind each net to prohibit goalies from handling the puck anywhere behind the goal line outside of the trapezoid, which was another unsportsmanlike tactic employed by long-time Devils goalie Martin Brodeur. Since the change of rules, the Devils have not won the Stanley Cup.
In the 1995 Stanley Cup, the New Jersey Devils swept the Detroit Red Wings for the championship. In the 2000 Stanley Cup, they beat the defending champions Dallas Stars in 6 (they lost the 2001 Stanley Cup Finals to the Colorado Avalanche). In 2003, they upended the highly popular Mighty Ducks of Anaheim in seven games. The improbably play-off run of the Ducks was so inspiring that their goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere even appeared on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" before Game Seven to promote the game. Therefore, when the unpopular Devils beat them, ABC did not give the NHL broadcast any additional airtime to show the Devils celebrating and the program ended only a couple minutes after the Cup was presented; likewise, the press gave their win minimal coverage as well.