The New Jersey Devils eliminated the Florida Panthers in double overtime of Game 7 on Thursday, closing the book on one of the NHL's best stories of the 2011-12 season. Meanwhile, in a luxury suite at BankAtlantic Center, another story reached completion: The surreal feud between the president of the Panthers Michael Yormark and a 26-year-old Devils fan on Twitter.
As a refresher: Yormark was trolling Devils fans on Twitter after accusing them of throwing plastic rats during Game 5 in order to get the home team whistled for delay of game. Lauren Rubino, 26, trolled right back, saying that Yormark was "making an ass of himself and his organization." Yormark's retort: "You have 70 followers. No one cares what you think."
That sparked a backlash that saw Rubino's Twitter follower count balloon to over 4,500 in 48 hours, as fans rallied to her defense. So did the Devils, putting her up in a luxury box — right above Yormark — for the Devils' Game 6 win in overtime in Newark.
On Thursday, Yormark reached out to Rubino over the phone to reconcile (and likely attempt to change his karma), offering to fly her to Game 7 in Sunrise and watch the game from his suite. She and her father accepted, and that's where the ceasefire took place. Wrote Rubino after the Devils' game:
"Time to pass out … a HUGE thank you to @panthersyormark and the panthers for being so kind and inviting me. Amazing time. so impressed with the fans. They were loud and into it...and they were very nice. PS. How awkward is that you tube video from the Miami Herald?! So embarrassing!!!"
And with that, the oddest feud of the 2012 playoffs is over.
Listen to Thursday's "Marek Vs. Wyshynski" podcast for an interview with Rubino (about 40 minutes in).