Red Wings

The Red Wings, Avalanche and fight night at the Joe was 20-years ago today

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Red Wings

Twenty-years ago today, the Red Wings enacted the best example of hockey justice in the March 26th, 1997 brawl with the Colorado Avalanche in what was one of the most memorable events in Joe Louis Arena history.

Now I don’t need to go into the details since its been 20-years and most of us know exactly what kind of justice was being served that night. However there are some things I can’t help but point out when this anniversary comes around.

First the main fight that happened at the 18:22 mark wasn’t the only fight that happened that night. In fact there were a total of nine fights that took place and a total of 162 penalty minutes dished out between the two teams including seven each to the goaltenders, Patrick Roy and Mike Vernon. Colorado’s Brent Severyn led the way with 20 total minutes in the box. And as far as Darren McCarty goes, remarkably he only had 11 minutes which didn’t even lead the Red Wings. The winner that night for the Red Wings was Jamie Pushor who had 12 minutes in the box.

But speaking of McCarty, what’s truly amazing and a testament to just how different the NHL was 20-years ago, the former Red Wings enforcer didn’t even get a game misconduct for breaking himself free of a linesman and laying a nasty right hook into the face of Claude Lemieux. McCarty for his actions was only given an extra double minor for roughing and ironically (and fittingly) enough scored the game winner in overtime.

I also like to mark this moment as the time Brendan Shanahan officially became a Red Wing. Remember it was this season (October to be exact) Shanahan was acquired from the Hartford Whalers (in addition to Brian Glynn) for Keith Primeau, Paul Coffey and a first round pick. Shanahan, who helped McCarty finish rearranging the face of Lemieux by coming out of nowhere to launch himself into Roy not only took on the Avalanche goaltender but was also taking on Adam Foote before Mike Vernon stepped in.

What a night…

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