OT: On this day, 15 years ago...

Submitted by pasadenablue on March 26th, 2012 at 6:11 PM

What does the date March 26, 1997 mean to you?


Today is the 15 year anniversary of what I consider to be the single most significant game in modern Red Wings history.

In a single game, the Wings were able to exorcise the demons of a playoff series past, launch themselves towards their first of four Cups over the next 11 years, and cemented the Wings-Avs rivalry as one of the best of its era.

I still remember listening to this game on my walkman radio while following my parents around as they got their taxes done by a real accountant.  The rush of elation and joy after McCarty scored in OT was something I'll never forget.  I was hooked on the Wings for life.  We'd won the game AND we'd won the fight.  And that bastard Claude Lemieux had answered for his crimes.  And even Patty Roy had gotten his face bloodied.  It was sublime.


Here's what I believe is a mostly-full replay of the game (minus commercials/intermissions).  Embedding for that vid is not allowed by yootoob.



For the fight alone, here you are:






March 26th, 2012 at 10:25 PM ^

Man, the 96 game 7 double OT winner by Yzerman about gave me a heart attack at the age of 10.

*bonus points for MacTavish not having a helmet, Gretsky having the turnover to Yzerman's winner, Lidstrom jumping for joy and Scotty Bowman on the ice in about .02 seconds (briefly seen at 1:38 with a shitface grin).







March 27th, 2012 at 12:25 AM ^

"Gretzky had it, lost it...." is for me the most memorable hockey call ever.  (No, I wasn't alive in 1980.)  Gary Thorne is one of the most underrated announcers there ever was.  I believe he's working for the Baltimore Orioles now, which is a waste of his talents.  Would love to see him paired up with Doc Emrick instead.


March 27th, 2012 at 8:29 AM ^

MacTavish was the last man in the NHL to not have to wear a helmet. He was grandfathered in since when they passed the helmet rule they let guys who had not worn them, continue to not wear them if they wanted.



March 27th, 2012 at 9:27 AM ^

I honestly have no recollection of the 95-96 season. I imagine my dad was pretty into it since Detroit made a decent run in the playoffs, but I don't remember ever watching games with him until the 97 playoffs.


March 26th, 2012 at 6:29 PM ^

The 6-5 game was the only game that has rivaled the UTL game in terms of sheer excitement I have felt watching a sporting event.  I'll argue that since the first 3/4 of the game were more enjoyable than the first 3/4 of UTL, I'd have to list these two as 1a and 1b.

EDIT: Holy mother of balls... it's been 15 years?!?!?!


March 26th, 2012 at 6:31 PM ^

Lidstrom is the only guy left on either team IIRC. Although the rivalry didn't last an incredibly long time, it'll always be one the highlights of my childhood. Always looked forward to the matchups.

Michael Scarn

March 26th, 2012 at 6:32 PM ^

There are few athletes I will ever hate more than Claude Lemieux and Patrick Roy.  

Also, I'm desperate to find the Ken Kal audio from this, it's how I'll always remember it.  "Roy with a right, OH VERNON WITH A LEFT!"


March 26th, 2012 at 8:41 PM ^

i think people hated him because he was really the face of that franchise (sakic be damned). he embodied the avalanche so well - tough, skilled, exceptionally-talented.  he was such a thorn in our sides.  we hated him because he was good, not because he was a classless asshat like claude.


March 27th, 2012 at 1:07 PM ^

The nice thing about Roy was that he was insanely cocky, and that led to occasional meltdowns when he gave up a bad goal.  To this day I believe - and I'll believe it to my grave - that the 7-0 beatdown in Game 7 was directly caused by the Statue of Liberty goal in Game 6.  When Roy gave up a really bad goal that he felt he should've saved, he melted down.  The same thing happened in '97 - Game 4, I think - when Marty Lapointe ripped a shot from near the bottom of the circle that blasted through the Velcroed-on extension to Roy's glove and went in.  It precipitated a 6-0 beatdown and led to the infamous episode where Crawford spewed obscenities at Scotty in the third period.


March 27th, 2012 at 2:49 PM ^

Ahh yes I remember Crawford getting all upset because Corbet had to answer to Shanny for running Vernon a few moments eariler. God those playoff series were epic, but I still remember Scotty just looking around the crowd while Crawford was in his face trying to belittle him. 

PS I think my favorite moment in any of those series agaisnt the Av's was when Kozlov did the old, "okey-doke" on Foote and threw his face into the boards. 


March 27th, 2012 at 8:32 AM ^

No, I think he is pretty much up there on the jerk list. He has since been a complete and utter idiot as a lower level coach, check his record of classless acts and the fact that he has coached his kids to act like morons also. Yes he was a good goalie but beyond that, there is a lot to dislike.



March 26th, 2012 at 6:35 PM ^

I remember watching this in my basement and wondering if they were going to have enough players to finish the game. I do seem to remember it being even bigger, though.


March 26th, 2012 at 6:37 PM ^



I think that the Wings/Avs rivalry peaked right before emotion was taken out of most pro sports.  That's why I love college sports so much more these days.  And the NHL playoffs.  I'm sorry, but I love dirty, hateful, spiteful contests.  As much as it pissed me off, I look back at OSU tearing down the banner, bomb dogs, and going for 2 when they had a clear win as high points in the rivalry.  It just seemed to breed that passion that has been lacking in most teams that I follow closely.


March 26th, 2012 at 7:00 PM ^

I was there and was 11 at the time. Can't believe it was that long ago. There was so much blood on the ice when things were finally cleared up. 


March 26th, 2012 at 7:04 PM ^

Can you just imagine the unity felt by the team following that? Its one thing to be unified to win a Cup but that was the signature moment that put that team over the top. 

I had no idea it was Larinov involved n the beginning? Glad to see D-Mac stick it to the Turtle!


March 26th, 2012 at 7:08 PM ^

one of the best rivalries in the history of sports...these guys were the cream of the NHL crop 5 stanley cups in 7 years between them....will always hate the avalanche even though most of the players are gone

French West Indian

March 27th, 2012 at 11:18 AM ^

As much as I despied the Avalanche I've also always been annoyed referring to them as a rival.  The problem with it from my perspective is that fans in Denver never really had to suffer through any kind of lean years.  The Avalanche were simply a transplanted (and very good) team that seemed to come out of nowhere and win championships.

To hear people in Colorado interviewed about the "rivalry" and how much that hated Detroit...I mean, fuck you Colorado. You have no idea what hate is. You had a Stanley Cup winner dropped in your lap.

I suppose that after the beatdown, they'd taken their lumps and earned the right to hate Detroit.  But initially that rivalry talk really annoyed me.

Also, in the mid-90s that whole Kordell Stewart Hail Mary was still a very sore wound.  So yeah, lots of Colorado hate.


March 26th, 2012 at 7:16 PM ^

When I watch the highlights from this game it makes me sad at how much pro sports have fallen in my estimation.  There are just no rivalries like that anymore.  I don't think I've ever hated an individual player as much as I did Claude Lemieux.  I wanted that guy to get knocked out every time the wings played him.

The FannMan

March 26th, 2012 at 8:17 PM ^

Wow, 15 years.

I forgot that McCarty scored the winner.  HAHA Patty HAHA. 

I don't think I ever appreciated what a sick move Larionov made at the blue line to set up the winner.

Not to sound like a cave man, but sports need more teams that actually hate each other.