snarling wolverine

March 26th, 2017 at 3:07 PM ^

Basketball announcer during a fight: "We are sorry to broadcast this to our viewing audience.  This is an unfortunate display of sportsmanship that we hope our younger viewers do not emulate...."

Hockey announcer during a fight: "Would you look at that left hook!  Now he goes with the right jab!  These two know when to throw off the gloves.  And the blood's coming down now.  Listen to that crowd!"

Evil Empire

March 27th, 2017 at 10:19 AM ^

I grew up with Michigan football being by far my favorite team, not sure who was in second place.

But it was easy to develop an appreciation for hockey when I was at UM from 1992-96 and with the Red Wings' ascendance that happened at the same time.

I was furious about the Lemieux-Draper incident and relished the 3/26/1997 beatdown.  Even watching the video I get wound up, almost at the same level as watching the Phil Brabbs UW game video.


March 26th, 2017 at 2:33 PM ^

I was at my parents' house watching this on PASS with a few people - I distinctly remember everyone standing up and cheering with each fight too. 

That flying body check that Shanahan laid on Roi - which Roi deserved because Roi - was a thing of beauty. 


March 26th, 2017 at 3:55 PM ^

I was in the upper bowl behind the Detroit net when Ozzie left to net to meet Wah out near center. I'd agree it was a draw.

What I remember most was the expectant attitude in the stands. After Detroit got the second goal in the 3rd, everybody knew what was coming, and was just waiting for the spark. And when Ozzie left the net, otherwise normal people (including me) were screaming for Patrick's blood on the ice.

God help me, but it was still one of the greatest things I've ever seen in person.


March 26th, 2017 at 2:41 PM ^

That Detroit-Colorado rivalry is the only professional rivalry I can think of with the legitimate animosity of college rivalries.  It was something special.

Year of Revenge II

March 27th, 2017 at 10:34 AM ^

With all due respect, I do not believe you are correct in that statement.

As a fan of both basketball and hockey, I can tell you that the Pistons' rivalries and hatred for the Celtics and then Bulls were every bit as intense, and some may say more so, than the rivalry between the Avs and the Wings.


March 27th, 2017 at 4:53 PM ^

Leading up to Lemieux's hit on Draper?  Sure.  But that hit changed things.  Looking back, do you actually hold anything against the players on those Celtic and Bulls teams?  We hated them because they were the biggest obstacles to winning a championship, which is the basis of most great sports rivalries.

The Wings had that with Colorado, but after the hit there was more.  We hated the Avs not just because they beat us, but because of what Lemieux did to Draper  Injuring a player on a dirty play is bad enough, but refusing to apologize for it afterwards is unforgivable. It violates not just good sportsmanship, but basic human decency.  That's what elevated this rivalry above the others.

When I think back to the Bad Boys era Pistons teams I remember their rivalries as great sports rivalries, and sure I might thnk about (for example) what if Bird hadn't stolen Isaiah's inbound pass, but I don't hold anything against Bird for making the play.  When I think back to the WIngs-Avs rivalry I still get physicall angry about Claude Lemieux.


March 26th, 2017 at 2:42 PM ^

I used to watch the Wings all the time, but it was the only regular-season game I watched that year (engineering is hard).  I don't really remember how it just happened to be that game, but my two good friends and I happened to watch it.  Best regular-season game I've ever seen.


March 26th, 2017 at 2:44 PM ^

I moved back to Colorado during the Wings - Avs 1996 series where the Turtle cheap shotted Draper. So I always had a healthy back and forth with my co-workers over the Wings/Avs. One woman I worked with told me no one likes the Wings because of all the Russians on the Wings.

We had 5 but the Avs had 3, Ozolinsch, Kamensky and Gusarov, which surprised her. So I asked, you obviously think 5 Russians is too many, but 3 Russians are alright, so how do you feel about 4? She was not amused

Twenty years ago today Darren McCart(ne)y taught Lemieux how to play.

Bando Calrissian

March 26th, 2017 at 2:49 PM ^

That '96 series hurt. My dad surprised me with tickets to Game 1, when Paul Coffey scored an own-goal and the Wings ended up losing in OT. Felt like a humongously missed opportunity, culminating in the Draper hit in Game 6. I don't think there was a team I hated more (other than Ohio State) during that period than the Avs. Everything about it was completely visceral.


March 26th, 2017 at 3:11 PM ^

I love hockey.  Playoff hockey, especially!  It's the only rival to CFB...  The NBA sucks Schwetty Balls.  Baseball is okay in Oct, but if the Tigers aren't in it, I'm not really interested.  The NFL is fun, but its not on the level of CFB.  Regular season NHL is still good enough to have on in the background.  But playoff hockey...  Playoff hockey is special.  Would rather have a competitive Wings team playing, but I can still watch it.  Now, if that were on Olympic ice, well, now you spell SPECIAL!

I do love me some hockey, and that Wings-Avs rivalry is the best I've seen.


March 26th, 2017 at 5:51 PM ^

I was 11. I still remember how much blood was on the ice after all the fights. That game and the one the following year were something special.


March 26th, 2017 at 10:25 PM ^

It was so great to be a hockey fan in Michigan back then... Everybody was watching that game waiting for payback for that cheap hit on Draper. It was a great fight and a great night for Detroit.