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McCarty vs. Lemieux…13 years later

March 24, 2010

This Friday is the 13th Anniversary of the mega brawl between the Detroit Red Wings and Colorado Avalanche.  Last week on TSN’s Off the Record, McCarty and Lemieux sat down for the first time to discuss the incident face-to-face (click link for video).

As a Red Wing fan, I was personally shocked at the thought of one of my childhood heros shaking hands with the man who was public enemy #1 in Detroit for the longest time.  But man, how cool is it to see these guys sit down and talk about everything that went into the rivalry between the Wings and Avs?  The altercation between then-Detroit coach Scotty Bowman and Lemiuex is crazy to think about.  I sure wish I would’ve been a fly on the wall during that confrontation.

Lemieux says McCarty’s first punch in the initial brawl almost knocked him and caused him to reach a turtle position.  I still say bull to that.  Vengeance was about to be served and he knew it.   It was cool to see him admit that though that he was embarrassed and tired of hearing about how he turtled.  That treated us to their second-go-around off the face-off a year later.  Lemieux moved from his right-wing position to the left side to match-up against McCarty.  A few words later and a drop of the puck and all hell broke loose for the second time between the two teams.

Whether you’re a Detroit fan, a Colorado fan, or a hockey fan in general, make sure to check out the video.  These two guys are so candid about the entire string of events.  It’s great to see these two old rivals speak the truth about each other.  Mac hated Lemieux.  The Wings hated the Avs.  And hockey fans were treated to the best rival the game of hockey has seen in a long, long time.

Initial 1997 brawl

Second brawl in 1998

The sort-of-kind potential brawl in 2002 (too bad Hasek tripped over the goal line)

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