The Detroit Red Wings and Colorado Avalanche authored one of the fiercest rivalries in professional sports in the late 1990s and early 2000s, providing countless memories for fans of both sides as well as hockey fans everywhere. Even if you weren’t a fan of one of the two teams, games between these two once-historic rivals were certainly must-see TV, regardless if they took place in the regular season or in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Of course, everyone remembers March 26, 1997, affectionately known as “Fight Night at the Joe”. Forward Darren McCarty exacted revenge on Avs forward Claude Lemieux, beating him into a pulp while Lemieux infamously “turtled” in retaliation for the horrific hit he leveled on Kris Draper in the previous year’s postseason. Of course, that set off a wild melee on the ice that included goaltenders Patrick Roy and Mike Vernon’s infamous scrap.
The two teams would continue their on-ice battles that culminated just over 20 years ago exactly with Detroit’s incredible 7-0 victory in Game 7 of the 2002 Western Conference Finals, chasing Roy in the process en route to their 10th Stanley Cup win. There would be one final postseason series between the two teams six years later in 2008, which featured many of the old guard from both squads. However, it was no contest, as the Red Wings swept Colorado out of the postseason (the first sweep by either side in a playoff series) en route to their 11th Stanley Cup in franchise history.
The Red Wings-Avalanche E:60 documentary airs soon
Last month, ESPN released their trailer for the E:60 documentary that will debut this weekend, and now additional footage of interviews of players on both sides has been released, including Roy, Brendan Shanahan and Vernon.
The fights between the Avalanche and the Red Wings were intense 😳@E60 examines what led to the NHL's fiercest rivalry 😤
📺 June 26 | 1 PM ET | ESPN pic.twitter.com/z8e2UEkHYU
— ESPN (@espn) June 20, 2022