In a hockey mood tonight, even though the Wings are having a tough time at the moment against the Blackhawks, and I thought I'd post some of my favorite moments of all time.
The first is pretty easy for me-- the goal. Stevie Y... Game 7... Double OT. Can't say much more than that. From 1996 vs. St. Louis, here's Yzerman's series-winning goal. Have an added bonus of Yzerman's top 10 career goals, according to ESPN.
That double OT Game 7, 1-0 win was the best hockey game I ever saw. A close second was "The Bloodbath." Every Wings fan knows exactly what I speak of when I say that. Most know the date of March 26, 1997. It was the day the team and the fans realized we could beat our arch-nemesis Colorado and win the Cup. The rivalry really began with the series after the one Yzerman won in 2OT. Colorado took us out in six games, shocking the hockey world. But the bad blood was born when Claude Lemieux laid a cheap hit from behind on Kris Draper sending him face first into the boards. Draper was eating his meals out of a straw for six weeks. After the game Dino Ciccarelli was quoted as saying, "I can't believe I shook that (bleeping) guy's hand." Colorado went on to win the Stanley Cup.
The next year, the Avalanche whipped us in every single regular-season game heading into the fourth and final one on March 26. It again appeared to be a conference that would come down to these two teams, with most expecting Colorado to win. This was the first game featuring both Darren McCarty and Claude Lemieux. Either one or the other had missed each of the previous three and this was the first time Lemieux returned to Detroit since the hit on Draper.
From the start it was very physical. Kirk Maltby got in a fight, so did Aaron Ward. Even Igor Larionov got into it with Peter Forsberg. That's the fight that set off the real fireworks. McCarty turned and decked Lemiuex sending him to the ice where he ripped his helmet off and pummeled him, eventually pushing him into the boards where he was left in a bloody mess. Patrick Roy skated out of his net to stop it when he was clothes lined by Brendan Shanahan who ended up throwing with Adam Foote. Roy and Mike Vernon then squared off. Roy appeared to get the best of it, but he was the one toweling off the blood when it was over.
As for the game, it went the way it was supposed to for 2 and a half periods. Colorado was leading 5-3 when the Wings rallied for two goals and sent it to overtime on a Marty Lapointe goal late in the period. Then in OT, a classic Wings play into the zone with tic-tac-toe passing found McCarty on the doorstep to jam it past Roy for the game winner. Fitting the goal, and the scene of McCarty hugging Draper when it was over.
The Wings broke through with their confidence and dominated Colorado in six games in the conference finals en route to their first cup in decades.