Pavel Datsyuk confronts Paul Gaustad and Ryan Suter on March 30, 2012 at Joe Louis Arena
By Rhys Richards (@RREsq)
Last Tuesday, the Detroit Red Wings and their fans celebrated the 15th anniversary of the team’s brawl with the Colorado Avalanche at Joe Louis Arena with a 7-2 drubbing of the Columbus Blue Jackets at home. That famous bloodbath pitted Igor Larionov against Peter Forsberg, Brendan Shanahan against Adam Foote, and Mike Vernon against Patrick Roy. With all of those well-known players in the mix, the brawl is still remembered most for Darren McCarty pummeling Claude Lemieux until Lemieux turtled.
As the fifteen years have passed, the vast majority of the players on both teams have retired from the game. As those players went, so did the Detroit-Colorado rivalry. Detroit’s success in the past two decades means that the Red Wings regularly see all other NHL teams at their best, but Detroit has been waiting for another team to take Colorado’s place as its fiercest rival.