With everything going on in the world, this almost gets lost in the shuffle but today is the 23rd anniversary of arguably one of the greatest moments in Detroit sports history. March 26, 1997. The Detroit Red Wings were facing their biggest rival, the Colorado Avalanche at Joe Louis Arena. A year earlier, Chris Draper of the Wings was viciously slammed into the boards face first by Claude Lemieux. Draper had facial fractures and had to have his jaw wired shut...it took 301 days to exact revenge on easy-villain Claude Lemieux and Darren McCarty was the man to dole out the punishment. From the JLA crowd reaction to this being the moment the Wings solidified themselves as the team to beat in the NHL, I get chills everytime I watch.
What's lost in this, is that McCarty actually scored the winning goal in OT and it was Mike Vernon's 300th career win. And even though Vernon and Patrick Roy fought in this game, Roy knew it was Vernon's 300th win and after McCarty's game-winning goal he took the puck out of the net, nodded at Vernon and shot the puck down the ice to the Red Wings goalie...only in Hockey.