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It is difficult to determine the worst fight in the history of hockey. There are so many great ones to choose from! Any fights containing Tie Domi, Joey Kocur, Bob Probert, Stu Grimson, Georges Laraque, or Rob Ray would top the list. However, one of the worst overall fights that "wowed" hockey fans took place in the "1997 Brawl in Hockeytown" between the Colorado Avalanche and the Detroit Red Wings. A year previous to the game, the Av's (Avalanche) Claude Lemieux hit the Wings' Kris Draper from behind and smashed his face into the boards, causing extensive cuts that needed surgery to repair. Everyone knew that eventually there would be payback for this. On March 26, 1997 at Joe Louis Arena, it finally happened. The game was full of big hits and scrums at every whistle. During a scuffle between Detroit's Igor Larionov and the Av's Peter Forseberg, Darren McCarty blind-sided Lemieux square between the eyes, dropping him to his knees. After a couple of upper-cuts, McCarty dragged him to the boards where he smashed his face a couple of times with his knee. Patrick Roy, the goalie of the Av's, skated to Lemieux's aid. Halfway down the ice, he was met by Brendan Shanahan's flying forearm. Detroit's goalie, Mike Vernon, then squared off at center ice with Roy, before finally taking him down. A bloodied Lemieux was helped off the ice as he could barely skate, or stand for that matter!
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|