CColorado and Detroit met in the 1996 Conference Final. It was in the first year of the Colorado Avalanche after moving from Quebec, and the team was heading to the first Stanley Cup.
“It started in 1996, after we moved to Colorado, we played in the qualifiers against Detroit in the semifinals, and it was a fine series. In the last game, we won in Colorado, and during that match Claude Lemieux beat Chris Draper along the way.” The Slope. Finished the series like that. Suppose it ended on a bad note, “recalls defender Sylvain Lefebvre.
Draper is critically injured and will need surgery during the holiday season. All Wings players are upset by this check, along with head coach Scotty Bowman.
“The following year the rivalry really started. We expected revenge and it wasn’t diminishing! And it lasted through my four years in Colorado! It was intense! It was a great experience to live it. Let’s assume we don’t need a lot of preparation and motivation for these matches!”
The past resurfaced in the 1997 qualifiers, when the same two teams crossed swords again.
On March 26, 1997, it is now known as Bloody Wednesday, when several fights broke out, including the now-famous battle between goalkeepers Patrick Roy and Mike Vernon.
“At every stop of play, I moved, pushed, kicked. I wasn’t on ice when Roy and Vernon got hit. But that didn’t stop the game. And there were first-class hockey players on every team, guys in Hall of Fame today, guys like Steve Yzerman, Peter Forsberg, Joe Sakic. It hit, punches devoured. There was also Sandy McCarty, Joey Cukor, Martin La Pointe, Brendan Shanahan, in the wings, Chris Simon Adam Foote, Adam Deadmarsh, and Mike Kane, it was really intense. It was compared to the matches between the Canadians and the Nordics, ”Lefebvre said.
Stephane Robedas witnessed the intensity of the rivalry between Montreal and Boston from another angle during the 2002 qualifiers.
“My second year was in Montreal, and we faced Boston in the first playoff. The famous alarm series was Kyle McClaren on Richard Zednick. Captured straight up. It was also the year of Sau Coevo’s comeback after suffering cancer, right before the playoffs. And that year, Theo had (Jose Tudor) Whole season, “he remembers.
During the season, I was Jose’s roommate. So during qualifying, since I wasn’t playing, CH asked me to leave him a room, on the road, so as not to disturb him. But after a great start, Roland asked me Melanson to talk to Theo a little. That’s what I did the day before a game in Boston. Finally, I slept in the bedroom, just like in a regular season. A little while later in the qualifiers, he made it off to Bill Guerrine.
“I grew up with this rivalry between Boston and Montreal; you can’t just walk around in a Boston Canadiens shirt, don’t do it, it’s not recommended for your health! Playing in Boston was amazing. With René Rancourt singing the national anthem, ending the anthem with his little fist, I grew up seeing That and I shared it. When you find yourself on the ice, it’s fun and intense! What I remember is the atmosphere, whether in Boston or Montreal, the spectators brought the atmosphere to another level. “