The Detroit Red Wings and Colorado Avalanche will rekindle one of the NHL's best rivalries on Thursday night in Game 1 of a Western Conference semifinal. Detroit and Colorado met in five post-seasons between 1996-2002 - with the Avs advancing three times - and the franchises combined to win five Stanley Cups during that seven-year stretch.
"We pushed each other to be the best," Red Wings forward Darren McCarty said Wednesday before facing Colorado for a sixth time in the playoffs. "It was a slugfest back and forth - figuratively."
Blood, brawls - involving even goaltenders - and broken bones made the matchups that much more interesting.
Avalanche vs. Red Wings (Western Conference semifinals)
Game 1, Today at Detroit
Game 2, April 26 at Detroit
Game 3, April 29 at Colorado
Game 4, May 1 at Colorado
Game 5, May 3 at Detroit
Game 6, May 5 at Colorado
Game 7, May 7 at Detroit (not neccesary. Avs in 6)
Blood on the Ice
March 26, 1997
April 1, 1998