Detroit Red Wings: Best Moments at the Joe Louis Arena Part One.

Feb 15, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Fans and players stand for a moment of silence prior to the game between the Detroit Red Wings and the St. Louis Blues at Joe Louis Arena. Detroit Red Wings owner Mike Ilitch passed away February 10, 2017. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 15, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Fans and players stand for a moment of silence prior to the game between the Detroit Red Wings and the St. Louis Blues at Joe Louis Arena. Detroit Red Wings owner Mike Ilitch passed away February 10, 2017. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports /

Detroit Red Wings met the St. Louis Blues midway through December in the 1979/80 season. This wasn’t a regular game for the Wings.

The Detroit Red Wings were playing their first game in their new home the Joe Louis Arena, later known as “The Joe”. After 38 years, the Joe will close its door after countless amazing memories.

With just over two weeks left in the regular season, we’ll count down the top five moments at the Joe leading to the Detroit Red Wings last games of the season against the New Jersey Devils on April 9th.

#5 Brawl in Hockeytown

The Colorado Avalanche visited the Joe for the last time on March 18th in a 5-1 loss. The game had five minor penalties, but it wasn’t reminiscent of the rivalry the two teams had that started in the late 90’s.

The rivalry between the two teams started during game six of the Western Conference Finals after Claude Lemieux hit Kris Draper from behind. The hit sent Draper face first into the boards and breaking his jaw and shattering his cheek and orbital bone in the process. The Avalanche would go on to win the game and eliminate the Detroit Red Wings, before eventually winning the Stanley Cup.

The next season, in the fourth meeting between the teams, 19,983 fans at the Joe got to witness the “Brawl in Hockeytown”. The game was stopped eight times over the first two periods, that first started at 4:45 into the game between Jamie Pushor of the Red Wings and Brent Severyn of the Avalanche. Less than one minute after the two defensemen returned to the ice, the second stoppage occurred between Kirk Maltby of the Red Wings and Rene Corbet of the Avalanche. The two followed up Pushor and Severyn but it was the third stoppage with 1:03 left in the first period when tensions finally boiled over.

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Dec 7, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Avalanche alumni Peter Forsberg voted by the fans waves to the crowd before the game against the Minnesota Wild at Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports /

Peter Forsberg of the Avalanche finished his check on Igor Larionov of the Red Wings, before adding and extra shot to the head of Larionov while he was down on the ice. Larionov retaliated by head locking Forsberg and dragging him to the ice. Behind the fight, Detroit Red Wings‘ Most Wanted Claude Lemieux found himself blindsided by a right hook from Darren McCarty. Lemieux fell to the ice trying to cover up from McCarty’s punches.

Colorado Avalanche’s goaltender Patrick Roy came skating out of his net to try to help Lemieux but was met half way by Brendan Shannahan of the Red Wings. The two lunged at each other in mid-air before Adam Foote of the Avalanche, who was nearby, tried to interject himself. Red Wing’s goaltender Mike Vernon was already making his way down the ice when he saw Roy leave his crease and was quick to help Shannahan.

To the side of them, McCarty had now dragged Lemieux to the boards in front of the Red Wings bench and connected on a couple knees to Lemieux’s face. The refs were able to separate them, but when Roy went to check on Lemieux, Foote found himself in between Shannahan and Vernon. Once Roy realized, he returns to square off with Vernon in one of the greatest goalie fights of all time. Both goalies exchanged punches, with a couple of Vernon’s cutting Roy above the eyebrow and Roy using his goalie glove to hold Vernon’s head to punch it easier.

At the end of all the fights, the Avalanche would go onto the power play, as both Lemieux and Forsberg would have to go to the dressing room for stitches. The Avalanche would only enjoy their power play for 15 seconds before Vladimir Konstantinov of the Red Wings and Adam Deadmarch of the Avalanche would square off in the final fight of the first period.

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Dec 31, 2016; Toronto, ON, Canada; Detroit Red Wings forward Igor Larionov (8) celebrates his second period goal with forward Brendan Shanahan (14) and defenseman Larry Murphy (55) against the Toronto Maple Leafs during the 2017 Rogers NHL Centennial Classic Alumni Game at BMO Field. The Red Wings beat the Maple Leafs 4-3. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports /

Right after the puck dropped to the signal the start of the second period, Foote and Shannahan would drop the gloves and become reacquainted from the first period. Both traded punches back and forth before joining the crowded penalty box. Severyn and Ward would start a melee in the corner of the Avalanche zone not too long after. Tim Holmstrom of the Red Wings and Mike Reene of the Avalanche would start fighting away from the action down in the Red Wings zone before being broken up. Severyn and Ward would then separate themselves from the group at the other end and would both exchange heavy punches. Severy would go on to lose all his equipment and t-shirt on his upper body while continuing to fight Ward before being broken up by the refs. Severyn and Ward would both go on to be ejected from the game.

Next: Detroit Red Wings Migration From Relevance and Into the Abyss

McCarty found himself in another fight, this time with Adam Deadmarsh, before the last fight of the game between Pushor and Uwe Knapp at 11:26 of the second period. The third period would go without a fight but would end with both teams tied 5-5. Ironically, McCarty would go on to score the overtime winner with Lemieux blood still on his jersey.

In a brawl and action filled game, that also seen Vernon collect his 300th victory, it also served as the catalyst for the rivalry that would begin between the two teams.