Let me tell y'all boys and girls a story from an old-timer like me. Back in my day, I watched hockey players play this here hockey game without trapezoids, without those gosh darn delay of game penalties, and where there weren't no wimps on the ice!
This here game you children watch today ain't the one I watched. Dang gum, I miss the good ole days when the silly winged wheel played the legendary Nordiques of Quebec. Err, wait, kids. I must be getting old! They moved to Denver and became the Colorado Avalanche! Yeah, that's right! He he those were the days. They beat the hell out of each other, scored great goals, and gave me and your auntie and uncle some of the best hockey this side of the Mississippi had ever seen! I wish we could see a game like that again.
But wait Grandpa, aren't the Avalanche and Red Wings playing an alumni game before the actual game?
By George, I reckon you're right! I forgot about that! Well ain't that just peachy?! Should be a grand ole time!
But Grandpa! It already happened!
Wait, it did? Dog gone! I forgot! Stay young, kids, or else you'll lose your memory like your grand pop. Could you kids please enlighten your ole pa as to how the game went?
The man who scored the first ever goal in Colorado Avalanche history scored the first goal in the Alumni Game. How awesome is that? Valeri Kaminskey got the Avalanche alumni up 1-0 with assists from Peter Forsberg and Claude Lemieux. Red Wings fans must have been thrilled!
The legendary Steve Yzerman scored first for the far in superior Red Wings squad. Not that memorable, in my opinion.
The greatest nineteen to ever play hockey scored after the third greatest nineteen in hockey history scored (Toews is 2nd, and if you disagree, just remember this is meant to anger Detroit fans), which was Joe Sakic. He got an assist from Ray Bourque, the GOAT defenseman.
Patrick Roy pitched a shutout this period, which included a diving save. Also, the sky is blue. Milan Heeeeeeeeeeeeeejduk scored a beautiful deflection for Colorado to make it 3-1. Sakic had a beautiful assist off the boards, and Mike Ricci assisted as well. That was the only goal of the period.
Ray Bourque also crushed my least favorite Red Wing ever (Tomas Holmstrom) into the boards behind Patrick Roy's net, which I thoroughly enjoyed.
No Avs-Red Wings game would be complete without a Ray Bourque goal. Ray Ray fired his signature blue line slap shot past the Wings goalie to make it 4-1. Podein and Hinote with the apples.
Craig Billington had come into the game in relief of Roy, and had a fantastic twenty minutes in net, which included stuffing a penalty shot from Holmstrom. He did allow one goal, however, which was scored by Brendan Shanahan. The man runs the Maple Leafs, he's gotta get some joy out of hockey these days. Classy move by the Avalanche for letting him remember what hockey happiness is like.
The Red Wings got chances to cut into the deficit and possibly tie it, but a goal from one of the most underrated Avalanche alumni, Stephan Yelle all but put the game way for Colorado. That made it 5-2 and the game ended at that score.
This was magnificent and the definition of nostalgia. It was great seeing all the greats from both teams back on the ice and in front of over FORTY-THREE THOUSAND people. Coors Field was great, and it's nice to see what that stadium looks like filled to capacity since the Rockies are never capable of doing that.
Let's level for a second. I hate the Red Wings as much as anyone. I was born in 1995 and raised on two schools of thought from my father. That I must love the Avalanche, and hate the Red Wings. I hate Detroit as much as anyone. Seeing the Wings win still brings me disdain, but I respect the franchise and what they've done. They have the right to gloat, and have things to gloat about, unlike Minnesota. I tip my hat to Yzerman, Homstrom, Lidstrom, Shanahan, and all the Red Wings that helped make this such an incredible rivalry. I'm obviously more thankful towards guys like Sakic, Roy, and Forsberg, but everyone from both teams did tremendously at contributing to this series.
Sports are beautiful, and we all have a problem with getting too worked up and taking it too seriously. I'm as guilty of that as anyone. Watching these games growing up, I'd think to myself, "I wish Steve Yzerman would die!" Give me a break, I was 5 years old. The Avalanche-Red Wings rivalry is one of the greatest in hockey history and sports history. It changed the course of hatred in sports and provided us years of amazing memories, both good and bad.
So, once again. Thank you, to all the players, both in burgundy and blue, and red and white. This was a wonderful event to remember why this rivalry was so terrific back in the day.
Just remember, the Red Wings suck, and this proves the Avalanche won the rivalry. The main event tomorrow night should be spectacular. Can't wait.