Yesterday marked the 25th anniversary of the famous Fight Night at the Joe, a game between the Colorado Avalanche and Detroit Red Wings. It featured then-Red Wing and future Calgary Flame Darren McCarty, who partook in some of the beatdowns in the game and also scored the game winning goal in overtime.
McCarty’s clinching goal
In a recent interview with McCarty and Andrew Berkshire, some of the memories of the infamous night were discussed. In the interview, McCarty discussed plenty of bits surrounding his hockey career as a Red Wing, but a part of the interview stood out when he candidly discussed one of the biggest moments of his hockey career—a Stanley Cup clinching goal.
While it was well before McCarty’s time as a Calgary Flame, hearing him breakdown his own play with such clarity and humility shows why he was a fan favourite when he was playing in the C of Red—on top of playing his enforcer role to a tee.
Here’s the quote:
I remember the play. It was the end of the shift, Philly was changing. Me—responsible Grind Line right winger—went through the middle, took a pass from Thomas Sandstrom—left winger. I look up, I see there’s one defencemen there and my mentality—Darren McCarty’s mentality—is to get to the red line and dump it in and get off.
Well I got to the red line, I went to dump it in, I fiddled it, and next thing you know, the Big Guy decided that I wasn’t Darren McCarty anymore, I was Mario Lemieux. Right? Because I beat one guy one-on-one my whole career—that was the time, and that was the timing.
And here’s the whole thing, cause I’ll go back and watch it. I remember two things, saying to myself in my head and there’s no time to say it. But when I made that move and I got it, and when I put my leg out and had the puck on my backhand and I see him diving, I remember thinking to myself: “Holy cow, I got him beat!”Darren McCarty
And here’s the goal itself:
To see a hockey player discuss such a huge goal in his career with such unique memories of it, breaking down how he viewed the events leading up to the goal—that’s special.
McCarty was a Red Wings casualty of the salary cap after the 2004–05 lockout, and his contract was bought out by Detroit. He ultimately signed with the Calgary Flames in the offseason, playing 99 games across two seasons, before later returning to the Red Wings to finish his hockey career.
Check out the full interview clip hosted by Betway here: