TBT: Watch Patrick Roy and Chris Osgood's epic 1998 goalie fight
By JOHN DORN
As the NHL gradually attempts to distance itself from allowing players to fistfight on the ice, classic hockey brawls are becoming more and more rare. Recent rules and guideline changes discourage players from brawling -- and has encouraged officials to stop them from happening in the first place.
We aren't far removed form the era of epic NHL brawls, though. And while the newest rule adjustments promote player safety, which is always most important, sometimes we just can't help but be entertained by two players dropping the gloves -- or better yet: two goalies shedding their gear and letting it fly.
Perhaps the best goalie fight in hockey history went down on Apr. 1, 1998, in one late-season installment of the classic rivalry between the Detroit Red Wings and Colorado Avalanche.
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What started as an intense third-period brawl between the 10 skaters on the ice heated up when Avs goalie (and now head coach) Patrick Roy wandered over the scrum, only to be turned away by officials. But that's when the fun started.
After briefly resisting, Red Wings goalie Chris Osgood met Roy at center ice, where they put on the main event.
With Colorado absent from the postseason in five of the last six seasons, this rivalry of the 1990s and early 2000s cooled off a bit -- particularly after Detroit was realigned into the Eastern Conference in 2013. But there will always be a hint of bad blood between the two franchises.
Colorado and Detroit will meet for the final time of the regular season on Saturday.