In honor of our friendly cross division mini series against Anaheim, here is a gem which I am sure you age-old Stars fans will remember. Go ahead and refer to the videos before or after you read this, they offer a great two-sided perspective and background commentary to the situation without ruining the award-winning banter of the great Ralph and Razor.
In retrospect, this game was very poorly timed for the Stars. When I was 8 years old, I didn’t know that. Having been a Stars fan for less than 3 years at the time, it was something I hadn’t seen, but on Friday, March 13, 1998, my eyes were open to a side of hockey I was oblivious to.
At the time, we had partial season tickets, but I was not at this particular game. I did the routine “rush-through-dinner” number before I sunk into my spot on the couch next to my likewise very enthusiastic and outspoken hockey-mom.
This Friday the 13th brought Stars fans thrills, scares, concerns, and maybe even some anger depending on where you were in life. For me, it was thrill. Now? It probably would be some stomach-churning concoction of anger, scare, and concern. The Stars, as you all know, were major contenders that season. Anaheim had no playoff hopes. They were irrelevant to us, and we had several worrisome injuries at the time (Modano for example). With the Stars’ pride and grit coupled with Anaheim’s frustration and desperation, there was a recipe for disaster on the ice. Click here to see lineup and stats from that night
Craig Ludwig (one of my favorite players of all time) threw a pretty treacherous and highly illegal elbow to Selanne’s head. One thing to note is Anaheim’s other star player, Paul Kariya, had been injured without consequence from his own team very recently. The Ducks had received significant media criticism for the lack reaction to one of their best player’s injury.
Luckily, with backup Roman Turek (Eddie wanted to be in there, I am sure) in net and several key players out of the lineup, there was minimal potential effect on the lineup long-term. My favorite part, every time I re-watch this debacle (approx once every two months), is Ludwig’s eventful trip off the ice and LeBoutillier’s subsequent dramatic exit which included the robust discard of his stick onto the ice out of disgust. Furthermore, Brent Severyn was a key culprit in beating the snot out of our beloved Daryl Sydor, twice. Sevvy is now a valued member of the hockey community in Dallas after having spent some time playing for the Stars later in his career. In the videos, he provides a good two-sided “explanation” and “play-by-play” of this brawl.
The game spins out of control, benches clear, and every faceoff turns into a scrum for several shifts. The crowd seems to love it, the arena DJ was playing fueling music, and the coaches were ensuring the right players were on the ice to keep up the fighting. All the while, Ralph and Razor did not seem amused (don’t they sound so young?).
You have to watch the videos to get the description which does this “memory” justice. If you remember this, where were you and do you remember what you were thinking at the time? If you were unfortunate to not have been graced with Dallas Stars fandom back in 1998, what do you think of this now? I doubt we will ever see anything like this again, as the game has significantly changed in the past 10-15 years. However, I will tell you, as an 8-year-old kid starting his hockey career, it was pretty darn exciting. Imagine if twitter was around back then….#Fridaythe13thmassacre #AOL2.0
Photo Credit: www.wn.com World News Inc.