I meditated today, for about 15 minutes. In part of my “recovery” from life in general, I was told over and over again to just focus on the moment at hand, and nothing else. No future, no past. Just the present. Namaste.

And yet, I felt a lot of emotions tonight watching the Avalanche and Red Wings play, a game in Detroit in which the Avs won 2-0. Most of them had to do with the past, but maybe informed a future in which it mostly can be described as dystopian in its chances to become anything close to reality. There’s zero chance, 0.0, that a rivalry between the current or future Avs and Red Wings will equal the intensity of the past.

That’s what made tonight’s game so much fun to watch – even though it was actually a bit of a dull and maddening game to watch in other aspects.

I saw cheap shots and huge hits and fights and dirty play again tonight in Detroit. It was as if it was 1996 all over again and I was just trying to keep up with the outrage. Yet, it ended in kind of a whimper. Avs win 2-0, get the empty-netter, on to Pittsburgh. I won’t make too much of the “this reminded me of the past” stuff from what I saw tonight.

Still, come on; A fight between an Avs player (Ian Cole) and a Bertuzzi family member (Tyler) happened in this thing. It was something of a hybrid mashup of the past and future, if there is to be another RIVALRY between these teams.

These are my other takeaways from the game:

Not a Subscriber? Start FREE today!

Login for Subscribers

Adrian Dater
Author

Adrian Dater, was born in Vermont and lived as a tot in New York City before living most of his first 25 years in New Hampshire. Education:  Went to Keene State College and received a degree in journalism in 1988. I wrote sports for the college paper, called "The Equinox." Career: After a two-year stint out of college working as a proofreader and part--time sports writer for The Concord Monitor (N.H)., I moved to Denver in May of 1991, with no job, no connections and no car, but a lot of hope. After doing some odd jobs (including working as a bill collector for a trash company), I found some odd writing jobs for local periodicals and then latched on with The Denver Post in December of 1991 as a score-taker for the high-school sports department. That led to more writing jobs, such as covering DU hockey, lots of high-school coverage and various minor-pro sports. In March of 1995, I got a scoop that would change my life: I broke the story of the Quebec Nordiques moving to Denver to become the Avalanche, and for the next 19 years I covered the team every day. In 2015, I became the lead NHL national columnist with Bleacher Report, where I worked until 2017 before joining BSN Denver. I have also been a main hockey writer with Sports Illustrated, The Hockey News, The Sporting News, Hockey Digest, Versus.com and have written seven books on sports, including the 2006 best-selling "Blood Feud", a book about the famous Avs-Red Wings rivalry. Most memorable sports moment: As a fan, when the Red Sox won the World Series in 2004. Also, when the Celtics beat the Lakers in the 1984 NBA Finals. The finest sports book I’ve ever read: It would probably be a book called "Game Misconduct", by Russ Conway. It's the story of how a small-town sports reporter (Conway) in Massachusetts exposed the corruption and brought down one of the most powerful figures in the NHL at the time, Alan Eagleson. The book is a primer on how to report and investigate powerful entities. One sports movie that I can’t live without: I loved "Rocky III", and I loved a 1977 basketball movie starring Robby Benson called "One on One." And, of course, "Slap Shot." Most memorable experience as a reporter: I've gotten to interview some of my boyhood heroes, including Larry Bird, Fred Lynn and Luis Tiant. But probably the most memorable of them all was writing the story of Ray Bourque's one and only Stanley Cup in his 22 years, his final game as a pro with the Avs in 2001. The sport that started it all: As a guy who eventually grew to become 6-foot-6, I could hoop it up some. I was the starting center on my high-school team that made the N.H. state semifinals in 1983. While I never played competitive hockey, I played a lot on the many frozen ponds of New Hampshire and had a pretty good slap shot.