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McCarty reflects on Stanley Cup success with the Red Wings

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Red Wings

Red Wings: Widely regarded as one of the toughest challenges in sport, winning ice hockey’s Stanley Cup is something only a select few players are able to achieve.

Some hugely successful clubs are in the midst of a Stanley Cup drought, having failed to claim the NHL’s top prize in more than a decade.

For instance, the New Jersey Devils have not lifted the trophy since 2003 and are rated as also-rans in the hockey betting to snap their streak.

That will undoubtedly be frustrating for ‘D’ man Jonas Siegenthaler, the first known player of Thai descent to play in the NHL.

He iced for the Washington Capitals the season after they won the Stanley Cup in 2018 and has been unable to help the Devils rediscover their mojo over the past couple of years.

Siegenthaler was just one month old when one of the most famous Stanley Cup series was concluded between the Detroit Red Wings and Philadelphia Flyers in 1997.

The Red Wings were appearing in their second Finals in three years, having suffered a clean-sweep defeat against the Devils in 1995.

They bounced back with a vengeance against the Flyers, securing an impressive 4-0 success to clinch the Stanley Cup for the eighth time in franchise history.

Legendary forward Darren McCarty played a key role in the series, culminating in him grabbing the game-winning goal in the decisive fourth game.

Red Wings’ head coach Scotty Bowman made a point of ensuring that McCarty was on the ice when the final buzzer sounded.

“The most pride I have is that he had the trust in me to be out there whatever,” said McCarty.

“Look at all the Hall of Famers I’ve played with and been around, but my Hall of Fame moment is that after Scotty retired, and after we won the Cups, Mr. and Mrs. Ilitch were having a big party.

“Scotty Bowman walked up and he says to me and he says: ‘Hey, D-Mac, I wanted to let you know, one of the things I regret the most is that I didn’t tell my players how much I appreciate ’em. You’re my second favourite right winger ever to play for me next to Guy LaFleur’.”

McCarty subsequently matched LaFleur’s achievement of winning four Stanley Cups, adding further NHL titles with the Red Wings in 1998, 2002 and 2008, playing a small part in boosting demand for live NHL streams in the early noughts.

While winning four Cups was undoubtedly special for McCarty, he looks back on his contribution to their progress to the 2002 Finals with particular fondness.

McCarty blasted a natural hat-trick past Colorado Avalanche netminder Patrick Roy in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals, and played a pivotal role throughout the play-offs.

However, while blasting a treble past one of the top goalies in the world was memorable, winning 7-0 in Game 7 mattered more to McCarty.

“We were up 4-0 in the first period,” he added. “That’s the quietest, and I think the most fearful our locker room had ever been, because we were on eggshells.

“We didn’t expect that, we expected a 0-0 or something. What’s going on? So, when Freddie Olausson scored to make it 5-0, less than five minutes into the second period, that’s when the relief came. You’re just looking around going, is this for real?”

 

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Salman Ahmad is a seasoned writer for CTN News, bringing a wealth of experience and expertise to the platform. With a knack for concise yet impactful storytelling, he crafts articles that captivate readers and provide valuable insights. Ahmad's writing style strikes a balance between casual and professional, making complex topics accessible without compromising depth.

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