Saturday, November 5, 2016

Review of "Blood Feud"

After a thrilling baseball postseason, capped off by a wonderful World Series played by two excellent teams, it is now time for two things.  One is to gear up for the winter games of basketball and hockey, and second is to catch back up on reading.  Both of those are accomplished in reading this book on the best sports rivalry in the late 1990's and early 2000's.  Here is my review of "Blood Feud."

“Blood Feud: Detroit Red Wings V. Colorado Avalanche: The Inside Story of Pro Sports’ Nastiest and Best Rivalry of Its Era” by Adam Dater

Ice Hockey, professional, rivalry, Red Wings, Avalanche

Publish date:
November 25, 2006

272 pages

3 of 5 stars (okay)

Between 1996 and 2002, the best rivalry in professional sports was that between the Detroit Red Wings and the Colorado Avalanche. They were the best two teams in hockey at that time, winning four Stanley Cups between them and facing off in some memorable games in both the regular season and the Stanley Cup playoffs.

This rivalry is captured in this book by Denver sports writer Adam Dater.  There are short biographies of key personnel from both sides, such as Colorado goaltender Patrick Roy and Detroit coach Scotty Bowman.  Memorable fights are relived such as the hit on Red Wing Kris Draper by Claude Lemieux, which was believed by many to be the opening salvo in this bitter feud. 

Dater covers these seasons fully, especially the Stanley Cup playoffs, mainly through stories about the teams in the major newspapers of the two cities. While a book on any good sports rivalry can be riveting, this book falls a bit short of that because of the frequent use of newspaper articles for the information. Most of the original material is not new insight into the rivalry but instead on short biographies on players and coaches for both teams.  The two previously mentioned, Roy and Bowman, make for good information to readers who may not be familiar with their stories, but hardcore fans may be left disappointed with the lack of depth.

Dater also injects personal notes into the book, including a passage on how he became a sports writer.  Again, this is a mixed bag.  Sometimes his personal interactions with players and coaches adds a nice touch, such as the story about Bowman, but other times this comes off as too much self-promotion. 

Because of the quality of the teams and the rivalry between them, I did finish this book and enjoyed reliving that era of hockey.  This book is for readers who are just looking for that type of experience, or if they are fans of either team.  Since Dater is a Denver resident, there is a slant toward the Avalanche, but overall the writing is fair to both teams and also fair in overall quality. 

Book Format Read:
E-book (Kindle)

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