When he burst on the scene with the Canadiens as a rookie, he helped the Habs win the Stanley Cup in 1986. He won the Conn Smythe Trophy as the most valuable player of the playoffs and cemented his legacy as a legend in Montreal. Now, in his first NHL season behind the bench, he has a young Avalanche team in second place in the Central Division and surging toward the playoffs.
Sports Interaction’s NHL odds have the Montreal Canadiens listed as -135 favorites against Patrick Roy and the visiting Colorado Avalanche.
“I was trying to not think too much about it,” Roy told reporters about coming back to Montreal for Tuesday’s game. “I tried to have a simple approach to this game. I don’t try to put myself ahead of the team. It’s not about me, it’s about them. They deserve the credit for our success and they’re reason for why we are where we are.”
This Avalanche team is no joke. They rank sixth in the league averaging three goals per game and sit third in the NHL with a power play that’s clicking at 20.9 percent. They have four players with at least 50 points. Colorado also has heck of a goalie between the pipes in Semyon Varlamov, who is tied for the league-lead with 34 wins.
So, while Roy’s legacy certainly lives on – especially in Montreal – the team he has put together is doing a lot of the talking for him on the ice.
“He’s gotten his team to play the right way,” St. Louis Blues coach Ken Hitchcock told reporters of Roy. “They’re hard to play against. They don’t win (just) because they’ve got talent. They win because they play the right way. They don’t cheat the game. … Whoever gets them (in the playoffs) has got one of the hardest matchups they’re ever going to see, because you’ve got young players with all kinds of skill that know how to play the game the right way.”
A big part of that is the trust he’s developed with this group of players. Most times, you won’t hear Roy talk much about himself these days.
“All along, I’d been talking about a partnership with my players, to let them know that I’m with them,” Roy told reporters. “When that happened at the end, it certainly gave me an opportunity to show that I am with them. It’s nice to talk, but sometimes talk is cheap.”