BOSTON — Patrick Roy should have been a Boston Bruin.
If ever an NHL player (and coach) represented what this franchise and its fanbase adores, it was Roy, a four-time Stanley Cup champion and Hockey Hall of Famer.
Of course, some people might have a problem with Roy ever wearing the spoked “B.” To many New Englanders, Roy will always be a dreaded Montreal Canadien ... yuk!
Roy, sitting in the visitors’ locker room at Boston University after his “undefeated” Colorado Avalanche team practiced yesterday, laughed when the “Roy should have been a Bruin” was thrown into the discussion.
He started laughing.
“You know, I really liked coming to play in Boston,” recalled Roy, who spent 11 1/2 seasons with the Canadiens and 7 1/2 more with the Avalanche. “The fans were tough, but I liked them. They really cared. They liked physical hockey. And the Bruins were always a very good team. When I played for Montreal there was nothing like playing the Bruins. It was like every game was a playoff game.”
Well, three games into his career as head coach of the Avs, you could say the same thing.
Roy, always noted for his skill, athleticism and energy, has brought the energy to his coaching. While we’ve heard and seen a few instances of his emotional moments coaching in juniors, it took only one game as an NHL head coach to bring a playoff atmosphere to the first of 82 games.
Near the end of the Avs opener against the Anaheim Ducks last week, Roy and Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau went at each other, pushing the glass partition between them (Roy was really the only one pushing the glass).
Roy went ballistic after Anaheim’s Ben Lovejoy apparently stuck out his knee and hit the knee of Colorado’s first round pick Nathan MacKinnon. A penalty was called, probably because of the score, but that didn’t stop Roy.