Patrick Roy made the news during his first-ever NHL game coaching. He did it with his fire while sticking up for his players, but where has that fire been this year?
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So as a coach, I got kicked out of the first hockey game of my life over the weekend (I promise it ties in).
One of my players was hit with a terrible, intentional knee that it turns out tore his ACL, MCL and some of the tendons to his knee cap. I had an honestly polite conversation with the referee who was looking right at it, and he clearly did not understand that the onus of a check is always on the checker to make a clean hit (think of Tyson Barrie trying to jump out of the way of Matt Cooke).
Anyway the referee went on to call my goalie for shoving an opponent after the opponent had barreled into him. And I lost it. I, well, commented on how impressed the referees’ supervisor must be with his performance. I may have yelled — you get the point.
Three days later, and with a disciplinary hearing coming up, I feel no regret for my actions — as a coach, I will protect my players at all costs. And that’s what Roy did his first game. Sure he was fined, but the players knew he was on their side, and they went on to win the division
But we haven’t seen the Patrick Roy fire much this season. We’ve seen it on the bench a couple times this year. In most cases after he’s been pissed, the Colorado Avalanche have come out and played well. They crushed Dallas after he was pissed about the home opener. After a crappy game against Boston where he actually expressed himself, the Avs went out and blanked (albeit a heavily struggling) Ducks team.
And I understand to a point why Roy isn’t going nuts on his team. It’s early in the season, and perhaps he honestly believes the Avalanche are just on the tipping point for making things click. He also has a reputation as a hot head, despite his normally calm demeanor over the last 3 years. Thus screaming at referees every game isn’t going to help the Avalanche get calls.
But at some point, he needs to come out and say that his team is playing with no effort. (I actually thought they looked pretty good versus the New York Rangers, but this is a season-long post.) At some point he needs to send messages to players by putting them in the press box.
Now, it’s true Matt Duchene has said how he loves that Roy doesn’t have a “dog house”:
"The one thing with Patrick is, there’s no doghouse. If you’re not doing what you’re supposed to do, he’s going to bring you in, he’s going to sit you down and you’re going to correct it constructively, and then you’re going to move on from there. You don’t stay in that doghouse."
But I feel like the Avalanche are the only team I haven’t seen sending a player to the press box for motivational reasons the last three years. And maybe the sending down of Nikita Zadorov was a motivation inspired move, and it’s possible that the Avalanche all care enough to not need a doghouse.
In conclusion, however he wants to do it I want Patrick Roy to show that he’s pissed that a team with a decent roster is in last place in the division. Roy needs to be mad that his team has twice as many losses as wins. I understand patience, I understand not overreacting, but this is the NHL. At the end of the day it’s not about making sure everyone is happy — it’s about winning hockey games.