Colorado Avalanche: Patrick Roy in Goal Again


Colorado Avalanche head coach Patrick Roy practiced goal tending during the Colorado Avalanche’s closed practice at Family Sports Center in Centennial. He’s preparing for the Stadium Series Alumni game that takes place on February 26.

The Colorado Avalanche are going to have their Hall of Fame goalie in net again.

Ok, as we all know, the Colorado Avalanche are playing an Alumni Game against the Detroit Red Wings as part of the Stadium Series festivities. The Alumni Game takes place on February 26, at Coors Field. All the greats are going to be there, including Ray Bourque, Adam Foote, Rob Blake, Milan Hejduk, Sandis Ozolinsh, Claude Lemieux and Joe Sakic. And Patrick Roy is going to be in net again.

For those of you who don’t know (ie., you’re new to the site — welcome!), Patrick Roy is my all-time favorite Avalanche player. So the thought of getting to see him play in goal again, even for an alumni game, is thrilling.

Alumni Game Preparations

Patrick Roy and Joe Sakic have talked about their preparations for the game, and they’ve joked that they’ll be minimal. In fact, Sakic remarked that he used to start getting ready for training camp about three weeks before it began, and he’ll probably follow that timeline for this event as well.

Sakic and Roy are no strangers to skating even now — Roy skates at practice every day. Reports have been trickling in recent weeks, through, that Roy has exchanged his regular hockey skates for goalie skates. Yesterday was the first day he officially donned full gear and participated in drills, though. I’m guessing he’s done so unofficially in private. He knew the media would be all over his return to goal tending.

Indeed, though the practice was atypically closed, the Colorado Avalanche media team was allowed to post the following:

Here’s video of Patrick Roy actually stopping shots:

Now, the caption reads “Still got it,” and as a Patrick Roy fan, that’s my first response, too. I know he looks a little slow getting back from his knees, but the man is 50 years old. His instincts are still there, though.

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Patrick Roy and Goal Tending

More from Avalanche News

Patrick Roy has had one of the — if not the — biggest impact on the position of goal tending of any player. Because of his success with the style, the butterfly is the go-to for a large percentage of NHL goalies. They’ve all had to adapt the system to their personal skills and to shooters’ adaptations. However, the majority of the goalies drop into a butterfly as at least part of their repertoire.

One aspect of Patrick Roy’s brilliance as a goal tender that some people don’t realize is that he made it look easy. He was so solid in his butterfly style that his play looked almost machine-like. For that reason, highlight videos of Roy rarely show his trademark style. They either highlight a dive save, one of his gaffes or his personality.

Here’s an example:

This video is actually better for showing off Patrick Roy’s trademark goal tending style:

Roy has records, and we all know records are meant to be broken. Martin Brodeur has already broken his regular season win record, though Roy’s playoff record is still intact.

However, in his time, Patrick Roy won the Stanley Cup four times in three decades with two teams. He earned the Vezina Trophy three times (1989, 1990, 1992) for goal tending and the Conn Smyth Trophy (1986, 1993, 2001) three times as playoff MVP.

He is accorded one of the — again, if not the — best goal tenders to ever play the game.

More About Patrick Roy:

So, though he’ll only be playing again for a purely exhibition match, and though he won’t have the form he displayed above thanks to time, his magic is still sure to infuse the arena is in net for the Colorado Avalanche again.