Colorado Avalanche Alumni: Patrick Roy Moments

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#3: Roy Declares “No more rats.”

I have a memory of color analyst Peter McNab remarking that Patrick Roy once told his teammates they only ever had to score two goals because he was never letting in more than one. Unfortunately, I’ve searched in vain for confirmation of that quote, but it was just an off-hand comment during a game in the 1990s.

One comment that I can confirm is that Patrick Roy told his teammates “No more rats.”

During the 1996 Stanley Cup playoffs, Florida Panthers fans started celebrating every Cats goal by throwing plastic rats onto the ice. By the time the Panthers entered the actual Stanley Cup Finals, a veritable tidal wave of rats cascaded onto the ice every time Florida scored.

The Colorado Avalanche took the first two games of the series at home in McNichols Arena. However, the series then moved to Miami Arena.

While Colorado’s Claude Lemieux scored first, Florida got two quick goals to take the lead by the end of the first period. Both times a deluge of rats came flying down to the ice.

Most goalies during the playoffs had half-crouched in the net or skated over to the bench when the rain of rats came down. However, Patrick Roy stood proudly in his net, practically daring a plastic rat to hit him.

Not only that, after the second goal, Patrick Roy skated over to the Colorado Avalanche bench. He uttered just three words to his teammates: “No more rats.” In other words, no more rats would be raining down on them because he wasn’t allowing any more goals.

He was as good as his word. It was just the first period of Game 3 and just the first game of the two-game stand in Florida. It didn’t matter. Patrick Roy made a total of 32 saves in that game and a ridiculous 63 saves the following — the game went into triple overtime — to ensure there would be no more rats.

And that the Colorado Avalanche would win the Stanley Cup.

Most people love the second Colorado Avalanche Stanley Cup best because of the Ray Bourque story — Joe Sakic handing the Cup to Bourque is one of the most iconic gestures in all sports. I value that moment, too.

However, that first Stanley Cup will always be my favorite.

Next: #2