Colorado Avalanche Alumni: Patrick Roy Moments

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#2: Roy Dekes Gretzky

Patrick Roy has ever had a flair for showmanship.  On November 16, 1997, though, he took that flair to a whole new level.

The Colorado Avalanche were visiting the New York Rangers in Madison Square Garden. It was a routine early-season game, but the Avalanche were getting routed pretty good. The score was 4-1 late in the third period.

With just 3:30 left in the game, Patrick Roy came out of his crease to play the puck. Nothing too unusual — until he kept going. He skated right past his two defensemen — you could even say he split the D.

As he got near the red line, two Rangers — one of them the Great One himself, Wayne Gretzky — approached. Patrick Roy simply effected a neat spin-o-rama and stepped over the red line before relinquishing the puck to teammate Adam Deadmarsh.

Goalies don’t do that. Goalies aren’t allowed to play the puck past the red line. And…. goalies just don’t do that.

Well, not just any goalie does that, but then Patrick Roy wasn’t just any goalie. Even his opponent in that game, Jose Theodore, remarked on that in a Hockey News special:

"“That’s Patrick. Patrick does things that he’s the only guy that could do it. I just couldn’t believe it — he looked pretty good.”"

At the time, then-coach Marc Crawford speculated that Roy may have stepped over the red line to avoid the rule against goalies playing the puck over the red line. However, Patrick Roy was renowned for being superstitious — and his stepping rather than skating over the red line was well-documented.

During an interview with The Fan Morning Show, Roy remarked that he made his play because he was trying to give his teammates some spark.

What needs to never be lost in the retelling of this story is that Patrick Roy the goalie split his own D and deked Wayne Gretzky.

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