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If we’d asked you what you would be doing on April 21 before the Colorado Avalanche season started, we doubt that many of you would have responded, “watching the Avs in the NHL playoffs.” Even fewer of you would have predicted that the Avs would be up by two games.
Yet here we are, prepping to cheer during tonight’s Game Three. What made the difference? Colorado Avalanche Broadcaster Mike Haynes may have said it best when he quipped that this was a “Save By Roy.”
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Current Avs coach Patrick Roy made thousands of saves as a goaltender for the team from 1996 to 2003. He played in more than 1,000 NHL games. He helped win four Stanley Cups (two with Colorado), and retired with the most wins of any goaltender in NHL history. However, of all the saves Roy has made, his best ever may very well have come this season.
In his first year as head coach, Roy led an Avalanche team who last year finished at the bottom of the Western Conference, and turned them into Central Division Champions with home-ice advantage for the first time in a playoff series since 2003. He pushed rising stars Matt Duchene, Gabriel Landeskog, and Ryan O’Reilly to play out of their minds and helped bring presumed Rookie of the Year Nathan MacKinnon to the Mile High City.
He’s also volatile, which makes for great interviews and an impassioned fan base, and a risk taker (exhibit A), but so far, everything Roy has touched has turned to goals. Let’s hope it keeps working tonight.