Red Wings set to tangle with Patrick Roy’s red-hot Avalanche

DETROIT – Patrick Roy has certainly made his mark early in his NHL coaching career.

From his dust up with Anaheim coach Bruce Boudreau in his debut that got him fined $10,000, to tying the NHL record for victories to start a coaching career, Roy has got the attention of everyone in the league.

“He came out of the gates pretty hot,” said Kyle Quincey, a former Avalanche defenseman. “I’ve heard he has a lot of emotion and the guys are playing well in front of him, so they have a good thing going there.”

Colorado beat Dallas, 3-2 Tuesday night, to win for the sixth straight time.

Coincidentally, Roy shares the coaching record with his former coach in Montreal, Mario Tremblay, who played a major role in sending the Hall of Fame netminder packing during his rookie campaign with the Canadiens.

Tremblay kept Roy in during a lopsided 11-1 by the Wings in 1995. Roy, who allowed nine of those goals, felt Tremblay wanted to humiliate him by keeping him on the ice and quickly demanded a trade that he got.

“No question (he brings intensity),” Wings coach Mike Babcock said.

Roy will look to break the coaching record Thursday against the Wings, who he has a long-history with as a goalie with the Avalanche.

The teams met in the playoffs five times from 1996-2002. In the final meeting, Detroit got six by Roy in Game 7 of the Western Conference finals. The rivalry got more heated when Roy fought Mike Vernon in 1997 and then Chris Osgood the very next season.

“I know nothing about him as a coach, I just know he was an elite, elite goaltender, very competitive guy,” Babcock said.

Roy began his coaching career in 2005 in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League with the Quebec Remparts, a team he also owned and was general manager of at the time, and had instant success leading the squad to the Memorial Cup that same season.

“Obviously he went back and learned to coach by being in major junior,” Babcock said. “Major junior is just NHL lite. It’s like lite beer it’s the same freaking thing. You learn. He’s already got the 20 years of pro and he knows the nuances and all that. And when you coach good players you get to be a better coach.”

The Avalanche have outscored their opponents 21-6 thus far. The two goals Dallas scored on Tuesday were the most they’ve given up in one game this season.

“They look like they go very fast,” Babcock said. “Two years ago, they skated us, flat-out skated us. Then they got a bunch of injuries last year and this year they’ve got more guys again and keep adding good players.”

Rookie Nathan MacKinnon is tied for the team lead with seven points, along with PA Parenteau and Matt Duchene.

“The kid there looks like he’s going to be a star very quickly (MacKinnon),” Babcock said. “They’ve got a good looking team.”

Colorado’s penalty kill has also been outstanding, allowing just one goal on 16 chances.

“They’re building their team similar to how we are, their centers are unbelievable,” Quincey said. “They’ve got Ryan O’Reilly … that’s how good their centers are, he has to move to the wing. He’s a great player. Paul Stastny, Duchie and the MacKinnon kid, they got a great core of guys and good people. I’m not too surprised. This should be a fun game.”

An Avalanche win will also tie the franchise’s best start to a season. The Quebec Nordiques started 7-0 in the 1985-86 season.


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