Au Rev Roy!

Patrick Roy (Wah) will be remembered for four major moments in his career by Detroit Red Wing fans and many other hockey enthusiasts. Until his retirement today, Roy was undoubtedly the best goaltender in the NHL (perhaps the best ever) but also the player Detroit fans loved to cajole the most. Much of it was self-induced by Patty Roy. Take these four examples:

1) On a cold Saturday night in early December, 1995, Detroit scored seven goals against then Montreal Canadien Roy early. His coach left Roy in the game to teach Roy a lesson about spouting off in the press. When Roy was finally pulled after being embarrassed on a National Hockey Night In Canada audience with the score 9-0, he went right to the owners box and told him he would never play in a Montreal uniform again. Roy had been great in his 10 years with the Habs but was done as a Canadien as of that moment. On Monday, he was traded to Colorado. Didn’t matter then that it was Detroit, could have been any team that night, but it was the start of a great rivalry between Roy and the Wings.

2) The Patrick Roy vs. Mike Vernon brawl on March 26, 1997. If you are a hockey fan, that date is notorious. It’s the night Detroit’s Darren McCarty exacted revenge on one Turtle Claude Lemiueux for smashing Kirs Draper’s face into the boards from behind the previous year from behind with no apology or regrets. While McCarty was busy exacting revenge (with Lemiueux cowering in the corner) Roy skated to his blue line and challenged Mike Vernon to a fight — unheard of in hockey circles. But since the referees were so busy with all of the other mayhem and chaos on the ice there was no one to stop Vernon from skating from one end of the ring to the other……and he did. Roy and Vernon met at mid ice almost in flight towards each other after launching themselves into the air. What ensued was on helluva battle between two goalie-padded warriors. See the picture below……

3) In Game 5 of the 2002 NHL Conference Finals with the Wings down in the series and almost out of it, Roy appeared to have made a fabulous save against Detroit’s Steve Yzerman who was playing hobbled on one leg. But instead of ensuring he had the puck covered, Roy did one of his patented in-your-face moves by lifting his glove quickly and raising it high for everyone to see he had made such a great save. Problem was he was sans-puck and he actually swept it into the net when he made his hot-dog move. Wings go on to win that key game and force a Game 7.

4) Game 7, 2002: Detroit scores 7 goals on Roy and shuts out the Avs, effectively winning the longstanding rivalry between the two teams. Bye Patty!

Those of you who are not hockey savvy may think The Vinman is being hard on Patty with this last (I promise) parting shot on behalf of all who love to chide Mr. Roy. While browsing around for images of Roy today, I found a website that is dedicated to making fun of Roy. I have posted a link below, but first a disclaimer:

Mom, I know you read this site. You raised me well, to be a decent man, but I could just not resist sharing this with the world. You can send me a scolding email, but I will not read it. Life is too short not to have a little off-color humor!

So without further ado, you HAVE to check out this site and the captioned photos if you love to have a good laugh on Roy: It’s, yes, the The Patrick Roy ate my balls page

Now, to give the man his due…………..

I have been playing hockey and watching it since I was six. I remember sitting in a dark, musty, cold basement with little light (and scary monsters in the furnace room) watching a nine-inch black and white console TV long before color TV, cable and even UHF. If you don’t know what UHF is, you’re too young to have it explained.

By the time Patrick Roy entered the NHL in 1985 or so, I had already seen greats like Gordie Howe, Bobby Hull, Bobby Orr, Phil Esposito and even Terry Sawchuck play live at the old Olympia. Hockey is as much in my blood as iron and other essential minerals. I have watched Patrick Roy for 18 seasons now. Simply put, he is the best goaltender I have ever seen play the game over such a long span of time. He deserves all the accolades he will likely get in the coming weeks and I have read much about what a great person he is off the ice. I will miss watching him play hockey and wish him all the best.

What made him so quirky and a guy Red Wings’ fans (and anyone not on his team) loved to cajole is partly out of envy. Yes, he did many stupid things on the ice, but they were born out of a competitive spirit that is second to none. And that’s what made watching him so fun. He wasn’t just satisfied to be one of the greatest and not win. It was all about winning for him. And when he played bad and cost his team a crucial game he was man enough to stand up and admit it to the press. What more can you ask of a guy?

Now onto his press conference later today. I will watch it and bid ado

Au rev Roy!

Next stop Hall of Fame.

Other Links:

Roy Goes Without Wearing Out Welcome in Colorado

Rocky Mountain News: Avalanche

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