ENGLEWOOD, Colo. – Patrick Roy got into a screaming match with an opposing coach, pushed over a glass partition, received a game misconduct and was reprimanded by the NHL.
Quite an eventful start to his coaching career with the Colorado Avalanche.
His fiery temper definitely has followed him from the goal to the bench.
On Wednesday, Roy lost his cool shortly after the final horn in a 6-1 win over Anaheim, yelling at Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau and then pounding on the glass partition separating the two benches with so much force that it began to tilt.
The league punished Roy for his outburst with a $10,000 fine on Thursday and a reminder that this sort of behaviour won’t be tolerated.
“Roy’s actions at the conclusion of the game were irresponsible,” said Colin Campbell, NHL senior executive vice-president of hockey operations. “One of the responsibilities of an NHL coach is to help diffuse volatile situations on the bench.”
What set the Hall of Fame goalie off was a knee-to-knee hit between rookie Nathan MacKinnon and Ducks defenceman Ben Lovejoy late in the game. Roy thought Lovejoy’s hit was unnecessary and could’ve been avoided.
“I guess I have to change a few things. I got the $10,000 fine by the league for that,” Roy said after practice. “I understand it now. At the same time, I will always defend my players.”
And that’s appreciated.
“It just shows that he cares about his players a lot,” said MacKinnon, the No. 1 pick in the draft over the summer. “He’s very passionate and he’ll stand up for what he believes in and not really think about the circumstances or the criticism.”
Even a day later, Roy was still a little bit worked up.
Sure, the hit remained a sore subject, but so were comments Boudreau made about him after the game. Boudreau called Roy’s antics “bush league” and added that “(Roy is) going to be in for a long year, if he’s going to yell at every player and yell at the refs at every stoppage of play. It’s not the way the game is played.”
Roy fumed over the assertion.
“I didn’t talk to players until that moment. During the game, I don’t talk to the players. I don’t talk to the referees,” Roy said. “What Boudreau said was all lies. I’m not going to get too involved in this one but to be honest when you talk about classless—when you’re lying, this is classless.”
This could be a very entertaining season with Roy on the bench.
“He’s very passionate,” said forward Alex Tanguay, who played alongside Roy when the Avalanche won the 2001 Stanley Cup title. “The emotion and intensity of a first game probably got to him a little bit at the end. He’s fine.”
The Avs are certainly feeding off his energy this year as they try to turn around a franchise that’s missed the playoffs the last three seasons.
“We’re a passionate group and it starts with the guy behind the bench,” Jamie McGinn said. “He’s really passionate about this game. He wants to win and it carries over.”
Overshadowed by the melee at the end was the performance of MacKinnon. Just a shade over 18 years old, he had two assists to become the youngest NHL player to record two or more points in a game since 1944, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
“There are some things I need to do better,” MacKinnon said. “A couple passes, but I mean, there are a lot of things I can work on as well.”
Just the attitude Roy appreciates.
“This is an opportunity there for him and he needs to be himself,” Roy said. “With time, he’ll play a larger role on our team.”
That’s why he came to MacKinnon’s defence when he was hit by Lovejoy.
“I think it was what needed to be done,” Roy said. “The incident with Lovejoy going after Nathan at the end of the game, I thought that was something that was inappropriate.
“This is the way I dealt with this one. Will I deal with it differently next time? Maybe. Or maybe not.”
NOTES: Captain Gabe Landeskog missed practice Thursday with a leg injury. Roy said he’s being examined by a doctor. … On Friday, MacKinnon will face good friend Seth Jones, the fourth overall pick by Nashville in June. Jones was drawn to the game in part because of Hall of Famer Joe Sakic’s influence when Jones’ father, Popeye, once suited up for the Denver Nuggets. “It’s going to be fun to play against him,” MacKinnon said.