1706254347 A highly anticipated royal visit to Montreal

A highly anticipated “royal” visit to Montreal

There will be no crown or tiaras, but the arrival of Patrick Roy as head coach of the New York Islanders on Thursday night at the Bell Center is an event highly anticipated by hockey fans in Quebec.

The main man himself set the table for his visit, which marks only his third game at the helm of the Islanders.

“It's always special to go to Montreal,” Roy admitted during his press conference following his team's loss to the Vegas Golden Knights on Tuesday night at UBS Arena. They took my jersey off, I had ten good years there, three Finals appearances and two Stanley Cup victories [en 1986 et 1993]. Yes, it will be special.”

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However, the Islanders are not scheduled to have a morning practice in Montreal before the game, as Roy prefers the players avoid distractions.

A highly anticipated “royal” visit to Montreal

Photo AFP

“The boys will stay in the hotel and concentrate on the game,” the coach told New York media on Wednesday. The reason I don’t want there to be morning practice is because the media will ask them questions about me, they’ll tell them this and that and I don’t need that and neither do they.”

Respect for Patrick

The former Habs goalkeeper will explain his feelings to the media himself at the end of the afternoon. It is certain that the Canadian's organization will also give him a special welcome by showcasing him on the big screen at the start of the game.

“Patrick Roy is very close to the Montreal Canadiens,” head coach Martin St-Louis commented on Wednesday, showing his respect for the Monarch after the Habs practice in Brossard. I grew up watching Patrick Roy and it's normal that this game was significant. For good reason.”

A highly anticipated “royal” visit to Montreal

Photo agency QMI, JOEL LEMAY

“I think it's good for the league, he's a hockey player,” St-Louis also noted regarding the Islanders' signing of Roy last weekend. He has experience behind the bench in addition to everything he has done in front of the net.

A different atmosphere

Among the CH players, captain Nick Suzuki expects an exciting meeting and an ovation from the fans for Roy. Goalkeeper Samuel Montembeault, who will logically be in front of the net in the game against the Islanders, recognizes that there is “great enthusiasm”.

“When the atmosphere is different, it is pleasant,” noted Montembeault. There is energy and it is up to us to use it for our own benefit.”

“I want to win this match and beat Patrick,” said Rafaël Harvey-Pinard with a smile. It’s always nice to play a game against a guy who is recognized in the hockey world.”

The red carpet

The problem is that the Islanders players undoubtedly want to win this game for Roy. In his first game in Montreal as coach of the Colorado Avalanche on March 18, 2014, “Casseau” lost 6-3.

A highly anticipated “royal” visit to Montreal


“It should be fantastic and I think we'll just try to enjoy the moment with him,” Islanders projected forward Jean-Gabriel Pageau was quoted as saying on the NHL website.

Pageau, who grew up in the Gatineau region, is expecting a royal welcome.

“They should roll out the red carpet for him,” he said. He deserves it. He's famous there not only because he's a winner, but I think he's a competitive guy and I know Quebecers like that kind of personality.

Joshua Roy was traded to the Rocket

On the eve of this game, Quebec forward Joshua Roy was traded to the Laval Rocket of the American League. During practice, he primarily completed reps with the team's defenders.

As in the third period on Tuesday, in the Canadiens' 4-1 loss to the Senators, the front row counted on Josh Anderson alongside Suzuki and Cole Caufield. The young Juraj Slafkosvsky, who was falling down the hierarchy, trained with Sean Monahan and Joel Armia.