Undoubtedly the best goaltender to ever wear the CH was on hand last night for the Canadiens centennial celebration.
It was something that no Canadiens fan could ever imagine seeing again, Patrick Roy suited up for a game wearing the CH. It may have also been something that many Canadiens fans would rather not have seen.
Since he was traded to the Colorado Avalanche in '95 there has been a skism between Montreal fans and Montrealers in general. The first half are the ones who would pretend that he never left, and talked about him as if he were going to start the next game.While the others felt that how he left the club was so disgusting and cowardly that he did not deserve to be recognized for any of the success he had with the club.
The knock on Roy has always been that he may have been a great hockey player, but he was a terrible person with anger problems, a short temper and no respect.
For all the trouble that these personal traits have landed him in, his fiery temper and personality are the reason's why he is the greatest goalie to ever play the game.
Patrick's determination to always be the best, no matter how good or how bad the team in front of him allowed him to continuously improve his game (if not forcing him to). He was never satisfied with his performance and he had an insatiable hunger to be the best. It was even apparent in practice, as any of his ex-teammates would tell you he was just as competitive in practice as he was in a game.
He was the ultimate perfectionist. Some would say quirky and overly superstitious, but the way he prepared himself mentally for every game insured that he would be the best goaltender on the ice, night in and night out.
Patrick's biggest short coming has always been his short fuse, which is what led to his hurried departure out of Montreal and into the airy mountains of Denver. The trade that has left the Canadiens franchise scrambling for a premier goalie for over 15 years. When Roy walked over to Ronald Cory to tell him that he had played his last game for the Canadiens it was a fusion between his personal pride and rage.
Roy's game was always built around the pride he took in himself, his team and when he allowed 9 goals on that December night it was a performance that his pride just could not swallow.
It was that pride that led him to the amazing singular effort in overtime of the May 5, 1986 playoff game against the Rangers , which is still to many the singular most spectacular display of goal-tending they have ever seen.
It was also his pride infused with a lot of courage, which led to Patrick's return from appendicitis just a day after the surgery to lead his Canadiens to a 5-2 win over the Boston Bruins in game four of a seven game series stopping 39 of the 41 shots he faced.
Patrick's internal drive led him to the great success he enjoyed throughout his career and it also lead to some great quotes. Such as his famous "I could not hear what JR said, because I had my two Stanley cup rings plugged in my ears".
Patrick would have never left the QMJHL cellar-dweller Granby Bison's in 1984 had he not been determined to be the team's workhorse and be the sole reason for its successes.
His work ethic was derivative of his pride, which fueled his anger and rage in hockey. Without that fire in his belly, Patrick would never have left tiny Ste-Foy, Quebec for the big lights of Montreal. As a 19 year old he would have never had the chance to fly out to Calgary and raise the Stanley cup for the first of four times.