"The Boys are Back in Town" was one of the songs blaring from the new state-of-the-art sound system before the game at the Pepsi Center but even the highest wattage speakers could not compete with the roar Patrick Roy received when introduced as the Avalanche's new head coach Wednesday night. Stepping dramatically from a darkened tunnel onto the Avs bench Roy received a thunderous ovation that had a hint of "What took you so long?" to it. Avs fans so hungry not only for wins but any buzz at all the last few years had it supplied again from Roy's magnetic confident aura. The roars only got louder and more frequent as the game went on. If this were a Broadway debut Roy's first night as Avs coach was "Guys and Dolls." The Avs routed the Anaheim Ducks 6-1. "For me it's always been a love story for me with our fans" Roy said. "The noise and the passion they made tonight honestly it felt like I was just here still playing." Ryan O'Reilly scored in the first period. Steve Downie John Mitchell and Jamie McGinn scored in the second period. Then McGinn scored his second goal and Matt Duchene added the final tally in the third period. Oh and goalie Semyon Varlamov was tremendous. Anaheim's goal came with 0.9 seconds left in the game. Roy admitted before the game he was "very nervous" about coaching his first NHL game and truth be told his team seemed to carry those same nerves early on. If not for Varlamov Anaheim could have killed the buzz real early in this one. The Ducks nearly scored on the game's first shift but Varlamov made a toe save with his left skate right before the goal line. Roy never promised Rome would be rebuilt in a day around here and watching the Avs on opening night made it clear some improvements still are needed before the past glory returns for good. There were several mistakes with the puck in the first 25 minutes of the game that probably contributed to a new gray hair or two for Roy. But Varlamov was strong and Colorado actually had the lead after one period thanks to O'Reilly's steal of a puck from Ducks veteran Francois Beauchemin and shot past goalie Viktor Fasth at 15:39. "We have so much depth up front but if we stick to the forecheck and move our feet we can have success" O'Reilly said. "Varly gave us a chance to win. He stood on his head all night."
Patrick Roy's Avalanche coaching debut a smash hit in 6-1 wipeout of Ducks
Denver Post | Oct 3