DENVER (AP) – Shortly after the final horn, an irate Patrick Roy screamed at the Anaheim Ducks through the glass partition separating the two benches.
Still worked up, he shoved the glass with both hands not once but twice, causing it to tip forward.
Yep, Roy’s just as fiery as ever.
In his NHL coaching debut, Roy lost only his temper as the Colorado Avalanche routed the Ducks 6-1 on Wednesday night.
For his outburst, Roy received a game misconduct – and cheers from the fans, who hope the Hall of Fame goalie can lead this downtrodden franchise back to prominence, much like he did years ago when he helped the Avs to two Stanley Cup titles.
Roy’s rage didn’t exactly make him any friends with the Ducks.
He hollered at opposing players and then yelled at Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau, who yapped right back. That’s when Roy pushed on the glass until it tilted, surprising Boudreau.
“(He’s) 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,” Boudreau said. “It’s not the way the game is played.”
Roy was sticking up for his players, agitated over an apparent tripping infraction against top draft pick Nathan MacKinnon that wasn’t called.
“That should have been a penalty, in my opinion,” Roy said. “I don’t think this league needs that type of cheap shot.”
With the game already long over and only a few seconds remaining, Roy sent Patrick Bordeleau and Cody McLeod onto the ice, fourth-line players who are also the team’s top enforcers.
And that infuriated Anaheim.
“He put the big guys in there at the end to probably make a big show out of it,” defenseman Francois Beauchemin said. “I’m not surprised.”
The fracas at the end overshadowed an otherwise splendid season opener for the Avalanche. Semyon Varlamov was sharp in net as he made 35 saves, and Jamie McGinn scored two goals, both on passes from MacKinnon, the No. 1 pick in the draft in June.
“I don’t know if many people thought we would beat them like that, but obviously we are very excited that we got the win,” MacKinnon said.
Ryan O’Reilly, John Mitchell, Matt Duchene and Steve Downie added goals for the Avalanche, who improved to 19-8-7 on opening night. Alex Tanguay, back with Colorado for the first time since the 2005-06 season, also had three assists.
Varlamov stuffed the Ducks all evening but lost his bid for a shutout in the closing seconds when Jakob Silfverberg slipped a shot by him.
It was fitting that Varlamov should play so well under the watch of Roy, one of the NHL’s best goalies.
“I am playing for a goalie that accomplished a lot,” Varlamov said. “I think Patrick tells me a couple of good things, things I can use in a game. That is special.”
At barely 18 years old, MacKinnon is the youngest player in franchise history to make his NHL debut. He had quite an eventful game, getting into a skirmish before his assists.
His first career point came in the second period when he sent a pass through the legs of an Anaheim defender. His other was in the third when he found a wide-open McGinn skating toward the net.
In large part, this night belonged to Roy, who drew a loud roar when he was introduced before the game. He and fellow Hall of Famer Joe Sakic, who is in charge of the Avalanche’s day-to-day hockey operations, are teaming up to restore the luster to an organization that has missed the playoffs the last three seasons.
O’Reilly got the Avs off to a good start by scoring the first goal in the Roy era late in the opening period when he stole the puck from Beauchemin and beat Viktor Fasth with a wrist shot. O’Reilly, who is making the move to left wing, also had an assist.
“We are so deep up front that if we stick to relentless fore-check and move our feet, we are a dangerous team,” O’Reilly said. “All in all, we did play a solid hockey game.”
NOTES: Ducks F Teemu Selanne didn’t have many scoring chances as the 43-year-old began his final NHL season. Selanne has spent 15 seasons with Anaheim and is the franchise’s career leader in goals, assists and games. … Avs D Ryan Wilson (knee) began the season on injured reserve. … MacKinnon is living in the basement of goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere’s house this season.
By PAT GRAHAM, AP Sports Writer
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