DENVER (CBS4) – The Colorado Avalanche had a magical season but it came to end Wednesday night with a 5-4 overtime loss in Game 7 of the first round of the playoffs to the Minnesota Wild. Head coach Patrick Roy said he has mixed feelings about the loss because the season was such a success.
“There’s a side of me that is very disappointed because I thought we could have won that game,” Roy said in his postgame news conference. “But there’s also a side of me that’s extremely proud of our players. I love the way we were all year.”
Roy said the whole season was a learning process and in the end injuries became a factor.
“(Not) losing a guy like (Tyson) Barrie and losing a guy like (John) Mitchell would probably made a difference for us … but these are not the excuses we want to use; I mean a team is a team and we played like this all year,” Roy said. “We always find a way to go through adversity … and we got beat by a team that played really well and a team that was well-coached and a team that deserved to win as much as we did.”
Center Matt Duchene said after the game that he’s never been more motivated to work hard in the offseason to get ready for next year because of the letdown of losing to the Wild. Roy said that’s what he wants from his players.
“One quality we had all year is we were never satisfied and it’s surely not going to start today,” Roy said. “It was a great experience — this year. It was fun for me to be part of it and one thing we are all proud (of) is to see the Avs on top. That should motivate us to have another good year next year and prepare ourselves really well in the summer.”
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Roy said it was special to see the fans be excited about the team.
“And see our fans coming back to the building and it was electric out there … it was fun to be part of and I didn’t want to see it ending … I had goose bumps when I (saw) them start the game, start of overtime, start of the third period … I just want to say thanks to (the fans).”
Roy said it was hard to look at the bright side of the season after the loss because everybody knows how much he likes to win.
“But at the same time we have to admit that that was a heck of a year.”
He said the playoffs are a learning process and next year the players might be a little calmer in the playoff situation and react differently.
“We believe in ourselves and it’s hard to believe it’s over … I’m sure tomorrow is going to hurt more.”
– By Matthew J. Buettner, CBSDenver.com