Plenty of Bruins connections to Avalanche's Roy

Plenty of Bruins connections to Avalanche's Roy
October 10, 2013, 2:00 pm
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Patrice Bergeron wouldn’t deny that he grew up disliking Patrick Roy as a diehard Quebec Nordiques fan. First Roy was the enemy as a member of the Montreal Canadiens, and then it was too late when Roy joined the franchise after they moved West to become the Colorado Avalanche.

“I really respect everything he’s done throughout his career. Being a Nordiques fan it was hard to watch him do so well in Montreal,” said Bergeron. “It would have been nice to have seen him play in Quebec. But he’s had an amazing career before and after his playing days, and he’s done a lot for the community back home.

Last year before going to [Switzerland] I skated with the Remparts for a bit. So I got to know him a little bit more during that time. It’ll be different. So far things have been going well for him. He’s an intense guy, and I’m sure he’s an intense coach. We’re expecting a team [in Colorado] that’s got a lot of energy.”

But Bergeron and Roy became big fish in a small Quebec City pond when the Hall of Fame goaltender took over the Quebec Remparts junior hockey team as coach of the QMJHL franchise.

So it was inevitable they would cross paths, and the lockout provided that setting. Bergeron actually skated with Roy’s Remparts team to stay in shape during the NHL lockout before heading over to Switzerland, and left a big impression on the players and coaching staff. In essence, the fiery Roy found out what everybody else already knows: Bergeron is all class, all the time.

“He came a few times. He didn’t want to be there because of the lockout situation, but at the same time he was so nice to our players. He’s such a generous player,” said Roy, who coached the Remparts from 2005-2012 and still serves as co-owner of the junior franchise. “He gave his time to help our centers get better at face-offs. He’s one of the best in the league in that area.

“It’s easy to appreciate Patrice Bergeron. He’s been so good for the Bruins over the years. He’s a great two-way player and he brings a lot to the table for that organization. There’s no doubt about it.”

The Colorado coach has received the full Bruins experience, however, because he also dealt with Brad Marchand during his junior hockey days. Marchand admitted there may have been a few words between himself and the Hall of Fame goaltender when he was behind the bench with the Remparts.

“He was the coach for a few years. He was fun to play against in junior, and it was cool to see a guy of his caliber behind the bench,” said Marchand. “I always admired him, but it will be a little bit different here. At the NHL level you need to be a little more professional. I’ll just ignore him a bit.”

So was there chirping between Marchand and Roy, like there was between Corey Perry and the Avs coach that preceded the Colorado bench boss nearly pushing down a glass partition on top of Ducks head coach Bruce Boudreau?

“There actually was a little bit,” said Marchand. “I yelled at him a little bit just to say that ‘I yelled at Patrick Roy.’ But it was nothing over the top, or anything. I just wanted to get his attention a little bit. It was fun.”

While it might have been fun at the junior hockey level, don’t expect a repeat between the Nose Face Killah and St. Patrick at the NHL level on Thursday night. It could be hazardous to the top of Claude Julien’s head.