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March 11, 2014
LCS Top 100: No. 6
by Michael Menser Dell, Editor-in-Chief
Roy was a technician between the pipes. While he lacked Grant Fuhr's quickness or Domink Hasek's freakish flexibility, Roy perfected the butterfly technique and played angles better than Minnesota Fats. An economy of motion in goal, he made saves look easy, with even spectacular scoring chances ending up in his chest.
The bigger the game, the better Roy played. He won his first Cup as a 20-year-old, posting a ridiculous 1.92 goals-against and a .923 save percentage in 20 postseason contests. His playoff performance in 1993 was even more remarkable, as he went for a .929 save percentage and 10 consecutive overtime wins. And both title runs came with rather ordinary clubs. Montreal wasn't favored to win the Cup either year. St. Patrick made the difference.
In 1995, Roy orchestrated one of the more dramatic moves in NHL history, forcing his way out of Montreal after coach Mario Tremblay left him in net for nine goals against the Detroit Red Wings. It was truly a historic "(Sunshine) you. I quit" moment. Roy had had enough of the boss man's grief. He was mad as hell, and he didn't take it anymore.
Roy landed in Colorado and immediately won his third Cup, turning an already strong Avalanche team into a juggernaut. He clinched the Cup with a 63-save, triple-overtime shutout in Game Four of the Finals. Roy's legend grew five years later when he backstopped the Avs to a second Cup, this time taking Conn Smythe honors for his 1.70 goals-against and .934 save percentage. Trailing 3-2 in the Finals to Martin Brodeur and the defending champion Devils, Roy went into New Jersey and pitched a shutout in Game Six and then stopped 25 of 26 in Game Seven to capture the Cup.
Forget hockey, Roy's one of the fiercest competitors in the history of professional sports. He had an unmistakable presence. His hatred for losing seemed to permeate the arena. Opposing shooters didn't just score goals; they had to beat Roy. Every goal was a magnificent accomplishment.
Roy simply had an extra flair other goaltenders lack. Call it ego. Call it arrogance. Whatever it was, it was special. And we'll never see its likes again.