Seemingly the entire hockey world had something to say when news broke on Saturday that Patrick Roy was coming back to the NHL. I think everyone knew there was a chance it could happen, but until it does, you just never know.
With the Colorado Avalanche, the team went into Philadelphia and ended their road trip in style, with a big performance from what is currently their second line. We also learned that when the All-Star game rolls around, Nathan MacKinnon and Cale Makar will be teammates again.
All that and more in this Sunday edition of Evan’s Daily.
Colorado Hockey Now
Behind a Hat Trick from Logan O’Connor, the Avalanche went into Philadelphia and scored seven goals against a stingy Flyers team.
He’s baaaaaack. Patrick Roy makes his way back to the NHL as Head Coach of the Islanders.
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Patrick Roy Returns
After his abrupt resignation from the Avalanche back in 2016, no one knew if we would ever see Patrick Roy again in the NHL, but the greatest goaltender of all-time went back to the QMJHL and showed everyone he still had it. After winning the Memorial Cup, his name started to resurface as a coaching option, and on Sunday, the New York Islanders made the call. Lane Lambert is out, Patrick Roy is in.
Where do we even begin? Let’s start with NYI Hockey Now, who was in the opening press conference with Roy and Lamoriello.
Let’s take a look around the to get some reactions to the Islanders hiring Roy…
A great hire. Patrick is ready to help a team be successful. I have zero doubt, that Patrick is going to be excellent & the Islanders will benefit BIG time. Another dip into the @CanadiensMTL winning history by Lou. Jacques, Larry, Pat & now 33. 👏 https://t.co/xn51lHgNTV
— Craig Button (@CraigJButton) January 20, 2024
Hard to imagine a weirder fit. https://t.co/gVWnmDNxWo
— Andrew Berkshire (@AndrewBerkshire) January 20, 2024
Wow!!! Love to see Patrick Roy back in the NHL. Terrific hire https://t.co/ztuoJcJBwu
— E.J. Hradek (@EJHradek_NHL) January 20, 2024
Last year’s Quebec Remparts were the most structured and well-coached junior teams I’ve ever watched. They didn’t even look like a CHL team. Identity. A clear system and roles within it. And those kids played their hearts out for Patrick Roy. Convinced me he’s a very good coach.
— Scott Wheeler (@scottcwheeler) January 20, 2024
You just knew after Patrick Roy led the Remparts to a Memorial Cup last year that the NHL had to be the next step.
I like it for the Isles.
— /Cam Robinson/ (@Hockey_Robinson) January 20, 2024
Patrick Roy is fiery and is a no nonsense kind of coach.
The kind of coach the #Isles has needed for at least three months.
— Rob Taub (@RTaub_) January 20, 2024
The most interesting part in all of this will be how Roy and Lamoriello operate together. On paper, it is a strange fit, but who knows? Maybe they make a great pair. I can’t wait to watch it all down. They couldn’t even make it through their first press conference together without Roy reminding them of what his Avalanche did to Lamoriello’s Devils back in 2001…
Roy on his convos with Lamoriello: "The only subject we weren't allowed to talk about was the Stanley Cup in 2001. That's a little joke-"
Lou: "It is not a joke!"
— Arthur Staple (@StapeAthletic) January 20, 2024
Nathan MacKinnon will be playing the role of GM at the NHL All-Star game, as he will be the Captain of one of the four teams, and seemingly responsible for drafting his squad. He won’t be alone, though. Cale Makar is his Assistant Captain, and he’ll have help in the form of Tate McRae. I’ll be honest, I don’t know who that is, but the All-Star game isn’t for me. Anything they can do to pull in new fans.
Here’s all the Captains with their celebrity Co-Captains.
Introducing your #NHLAllStar Game captains!
— NHL (@NHL) January 21, 2024
As we had discussed earlier this week, Nikolai Kovalenko was nearing a return. On Sunday, he was back in the lineup for Torpedo, and they’ll certainly need him down the stretch, because they’ve dropped in the standings the last month. As I’m writing this, the game is about to start, so I’ll update later on how he did.
National Hockey Now
This will be a popular topic before the NHL Trade Deadline – the point everyone is missing with the Jake Guentzel trade talk.
The worst powerplay in the league was exposed on Saturday against the Avalanche.
What will the Predators do in net with Juuse Saros and Kevin Lankinen prior to the trade deadline?
The Devils are a bit of a mess right now, as they were blown out at home on Saturday.