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Islanders: no training in Montreal to avoid Patrick Roy distractions
Tomorrow night, Patrick Roy will be at the Bell Centre with his Islanders.

Clearly, we can expect a big ovation from the fans for the man whose jersey has hung in the heights of the Bell Centre for several years now.

No, it won’t be his first time in the Temple… but Roy is Roy. The fans haven’t forgotten him.

The way Roy is treated by the Quebec media, he knows that he is, by necessity, a distraction to his team. He knows that the fans and the media will tear him apart. And he doesn’t want that to affect his players.

All he wants is for the week to be over, so he can take the week off from the club and settle into his new role as coach of the New York Islanders.

That’s why the New York club won’t be taking to the ice at the Bell Centre tomorrow. In fact, Le Roy doesn’t want to create any distractions for his players in connection with his return to Montreal.

So the guys will simply stay at the hotel. They’ll be getting ready from there, and they won’t be chatting to the media, as Roy specified this morning during his media availability.

What the coach wants is the W. He doesn’t want everything to be about him… even though he knows full well that the media attention on him is pretty crazy, right now.

He wants to keep that to a minimum.

The man who considers his club to be progressing well since he took office wants to win a hockey match. And to do that, he doesn’t think his boys need to answer any questions about their coach.

Unless there’s another coaching change in the NHL, a duel between the Islanders and the Canadiens is the only way to see two Hall of Fame head coaches go head-to-head.


When you look at today’s press briefings from the Habs, you realize that Roy’s decision is the right one.

After all, Martin St-Louis talked about the atmosphere at the Bell Centre tomorrow, Samuel Montembeault was asked about tomorrow night… and the same goes for Brendan Gallagher and Nick Suzuki.

The way the Habs have been playing over the last few games, Martin St-Louis’s biggest challenge will be to keep the guys on the straight and narrow. They’ll have to work hard to win the game.

And if the Habs look bad and are outclassed in terms of effort… the fans will criticize MSL. He knows what the fans are going to say.

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