ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — The Minnesota Wild’s postseason series against the Colorado Avalanche has turned into a classic. Adjustments have been made, but now everyone anticipates another counter-punch from Colorado.

As perplexing as it was to see how aggressive the Avs were to start the series offensively, the plays they made in the first two games have now been nullified. In other words, the Wild changed the game by changing the game plan.

The Avalanche coach responsible for counterattacking the counterattack is Patrick Roy. Some in the hockey community think this is his biggest challenge of his first year. If he can do it, he will do it because his players believe in him.

As a hockey player, Roy was never afraid to mix it up. He carved out a career as a Hall of Fame goaltender.

“He’s awesome. I think I’ve had four or five coaches in my career and he’s easily tops,” Colorado defenseman Erik Johnson said. “I don’t think there’s any guy in the league that wouldn’t like playing for him.”

What he seems to do is impress veterans because he’s been there, and win over young players because he teaches. And he deflects his effect to the players, because he believes it’s them who give him energy.

“When I see them when I come to the ring, first of all, I know that they’re ready to practice,” Roy said. “It’s a group that wants to learn.”

Another key element is that he believes in practicing patience with the rookies on his team.

“Maybe on the bench people see a rough-around-the-edges type of guy, but this guy’s unbelievable to play for. You want to play for him. You go guy-by-guy down this locker room and everyone’s going to say the same thing,” Johnson said.


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