Montreal Canadiens: Newly Minted Islanders Head Coach Patrick Roy To Matchup Against Habs On Thursday

Montreal Canadiens v New Jersey Devils
Montreal Canadiens v New Jersey Devils / Focus On Sport/GettyImages

Former Montreal Canadien Patrick Roy has accepted the vacant head coach role for the New York Islanders.

Roy last coached in 2013-14 with the Colorado Avalanche. Since he has spent his time in the QMJHL with the Quebec Remparts. There were questions after DJ Smith was relieved of his duties with the Ottawa - if Roy could he a fit, they ultimately decided on veteran coach Jacques Martin. 

Roy brings hockey hall of fame credentials to the Islanders - and a winning reputation. His three Stanley Cup rings, one coming as a rookie are as impressive as they sound. Lou Lamoriello runs a tight ship in New York and Roy is a fiery competitor, so it makes a lot of sense, but Roy has a chip on his shoulder at times. 

The Islanders just so happen to be in Montreal on Thursday night for a matchup with the Habs. Generally, that wouldn’t be significant, however, with Roy in town, the energy is sure to be high. With Roy’s history in La Belle Provence, there is little doubt that he won’t come in quiet and timid.

At the end of the day, both teams are battling for a big two points. Roy will look to steady the ship in New York. Martin St. Louis will look to continue searching for the team's identity. 

With Roy in town, it seems like the perfect time to bring Arber Xhekaj back up. I can’t think of a more fitting competitor than Xhekaj to battle Roy and the Islanders. Generally, the Islanders aren’t the most exciting opponents, but Roy will have the team buying into his style.

No. 33 in the rafters will be the enemy, and the fire and passion he is known for is sure to find its way into the game. We love you Patrick, but we love winning more. No hard feelings, but there are no friendships on the ice during battle. 

I don’t think it’s a question of if, but more when - when will the Bell Centre faithful boo Roy. Certainly, he will get a standing ovation, and in typical Bell Centre - a tribute video. But he is sure to have all the noise that his ears can handle from the best crowd in the National Hockey League. 

Five days into his brand new role as head coach of the Islanders, you get to coach against the team you became famous for playing for. I'm not sure if Roy could have written the script better, coaching against the Habs during his first week behind the Islanders bench. What a great story, and a well-deserved opportunity for a legend.

Lou seems to have a liking for former Canadiens players. In the past he has hired Larry Robinson, Jacques Lemaire, Claude Julien. The legendary Pat Burns and now St. Patrick. 

Here’s to the Canadiens sending Roy home with a loss, after his first night in Montreal behind the Islanders bench.