On the 82-game NHL schedule, tonight's matchup with the Montreal Canadiens is just another game for Avalanche head coach Patrick Roy.
He is looking for his club to have success with its systems, dictate the pace of play, get some good scoring chances and ride the momentum from last night's 3-2 overtime win in Dallas to a victory on home ice.
But while the game itself is just like any other, the opponent makes it a special night for Roy, as he played 11 full seasons with the Canadiens and helped the franchise win two Stanley Cups in 1986 and 1993.
"I've been saying to everybody that it is just another game, but deep inside I guess its not," Roy said. "It's always special to play against a former team."
Roy's departure from Montreal on Dec. 6, 1995 has been well documented, and its safe to say that the two parties didn't have the best relationship at the time of "Le Trade."
Known as one of the grittiest defensemen in Avalanche history, Adam Foote is about to earn franchise immortality.
Colorado will face the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday night (8 p.m. MT), and it will do so underneath Foote’s newly-hanged “52.” A pregame ceremony is scheduled for 6:45 p.m. to celebrate Foote and add his name to the list of former Avalanche players who have had their numbers retired: Joe Sakic (No. 19) Peter Forsberg (No. 21), Patrick Roy (No. 33) and Ray Bourque (No. 77).
Doors to Pepsi Center will open at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, and fans are strongly encouraged to be in their seats by 6:45 p.m. For those unable to attend, Altitude TV will air a special broadcast, starting at 6:30 p.m.
Foote will be the ninth player in franchise history to have his sweater number retired, as the Quebec Nordiques also retired the jerseys of Peter Stastny (No. 26), Michel Goulet (No. 16), Marc Tardif (No. 8) and J.C. Tremblay (No. 3).
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COMPLETE NOTES >
CANADIENS (8-6-0) at AVALANCHE (11-1-0)
TV: CBC, RDS, ALT
Last 10: Montreal 6-4-0 ; Colorado 9-1-0
Season series: This is the first of two meetings between the Montreal Canadiens and Colorado Avalanche. They will meet again March 18 at Bell Centre. The teams have not played in more than two years; the Avalanche beat the Canadiens 6-5 in a shootout Oct. 15, 2011.
Big story: It's the first game behind the bench for Avalanche coach Patrick Roy against the team with which he won the Stanley Cup and the Conn Smythe Trophy in 1986 and 1993. The Hall of Fame goalie spent the first 10 1/2 seasons of his career with the Canadiens; he was traded to Colorado, where he also won the Cup twice, in the middle of the 1995-96 season.
The game will pit one of the NHL's best power-play units against its best penalty-killing unit. Colorado leads the League on the penalty kill at 92.7 percent , while Montreal is fifth on the power play at 23.6 percent.
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