I come not to bury Caesar, but to praise him

My mission here will be twofold:

1.) To say goodbye, au revoir, andale pues to the greatest goalie that ever played the game, and

2.) To piss off all you John Elway fans out there.

Let’s start with the latter:

Patrick Roy is the greatest athlete ever to retire in a Denver and / or Colorado uniform.

The numbers, while not telling the entire story, do not lie. Mr. Ed won the Big Dance twice. St. Patrick won it four times. And, in addition, Roy won it at 20 years old, and at 35 years old.

Elway had to wait until he was surrounded by a powerhouse team, and then had to get a mighty big assist from Terrell Davis. I don’t think you can make the claim for team supremacy with the ’86 Habs. A goalie who could barely shave carried them on his still-developing shoulders, and single-handedly led them to The Cup. Many years later, he would perform the same feat so that his friend, Ray Borque (2nd-greatest athlete to retire in a Col. uniform, but that’s another story), could finally get to The Promised Land.

Did Patty rub some people the wrong way? Absolutely. So do I, in case you haven’t noticed. But both of us did / do it for the same reason – to get a reaction. To provoke. To get inside your head. And it’s amazing how well it works (for both of us).

Cocky, arrogant, overconfident – Roy was all of these things and more. But if a goalie doesn’t believe in himself, his teammates won’t either. And, to paraphrase Kid Rock, “it ain’t braggin’ if you back it up”.

The wink against LA; the “Statue of Liberty” glove saves; the merciless pummeling of Osgood; the incredible display in Games 6 and 7 against New Jersey after everyone counted the Avs out because of the (admittedly) bad goal he gave up by “wandering” in Game 4; the list could go on. Patrick’s personality, like it or not, has left an indelible impression on almost every hockey fan over the last 18 years.

Even the style of goaltending has been irrevocably altered thanks to Roy’s spectacular adaptation and application of the “butterfly” style.

Three Vezina trophies; Three Conn Smythe awards; Eight consecutive 30-win seasons; Thirteen 30-win seasons total; Eleven All-Star games; Twenty-three postseason shutouts; Sixty-six regular season shutouts; One hundred and fifty-one playoff wins; Five hundred and fifty-one regular season victories; FOUR STANLEY CUPS.

Not only is the Hall of Fame a lock, but there should be a new award created and named after him, for the player who most embodies the true spirit of a “warrior”; who gives his absolute all each and every time he is on the ice; and who, whether you love or hate him, you have to respect him, however grudgingly.

Simply put, the game will not be the same without Patrick Roy. He was loved, and he will be sorely missed.

To those of you who have the inclination (and you know who you are) – take your cheap shots (at either of us). You are the embodiment of the Aesop fable as regards “sour grapes”.

As a side note CTP is now SCTP. The artist formerly known as FSTA is now, depending upon the severity of the infraction, NHLPA or, in severe cases, CBA.

SCTP charter members may private message me for details.

Special thanks to Mikster for allowing me to say my goodbye to the father I wished I had growing up, and the reason why I still love this game.

D-Strate


40 Responses to I come not to bury Caesar, but to praise him

  1. JeffBurnz09 says:

    The past few years, Roy has given up some really bad goals. He goes wandering, trying to play the puck, or showboating saves. I think it really just comes down to him being board. He’s won the cup 4 times, and he has been stopping pucks for 18 years. I think the last year or two, he was just going out and having fun, knowing it was his last run. I’m not saying he wanted to lose, but I don’t think he was putting himself in the zone where he’d do anything to win. I think he just wanted to go out and play the game he loved. Wandering around out of his net was probably just him trying to keep himself interested.

    Yes, he’s cocky, but he backed it up. I thought it was great how he said he was never scared of anyone. I find it so fake how athletes on the way out always put over someone still playing. Roy didn’t do that. Instead of saying “I’d hate to have to face Rick Nash,good thing I’m retiring”, he told it as it is. He’s a great goalie, he knows it, the players know it, and his numbers know it. He’s not afraid to face the best players in the NHL because at some point I’m sure he’s faced them all and stopped them all.

    Greatest goalie ever. There is no doubt. Brodeur might have his day, but I don’t think he can compare to Roy. I grew up watching him play as a Canadian fan, and when I became a Dallas fan, I loved to watch the Stars play him. To me, it didn’t matter if it was playoffs or regular season, if Dallas beat Roy, it was huge to me. Back in 1999, Dallas was one of the best teams in the NHL, but couldnt win the cup and really break through before that. When they faced Colorado, I knew this was the chance. If they could beat Roy, they were going to win the cup. As a Stars fan, it gave me this pride that Belfour faced Roy and won.

    I’m going to miss Roy. I hated him when he played, but I knew he was great. In later years, you could tell he was losing interest. There’s some games he played where he just didn’t seem to care. Game 7 against Dallas in 1999 and 2000 were not even close, as Dallas won like 4-1 twice I think. Then they won the cup again in 2001, but after barely getting by LA. Again in 2002, they barely got by LA, and then were destroyed by Dertoit in game 7. Even this year, when The Wild were comming back, he didn’t seem worried, and didn’t seem too upset to lose. I think he knew his time was winding down, and he was just playing for love of the game again.

    Roy was the best, no doubt about it. I really hope Montreal does the right thing and retires his number. They should never have let him go, and it was heartbreaking to see it. Hopefully, Montreal does honor him, so we can see him wear the white, red and blue one more time when they raise his number to the rafters.

  2. cwthrash says:

    I kinda liked the fact that he rubbed people the wrong way. You could call him an a-hole for that, and you’d be right.

    He got into peoples heads, with his mouth or his antics on the ice or his great play. That’s part of the game that he did very well to complement his stellar play, and give him an ever bigger advantage. If teams allowed it, the effect snowballed.

    Just wondered how he and Hartley used to get along with their personalities? I only ask to know if Bob will clash with some of the Thrashers now.

    And there isn’t a new Thrasher fan here, don’t get worried. Same one, semi-different name. My first two initials should give it away.

  3. matteo says:

    That was very touching — and I don’t mean that in a priest-altar boy kind of way.

    Roy was, simply put, the greatest goalie ever to play the game. John Elway, simply put, is a horse-toothed jackass.

    Roy’s legacy will live on in all of the young butterfly goaltenders that he has inspired over his 18 year tour-de-force. He left an idelible impression on the NHL and everyone who watched him……like him or not, you have to admit that he was the man.

    Here is the question to ask….it’s the Cup finals, game 7 and you can have any goalie you want….who do you pick……Roy – every time Roy.

    Adios hombre………….

  4. matteo says:

    In keeping with your shakespearean oratory……

    Friends, Romans (Turek, Cechmanek, Vopat, etc), countrymen, lend me your beers………

  5. defenestrate says:

    You are now a full-fledged SCTP member, after that “big intro”. Private message me for your “secret codes”, and welcome to the jungle.

  6. JStatic87 says:

    I don’t think you would call the Osgood fight a merciless pummeling, he did win it but it was a little more even than you made it sound. Now the Vernon fight was a merciless pounding, Roy needed stitches after trying to look like a big man by fighting little Mike Vernon. Vernie made him look like a fool. And anyone who doesn’t remember that….I have the game on tape and I would love to show it to ya.

    Roy was a great goalie. I loved the way he wandered and let in countless bad goals. I don’t think he wandered because he was bored, I think he just got too cocky. He thought he could play the puck like Brodeur can, and he failed at that miserably. He was a competitor and he would not just do stuff to make his team lose by being bored. No pro athlete would do a thing like that to his team. He was just too cocky for his own good.

    Brodeur will pass all of Roy’s records by the time he’s done playing. And Brodeur can handle the puck. Marty will go down as the best ever.

  7. gladiator says:

    In all of your pretentious and pompous glory.

    You forgot he said one of the best NHL quotes of all time to JR. The one about his two stanley cup rings plugging up his ears. In true Roy fashion, he burned Jeremy Roenick good.

  8. bender says:

    In all due respect to Roy, he did land into the greatest team in the history of the NHL. The HABITONS!!!!

    Then when the going gets tough, and your hero, the great ROY bails for the next great Dynasty. The Avietons!!!

    He played great sure, but with great teams in front of him.

    John Elway played his whole career with one team. Was an even better athlete than Roy (was drafted into Football and Baseball) and is a true marker to set your life by.

    He got ousted in the super bowl long ago, only to come back and win back to back championships years later. Sure Elway had his Tyrell Davis, but who did Roy have in front of him on his way to championship glory?? PAt Fallon?? John Kordic??

    Nope don’t think so………..Even in 86′ his team was not the Washington Generals!!

    And the biggest thing your missing………….Roy isn’t going to retire in a AVS jersey and neither will Bourque. The Avs were just a money funded CUP WINNING pit stop on the way to a Stanley Cup RING.

    Football regards more my respect nowadays than the NHL does……NHL PLayers swap teams to play for themselves nowadays, not for a team!!! Just for money or a cup!!

    Cudos to John Elway for chasing a dream and seeing it through in a game where true hero’s (feel free to add any drug related Football player events here) stick with there one team through the thick and thin of it. Whether they even get to the Super Bowl or not.

    Cudos to Roy for becoming one the leagues best goaltenders ever.

    BUT Give me John Elway, Brett Favre, or Dan “the man” Marino anyday!!!!

  9. defenestrate says:

    That’s it – you’re my son, but you’re getting some “tough love”. I’m recommending you for inpatient treatment.

    You could at least admit that Gary Gait is a greater athlete than anyone you mentioned.

    And at least you had the sense not to sully your ludicrous response with the SCTP brand – i will give you that.

    “So that’s what an invisible barrier looks like”.

  10. bender says:

    So is it hard to play with Dan Marino throwing your balls around all the time???

  11. defenestrate says:

    5,000 point deduction – he can’t even lift them.

  12. JeffBurnz09 says:

    Roy was traded to Colorado. He didnt go there as a free agent, and he didn’t go there when they already established themselves. Roy is what made Colorado a great team, without him their just Quebec playing in Colorado.

    It was later, after the 1996 cup that Colorado became attractive to free agents. Also, most of their big pick ups were through trades. Colorado was just another team trying to establish itself when Roy got there. Roy made them a great team.

  13. bender says:

    Are u kidding me???

    Sakic? Forseberg? Foote?

    And he demanded a trade to a huge market team, Colorado had the bucks to begin with, you think he wouldn’t have minded going to Edmonton or Calgary?????

  14. bender says:

    OUCH!!!!!!!

    Hope you get that case of elephantitis cured on the ole family jewels.

    Or are you like Van Wilder’s dog, “guess the little fella only needed a little TLC.”

  15. LetsGoPanthers says:

    Roy should be known as “The Luckiest Goalie of All Time” instead of the greatest. I wonder what would have happened if you switched the paths of Roy and Hasek. I believe Patrick would have had half the wins. Give Roy a team with crappy defense and he would have had horrible stats. All the tributes to players drive me crazy. The only reason any of you guys write em is because u like seein ur name on a website. I wonder what D-Strate would do if Roy told him to stank behind him and grab him by the hips.

  16. LetsGoPanthers says:

    typo *stand behind him

  17. Primis says:

    It’s funny you should mention Caesar. Caesar was one of history’s ultimate competitors…

    “Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s… ” — Bible.

    (OK so it’s not referring to Gaius Julius specifically… it at least fits for giving some props up front though)

    Nobody’s debating that Roy was a very, very, good goalie who was consistently good for a very long period of time (I dont’ count this past season in that though).

    …however…

    “Men willingly believe what they wish.” — Julius Caesar.

    …yeah, now we run into the quaqmire. To call Roy the best goalie of modern times is a given and I don’t think it’s arguable.

    To call him the greatest of all-time though could be considered homerism towards the more-modern goalies.

    After all, Roy got a lot of those wins against perrenial powerhouses like the Tampa Bay Lightning, Florida Panthers, etc… expansion has warped things considerably.

    Guys like Glen Hall and Terry Sawchuck got their wins against the Original Six (and in much shorter schedules), which I have to say is a bit more-impressive. If Roy had tallied up a *lot* more wins I suppose I could consider it. But when he didn’t do so, it makes it harder to agree with that.

    And I still have to wonder what Tretiak would have done in the NHL…

    I also wonder… he only won two cups in Colorado. That bothers me for some reason. The 2 cups in Montreal is one thing (Edmonton > Anyone Else in the 80’s), but in Colorado… I can’t help but think he really should have won 1 or 2 more if he was really the best all-time. He had the players around him after all.

    “No one is so brave that he is not disturbed by something unexpected.” — Julius Caesar.

    This was really Roy’s Achilles Heel. When Roy got rattled… it was over. He oftentimes bounced back the next game with a vengeance but… if he’d give up a soft goal or something like that he’d often seem to lose it and already be writing the game off when it was still in fact winnable.

    That’s one of the reasons why I’d hesitate to call him a “warrior” — I saw the guy simply give up in too many occasions when he really shouldn’t have.

    “Et tu, Brute?” — Caesar in Shakespeare’s play “Julius Caesar”

    Roy turned on the Habs. He ditched Canadian fans several times by not participating in international competitions.

    To a lot of us Roy’s lasting legacy includes him in the rouge, bleau, and blanc, waddling over to tell his owner that he wanted out of Montreal. That’s how legacies work, and how history views us as human beings.

    “The die is cast” — Julius Caesar, crossing the Rubicon.

    If Roy really is retired for good (and I do think he is, I don’t see him waffling on it like a lot of other athletes), then I think he falls just short of Greatest Goalie of All-Time. Best of the Modern Age, I think so. Best of All-Time… nngggh, can’t say that.

    In regards to him being the best ever to retire in a Colorado/Denver uniform… probably. The Colorado/Denver pantheon of heroes is a rather small at the moment (give it another couple decades). 25 years from now will people be worshipping Roy the same way they do now? I’m not so confident about that I guess. That remains to be seen.

    — Primis.

  18. OldNord says:

    Roy has never asked to be traded at a specific team. Houle traded him so fast , he looks like an ass in that one, but he was traded to Colorado because the situation was urging. But without Roy, the Avs would had no Cup right now and I’m pretty sure about it.

  19. bender says:

    I didn’t say a specific team or a list.

    But it was the time that money was starting to shape the game we know today, and I’m sure finance was a big factor on where he went.

  20. Chip says:

    Most of this logic says that Roy is Denver’s best athlete because he played on a “weak” team in Montreal. Elway had Davis. Roy had Sakic, Tanguay, Drury, C. Lemuiex, Hejduk, Blake, Bourque, Morris, Fleury, Andreychuck, LeClair, Dejardans, Leclair, Chelios, Carbonneau, Rechhi, and all those guys in the 80’s whose names I can’t remember who played for the Habs. Also saying Bourque is the secound best Denver player is blasphempy. He didn’t even play 100 games for the Avs! Besides what do some of you guys know about football anyways?

  21. OldNord says:

    He said about Bourque is the second best who RETIRED as a AVS. And don’t underestimed Roy, he won four Stanley Cup in three deceny while Elway won two in a row that’s all. He had not brought his team to a Super Bowl win with a less talented team like Roy did in the NHL.

  22. Forsberg21 says:

    Actually that whole comment is a typo not just the one you pointed out. If you knew anything you would know Roy had a team like Hasek’s Buffalo team when he first played for Montreal. Thats why he is the greatest. He has won with great teams and good defenses, and with poor teams with poor defenses, which is why he won the Vezina for Montreal that first time, because that team wouldn’t have stood a chance in hell without him. What a bitter hockey fan, you sound like you hate the sport. Why do you even watch it if you can’t apreciate tributes to great players let alone the greatest goalie ever.

  23. Forsberg21 says:

    I’m not going to argue with most of your post because it is your opinion but I do have to correct you on a few points that you made, starting with the one about Roy not being a warrior. Actually Roy was one of the best at putting a soft goal behind him. His mental aproach to the game was unequeled, and to say that he gave up on too many occasions, let alone ever is just pure insanity. He never gave up on anything, ever.

    Also this thing about ditching Canadiens is crap too. Why does everyone in Canada think he has to play for Canada in every tournement, even if he has bad hips and wants to rest them for his NHL team if he gets a chance. The knock on Europeans has always been that they care more about winning the gold medal than the Stanely Cup. Now all of a sudden when Roy cares more about winning the Stanely Cup for the team he is dedicated to, than winning the gold medal for a team that has plenty of talended goaltenders, he’s labeled a traitor. Besides, they seemed to do just fine without him in the the last olympics.

    And why is he also expected to play for a Habs team which he has a horrible working relationship with the coach. He did the honorable thing and didn’t go public with his disputes like so many players these days do. He kept it in the room and asked for a trade, and it was given to him. Big deal.

    You are also underestimating how hard it is to win a Stanley Cup. Sure I agree with you that Colorado should have won more cups since 96, but that’s not Roy’s fault. He has played great for them, it’s just that the players couldn’t seem to get it done a couple times. Two cups in that time is pretty good since only Detrot has more than that, and nobody else even has two.

  24. Forsberg21 says:

    He didn’t demand a trade to a huge market team your moron. Now your just making shit up.

  25. Forsberg21 says:

    How many people do I have to tell this to. Roy’s teams in Monteal weren’t great, especially that first one where he basically won the cup by himself which is why he won the Conn Smyth. And what do you mean Roy and Bourque won’t retire in an Avs jersey. What did they get traded to some other team I don’t know about the day before they retired.

    Joe Montana was better than any of those quarterbacks too.

  26. Forsberg21 says:

    I meant Conn Smyth, when I said thats why he won the Vezina that first time, but that’s also why he won the Vezina the first time too.

  27. Habfanforever says:

    I gotta disagree with you d-strate on saying he single-handedly bring the cup to the ’86 team. He had a good team in front of him, Nilan, Carbo, Richer, Chelios, Kordic, Naslund etc. Those guys were a good solid knit team. What made Roy so special in that ’86 cup win was being the new kid on the block with those crappy looking leather pads and white face mask, he wasn’t that good either, very sloppy and sketchy. He had tons of work to do with his angles. Even so, the other teams were in trouble… the new kid on the block did not want to lose. He’s overall character and mental strength did not show on his magical first year so obviously the other teams did not know what they were up against. I will always remember the historical “wink” save were after giving up a rebound, he stretched his stick out to save a goal into an open net, afterward he just looked at the guy with a smile on his face and winked at him. When they showed that on tv it gave me chills down my spine.

    Roy pronounced in french means “king”, as we look 4 days after his retirement and already reminisce about the best moments we all realize he truly has a name fit for a king.

    Good luck Patrick and thanks for those memories.

  28. bender says:

    Was I making a list of the greatest QB’s of all time…….or did you just feel compelled to step to me like a complete jackass. Of course I know how great Montana was, but that wasn’t my point.

    And regarding yours, first off………Roy and Bourque may have ended there careers with the Avs, but there hearts were in Montreal and Boston the whole time they were there.

    SCTP

    Bourques’ number 77 will retire in BOston…

    Roy’s number 33 in Montreal…

    Just like Gretzky’s was retired…FIRST…in Edmonton, and then since he was the Great one in LA…and the throughout the league.

    You don’t get retired to the team you played last for, you retire on the team where you played most of your career and began with.

    Second, Montreal’s teams weren’t that good, are you kidding me??? They may not have been the 80’s Oilers but they weren’t the 03′ Panthers!!!

  29. bender says:

    HOw the hell do you know, were you there, are you Patrick Roy’s agent????

    Colorado was stacked with players and money.

    WOW, Sakic, Forsberg, Foote, Kamensky……..OR maybe he wanted to play in Calgary!!!!

    Where the hell would you go if you were a top goalie if you wanted to move, Canmore??? You think he wanted to be the starter of a expansion team. A goalie of his calibre has a say where he wants to go, and this is Roy were talking about for Christ sake!!!!! He was the first goalie to make a million, and it went through the roof from there. This is the guy who always had something to say, and was pretty smart, You think he didn’t see the potential of the Avs from the day he arrived.

    For a big Colorado, Roy fan, you sure make your goalie sound like he’s dumb…..or maybe that’s just you!!!!

    All players at the end of their careers want two things when they near the tail end of their careers.

    Huge contracts, and a shot the championship!!!!

    Think about that, maybe you’ll learn something, junior!!!

    SCTP

  30. LetsGoPanthers says:

    Roy is nothing but an arrogant jerk who was blessed with great teams. I have absolutely no respect for him. I mean come on he started a fight with the BEEZER, one of the most mild mannered and respected hockey players. I can’t stand arrogant athletes. Why can’t guys emultate Gretzky’s personality? Look at Michael Jordan, did he ever feel the need to come out and say that he was the greatest player of all time? Does ANYONE even try to argue that he isnt the greatest? Sports are filled with too many Roy and Iverson types.

  31. defenestrate says:

    But, said Betty, this butter’s bitter.

    People don’t emulate Gretzky’s personality because A.) He didn’t have one, and B.) He was a pussy.

    Michael Jordon is a prime example of a nimrod who didn’t know when to quit, and thought being a great basketball player would make him a great executive (it don’t work that way…any more than the obverse does…)

    You compared Roy and Iverson. No one in SCTP will EVER take you seriously about anything now…

    Just out o’ curiosity, who makes your widdle heart go pitter-pat? Who makes you sneak cucumbers out of the fridge in the middle of the night?

    SCTP

  32. defenestrate says:

    Objective, insightful – 20,000 points for the quotes.

    Good historical perspective – I was almost swayed.

    Call me a “homer”, I don’t care…………

  33. defenestrate says:

    Chip – what an unusual name! However did you think of it???

    What is “blasphempy”, anyway? The Quaker version of “blasphemy”?

    Here’s a news flash, mon frere – THIS IS NOT A FOOTBALL SITE!!!!

    It often turns into many things (not all of them legal), but despite what you and my son Bender think, it is not a football site.

    SCTP

  34. Forsberg21 says:

    You are fucking retarted. Read a hockey book or something because you don’t know shit. And what a horrible attempt at explaining your idiotic thought.

  35. Forsberg21 says:

    What a fucking joke you are. You think by insulting people that makes you right about shit. First of all, if your listing quarterbacks that are better than Elway, than you are making a best of all time list. Second, don’t make a stupid comment like Roy and Borque didn’t retire as Avs, and then try and correct me by saying that their hearts were in Montreal and Boston. If you meant their hearts were in Boston and Montreal, than say that, not that they didn’t retire as Avs. Also if you think Roy’s heart was in Montreal, than your an even bigger idiot than I thought, which I didn’t think was possible. Third if you had paid any attention to what was going on than you would know that Roy’s number IS being retired by the Avs first, and Borque’s number is already retired in Boston. What a fucking hypocrite to talk to me about stepping to you like a complete jackass.

  36. LetsGoPanthers says:

    I think the player that all young NHL players should seek to emulate is Stevie Y. My personal fav player is Brett Hull.

  37. bender says:

    LOL, I never insulted you persay, I said you stepped to me “like a jackass”, not that you were a jackass.

    and second, you must not reading correctly, I said I “wasn’t” making a list QB’s, if you had read the original post by defenestrate, you would note that he makes a reference to pissing off “John Elway fans”, not “Joe Montana fans” which is why I was talking about Elway and for shits and giggles I then threw in Dan Marino…

    I wasn’t even thinking about the fact that they “retired” with the AVS, I was thinking yes about where they would retire there Jerseys because unlike the NBA once a player retires a Jersey, he is OFFICIALLY retired.

    And no, I don’t pay attention to Patrick Roy and where’s he’s retiring, now that I know he’s gonna retire with the Avs makes him more of a JACKASS (note how I did call him one) than I previously thought.

    Oh thank you oh grand wizard of hockey, I am forever shames and I am very grateful that you have tought me a lesson……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..NOT!!!!!

    Way to fight fire with fire!!! and saying I don’t know much about hockey, Hmmmmm, well you don’t know much about hockey times infinity. Tee Hee, ok your turn now!!!!

  38. bender says:

    LOL,

    lay off the caffeine DUDE.

  39. Forsberg21 says:

    That was pathetic.

    “once a player retires a Jersey, he is OFFICIALLY retired” Where the hell did you get that idea.

    “I don’t pay attention to Patrick Roy and where’s he’s retiring, now that I know he’s gonna retire with the Avs makes him more of a JACKASS” What team did you think he was going to retire with, and how does that make him more of a jackass. If you don’t pay attention to where Patrick Roy retires, you ARE NOT A HOCKEY FAN, and that explains all your comments.

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