Patrick Roy had one of the most memorable coaching debuts in recent memory. Not only did he win the game, but he got into a shouting match with the opposition bench, pushing down a barrier in the process.
Asked about it later, St. Louis Blues' coach Ken Hitchcock was not impressed. He labeled the move "junior hockey," adding, "it's got no place in our game. You can't be pushing barriers down."
You can't. You just can't. Barriers are sacred.
Wednesday afternoon, before Hitchcock's Blues were set to face off with Roy's Avalanche, Hitchcock took another little jab at the rookie coach. Asked about his plan for the night, he joked, "I'm putting up a fence between the benches."
Fat lot of good that would do, in my opinion. If Roy can handle a barrier, he can handle a fence.
Anyway, we enjoyed that zinger, but Patrick Roy did not, especially after he lost the game that followed -- the Blues beat his Avalanche by a score of 4-1. And in his postgame presser, he had a few words for Hitchcock. From the Denver Post:
"You know what, I was very mad at the end because I have been jabbed by different coaches around the league, especially Hitchcock when he said that was junior stuff, talking to players, talking to the referees. But I saw a guy on the other side who was talking to players and then was also talking to the referee and got the referee (mad).
"Seems to me that there's different rules for everybody in this league. I guess the old guys are allowed to do whatever they want and I guess us, because we are younger, we are not allowed to say anything. I am a little (mad) about that."
Yeesh. And we thought Hitchcock was the defensive coach.
And because you can't spell mediate without media, the press ran gleefully across the hall to make sure Hitchcock was aware of Roy's comments. His response was much briefer:
"Oh, give me a break," he said. "Tell Patrick to shut the [expletive] up."
Now that is the mature response of an older, veteran coach.
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