It’s true. St. Louis Blues head coach Ken Hitchcock dropped the F-bomb, or some other unpleasant four-letter word on Patrick Roy following last night’s showdown between the two Central Division rivals. But why? Here is how the quarrel first came about:
When the 2013-14 season began, so did Patrick Roy’s NHL coaching career. And in his first game calling the shots behind the Colorado Avalanche bench, he made a scene. Welcome to the NHL, Patrick – we thought as we wondered if his opening night antics would become part of a re-occuring side-show or if this was simply an isolated event. Turns out, it was a one-off.
In his debut, Roy and Anaheim Ducks head coach Bruce Boudreau yelled back and forth at each other after the game’s final buzzer. The war of words is most remembered for Roy pushing the divider between benches, almost knocking it over, if not for Corey Perry playing the part of stanchion repair man. Roy was criticized, probably partly because he is the new guy. And partly because, NHL coaches typically don’t show so much aggression and emotion. The Avs new head coach was acting against the grain.
One veteran NHL coach who made a point to speak out about Pat Roy’s NHL debut was Ken Hitchcock. In early October, Hitch likened Roy’s antics to “Junior hockey,” while claiming there is no place in the game for such behaviour, further drilling home his point with “you can’t be pushing barriers down.”
Roy held his tongue, for a while, until last night. Following the Avs 4-1 loss to the Blues the coach spoke:
“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.”
Hitchcock’s reply to Roy’s rant was short:
“Oh give me a break. Tell Patrick to shut the (bleep) up”
Not sure if this short story deserves a “THE END” or “To Be Continued”. I guess we will find out on March 8, when these two division rivals meet again.