Today’s 5: Roy Might Be Good, Leafs #1 Is Quickly Becoming Obvious, Hockey Fights Cancer, and more.

Today’s 5 observations on current events in the National Hockey League.

1. Maybe Patrick Roy Is A Good Coach

Image Courtesy of Wikipedia Commons.

Image Courtesy of Wikipedia Commons.

When the Colorado Avalanche hired Patrick Roy to be their head coach, many believed it was a mistake. After all, Roy has no NHL coaching experience, making him a risky choice to teach the Avs many promising young players. So far, he’s silencing his critics – doing a real good job.

The Avalanche are 3-0 to start the season. The young guys are performing well, led by Matt Duchene who was by far the best player on the ice last night for the Avs against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

A recent article by the National Post entitled “Colorado Avalanche the ‘perfect fit’ for rookie Nathan MacKinnon” is filled with great quotes about Roy from some of his players. I’ll display a few, but I highly recommend you read the article, as well.

When asked about Roy’s outburst involving Anaheim Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau, Avs star Matt Duchene said, “I felt like a kid again…….I felt like I was watching him fight [Mike] Vernon back in the day. It was pretty funny.”

Former teammate of Roy. Alex Tanguay explained, “He wants the best for his players, no doubt about it………..We saw what happened with Nathan in the first game, the intensity and things like that. He wants us to succeed.”

Highly touted rookie Nathan MacKinnon said of Roy, “He’s a very good man as well, treats everybody very well. Everybody wants to play for him, I think that’s huge. … We all love him here and he’s doing a great job.”

Read Full Article by the National Post here.

2. Bernier Is Quickly Earning The #1 Role In Toronto

The Leafs suffered their first defeat of the season last night, but it had nothing to do with the play of offseason acquisition Jonathan Bernier. The former Kings goaltender has been superb for the Leafs in 2 starts and 1 relief appearance.

After two and a half games played Bernier posts a remarkable 1.18 GAA and 0.963 SV%.

James Reimer is a good goaltender, he proved that last season. Yet, there is probably a really good reason Leafs management spent much of last year trying to add another net minder to the stable. This summer, Leafs GM Dave Nonis wasted no time bringing in Bernier to become part of the Leafs’ starting rotation. After four games, Bernier is quickly running away with the number one goalie title.

I think back to the Game 7 loss against the Boston Bruins. What if Reimer made one of those saves and the Bruins don’t complete the comeback? Would Bernier be here? Not sure, but it’s very apparent Reimer’s grasp on the starters role is slipping away quickly. Which goaltender suits up in the Leafs’ next game against the Nashville Predators will be very telling as to which direction head coach Randy Carlyle is going to go with his two goaltenders.

3. Sharks Dominate First Three Games Of The Season

17 goals scored and only 4 against. That is the short story of the San Jose Sharks first three games of the 2013-14 NHL season.

The Sharks are destroying some of the NHL’s best defensive teams, too. The Vancouver Canucks, Phoenix Coyotes and New York Rangers have all fallen victim to the Sharks’ attack thus far. McLellan’s men have outshot opponents 35-22, 51-23, and 47-20 in their first three games. I’ll do the math. That’s a total of 133 shots on net taken, and only 65 shots on goal allowed. Can you say domination?

4. The Zero Goal Club

It’s only been a week, but some very notable NHL players are yet to score a goal this season. Steven Stamkos, Evgeni Malkin, Jonathan Toews and Bobby Ryan to name a few, all post “0” in the “Goals” column at the moment.

Just goes to show you, the first week really means nothing. Teams are still finding their way and players are getting up to speed. It usually takes until Christmas before we realize who the big guns will be on the offensive leader board, and which teams will rise to the top of the NHL standings. So, while we enjoy this first month, let’s not panic because Steven Stamkos and Evgeni Malkin aren’t one and two in scoring. Conversely, let’s not plan any parade routes just yet.  After 82 games, the cream will have risen to the top, as it always does.

5. NHL Continues To Fight Cancer

Adam Proteau of The Hockey News Tweeted:

For more details on Hockey Fights Cancer please visit this link at NHL.com