SUN Hockey Pool

Roy's rookie Cup an exceptional feat

MIKE ZEISBERGER -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:13 AM ET

On this, the 20th anniversary of his amazing feat, Patrick Roy still relishes his amazing accomplishment.

Back in 1986, Roy, the first-year Montreal Canadiens goaltender with the brash swagger and lightning-quick glove hand, carried the Habs to an improbable StanleyCup title.

No other rookie goalie has managed to lead his team to such a Cup truimph since the legendary No. 33 turned in his remarkable feat two decades ago.

New Jersey's Martin Brodeur came the closest, winning a Cup as a sophomore in 1995.

While it normally takes a veteran netminder to backstop his team to the title, Roy and Brodeur are exceptions to the rule. Little wonder both are future Hall of Famers.

"In my case, I guess I was a question mark going into the playoffs my rookie year, and that's understandable" Roy said. "I know it sounds like a cliche, but I just took one game at a time and, sure enough, it worked. We beat Calgary in the final.

"From what I recall, I had played in the minors the year before and won the Calder Cup. I think that gave me the confidence."

Despite his heroics at such a young age, Roy feels, for the most part, an experienced goaltender is the best bet if a team wants to sip from the Stanley Cup.

He knows of what he speaks.

Roy retired as the NHL's all-time post-season leader in victories (151); shutouts (23); appearances (247); and has four Stanley Cup rings.

"I'm a believer that any team needs a solid goalie if they want to go all the way, no matter how many weapons there are up front,"Roy said. "It's hard to win now if you don't have top quality at that position.

"That's why I think Martin's experience gives New Jersey an edge in the upcoming playoffs. I think Dominik Hasek, if he can play, will be a huge addition to Ottawa, too."


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