There’s no doubt about it — Patrick Roy’s stock fell considerably in 2014-15.
The season after the goaltending legend was named the NHL’s coach of the year, his Colorado Avalanche regressed badly, going from 112 points and a Central Division title to 90 points and out of the playoffs.
If the Avs’ regression hadn’t been so predictable, it would’ve been shocking. The analytics folks said Colorado couldn’t keep winning with such poor puck-possession numbers, and despite the Avs’ downplaying of those numbers — “At the end of the day, it’s who wins the game,” said GM Joe Sakic — that’s exactly what happened. They didn’t keep winning.
In 2014-15, only Buffalo’s puck-possession numbers were worse than Colorado’s, based on score-adjusted Fenwick. The season before, the Avs tied for 26th in that same measure. So, really, not much changed there.
If there was one major difference, it was the Avs’ record in one-goal games. It was an NHL-best 28-4-8 in 2013-14 and just 21-11-12 in 2014-15, ranking 16th. That’s worth mentioning, because there’s a belief in analytical circles that a team’s record in one-goal games is largely dependent on luck. Not grittiness. Not heart. Not a coach who knows how to inspire his troops when the game is on the line. But luck.
Regardless of what you think of that theory, Roy believes that the Avs are “going to benefit” from last year’s experience.
“I think we’re going to learn a lot from it and in my opinion we’ll be very different in training camp,” he told Yahoo Sports in April.
OK, time to vote: