The Colorado Avalanche: News from around the NHL - April 17th, 2014

Doug Pensinger

Patrick Roy: Nervous? Nope.

Patrick Roy finished his Hall of Fame goaltending career in heartbreaking fashion as the Colorado Avalanche lost to Minnesota on an overtime goal in Game 7 of the 2003 post-season.

Perhaps only fitting then that Roy begins his first playoff series behind the bench against the Wild, with Game 1 on Thursday night at Pepsi Center.

“Am I nervous? I say no,” Roy said. “I’m more anxious to see the puck drop. When you’re well prepared, you’re not nervous, you’re anxious.”

Sakic has nothing but great things to say about his team.

After finishing last in the conference a year ago and 29th in the NHL standings, the Avalanche matched the franchise record with 52 wins under coach Patrick Roy, and their 112 points were the second-highest total in team history. Roy became the fifth coach in League history to win 50 games in his first season.

"I'm proud of this group," said Sakic, whose first move as an executive was to hire Roy. "It's a group that expected a lot of themselves. The players that were here last year obviously weren't happy with the way it ended and got a fresh start and wanted a fresh start. The change in the coaching staff got a lot of respect from them. They really worked well together, the coaching staff and the players. They fed off of that and got off to a good start and it got the momentum going.

"It's a team that doesn't quit. We've had injuries during the year and it didn't stop them. They believe in each other, and this time of year it's that belief, sticking together and being as consistent as you can, that usually decides the champion."

Will Sochi have an impact on the Playoffs?

Presumably, this is where the effects of Sochi will kick in.

If, indeed, Sochi is to have an effect.

No one seems to quite have a handle on this. One school of thought suggests teams that send a lot of players to something like the 2014 Winter Olympics — Chicago, St. Louis — will find themselves paying for that honour when the second season begins.

Then again, the teams that sent the most players did so because, for the most part, they have better players.

While there was shuffling and movement in the standings, nothing really changed terribly much among the teams before and after Sochi.

Only one team that was in a playoff position at the Olympic break failed to make it to the post-season.

Sorry to bring that up, Maple Leaf fans.

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