Patrick Roy is not recognized at his fair value, says Louis Robitaille
Patrick Roy doesn't get all the credit he deserves for the successes of the Quebec Remparts over the past two years, says the man who is about to face him in the semi-finals, the head coach of the Gatineau Olympiques, Louis Robitaille.
The series between the Remparts and the Olympiques will also be the one between the two coaches who have immense mutual respect for each other.
“We are two competitors and the battle has started since we know that we are going to play against the Remparts, admitted Robitaille. Patrick, beyond being a friend, he's an amazing hockey person, a passionate guy who doesn't get all the credit he deserves. His team finished first in the general classification for the second year in a row and he is not even nominated for the title of coach of the year, ”adds Robitaille, about the trophy which will be disputed between Sylvain Favreau (Halifax), Stéphane Julien (Sherbrooke) and Carl Mallette (Victoriaville).
Friendship can wait
Even if they are used to to talk to each other regularly, conversations could be less frequent in the coming days between the two hockey men.
“I have a huge respect for Pat and during the series I know our clubs are going to be ready. He will know our system by heart and will be prepared and it will be the same on our side. We're going to do what we have to do and after the series, we can have a glass of wine and chat. On the other hand, over the next 10 or 12 days, we will focus on our teams.”
The same goes for Roy.
“I think that the two, we have a lot of stockon our plate so we will focus on our teams. I have a lot of respect for him and it's a series that will be played out on the ice.”
Roy therefore does not expect there to be verbal escalations in the media between the two coaches, as was the case during the last series against the Rimouski Océanic and Serge Beausoleil.
“[If there is a verbal game], it is Louis who will do it, not me. I'm on a mission, I want to focus on the things that are important. What is important is how we are going to play. It's our players who have to have the spotlight and we have to support them in this preparation so that they'll be ready when the puck hits the ice Friday night.”
On this subject, Robitaille believes that his players are ready for a long battle against the Remparts.
“I like where our game is right now and how we have grown as a team since December 1, since we added several players through trades. Can things be improved? Yes. There are things we did well in the first two rounds and others not so well. We want to make sure it doesn't happen again. »
In fact, the Remparts have won three of the five games between the two teams, but none of them have been played even though the two teams had a complete line-up.
“It doesn't change anything for us, assures Patrick Roy. As a coach, you try to see the structure of Gatineau and not this player or that player. We focus on how Gatineau behaves in the different facets of the game,” he finished, adding that the special teams could play a very important role in the series.
Besides, the Remparts will be without Thomas Darcy for the first game on Friday. He's nursing a knee injury that shouldn't keep him out for long, Roy said.