The Avalanche's crooked-nosed, quick-shinned MVP won his 500th career game on Dec. 26, a milestone that no other NHL goalie has neared. ( Terry Sawchuk's 447 victories are second alltime.) Roy's butterfly style is causing shooters to gnash their teeth as much now (through last Wednesday, he had a league-best 1.83 goals-against average) as it did 16 years ago when as a rookie he led the Canadiens to the Stanley Cup. What's a scorer to do? Here are four ways to try to beat him.
1. Lure him from his cage
When Roy thinks he can reach a free puck, he'll skate far from the net to play it. If he mishandles it, as he did in Game 4 of last season's Cup final against the Devils, the shooter has an open net. "The best thing might be to give him the puck and see if he gives it right back to you," says Flyers' sniper John LeClair.
2. Be yourself
Roy's swaggering presence can get a scorer off his game, and as the Red Wings' Brendan Shanahan says, "The worst thing you can do is change your style. His biggest advantage is that shooters do something they're not used to doing."
Roy likes to drop down and seal the goal at ice level. That can leave the top corners unattended, but those are the hardest places to direct a puck. Also, since Roy is 6'2" and has a quick glove, you won't beat him high without a perfect shot. "I can't think of a weak spot," says Jarome Iginla, the Flames' best scorer. "So you just shoot enough and hope he makes a mistake on one." If even that fails....
4. Look to the heavens
In the words of Toronto Maple Leafs right wing Mikael Renberg: "Shoot and pray."