Jana. The name is a cross between Jeanne, Michele's grandmother, and Anna, Patrick's grandmother. Anna Peacock was a big-time Canadien fan, unlike the Roys, who cheered for the hometown Quebec Nordiques of the WHA. Anna's favorite Montreal player was goalie Ken Dryden. She would listen to the games on the radio while she was feeding young Patrick his dinner—Barbara Roy, Anna's daughter and Patrick's mother, worked as a swimming coach in the evenings—and speak French to him. Barbara, too, spoke only French at home, the result being that Patrick did not learn English until he joined the Canadiens for the 1985-86 season. "The last time I saw Anna in the hospital, she was watching the Islanders play Vancouver in the  Cup finals," says Roy. "She was a real bin hockey fan."
Shortly afterward, Anna died of cancer. She never knew that her grandson was drafted 51st in 1984 by the Canadiens. "If she was still here," he says, "she'd probably die from the excitement."
Like Dryden, Roy was sensational in the playoffs as a rookie, leading the Canadiens to the Cup with a stunning 1.92 goals-against average. Roy also created something of a stir when he let it slip that he talks to his goalposts before games. Like many hockey players, Roy is extremely superstitious, so after the national anthems he faces his net and tells the posts that they're all going to play wonderful hockey, allowing no little black objects to enter. Then he stares at the goal until he can visualize it getting smaller and smaller. Only then is he ready to play.
Unlike Dryden, however, Roy stopped getting his name on the Stanley Cup after his rookie season. He was still a dominant player, winning three Vezina Trophies as the NHL's best goalie and getting named to the league's first or second All-Star team five times in the next six years. But a perception remained among Montreal fans that despite his superb statistics, Roy gave up soft goals in big games, often when his team could least afford it.
Certainly that was the rap on Roy in last season's playoffs, when the Canadiens were ignominiously swept by the Boston Bruins in the second round. "He didn't have a good playoff last year," says Montreal general manager Serge Savard, "but he wasn't the reason we lost. It was a real team effort."
Nonetheless, Roy, the Canadiens' best player, served as a lightning rod for the criticisms of frustrated Montrealers, who, since 1944, had not gone more than seven years without their team winning the Stanley Cup. And 1993 brought another seven-year itch. The once adoring locals were starting to smell Roy's blood. "Roy-is-the-best-goalie-in-the-world has become a mantra, not a given," wrote columnist Michael Farber in the Montreal Gazette on the eve of the playoffs, "and chanting it over and over won't necessarily make it so." The headline of the article was: IT'S TIME FOR ROY TO SALVAGE REPUTATION.
That wasn't going to be easy. He had followed his disappointing 1992 playoff performance with his worst regular season since his rookie year. His goals-against average under Demers's more wide-open system had shot up from 2.36 to 3.20, and for the first time since the 1987-88 season, he failed to be one of the three finalists nominated for the Vezina.
"Pat's struggles this year were new to him," says forward Kirk Muller, who, after Roy, was the most valuable Canadien in the playoffs. "Obviously people in Montreal expect a lot from him, and he can't really have a bad game—ever. But I think the struggle made him better."
Roy, who lives in the Montreal suburb of Rosemere, was troubled by a poll taken in January by a local paper in which a majority of the respondents thought he should be traded. Those rumblings increased when the Canadiens dropped the first two games to Quebec in the Adams Division semifinals, and Roy's critics could point out that he had allowed soft goals in both defeats. NORDIQUES WIN GAME, BATTLE OF GOALIES read one headline. The subhead added, [Quebec goalie Ron] HEXTALL GETS BETTER OF ROY.
Demers resisted calls to start backup Andre Racicot in Game 3 and stayed true to a preseason promise that he would stand behind Roy all season. Ever superstitious. Roy figured it was time to change his luck. He switched the order in which he skated around the face-off circles before warming up, a ritual he had faithfully followed for seven years. When the Nordiques practiced at the Montreal Forum, he watched them from the same seat—B-7. (After Jana was born, Roy sat in J-2 in Los Angeles, in honor of her June 2 birth date.) Presto, change-o, Roy's goalposts began listening to him again.