Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2015-03-16
- Reviewer: Staff
Sportswriters Frei and Dater present a fast-paced, game-by-game account of the 2013–2014 NHL season of the Colorado Avalanche, which was also the first year of its coach Patrick Roy, "the greatest goaltender in NHL history and instrumental in Avalanche Stanley Cup victories in 1996 and 2001." As the team heads toward a surprising playoff appearance, the authors detail the "remarkable thing" that was accomplished in the face of numerous skeptics: "Roy took a team in disarray and put the pieces back in order." This includes a frank assessment of Roy's volatile temper and his successful effort to harness his old-school energy to deal with players with vastly different temperaments, from stereotypical testosterone-charged bullies to the "quiet, reflective" Ryan O'Reilly, "a yoga devotee often found stretching in corners of locker rooms or hallways." Frei and Dater provide excellent sketches of almost every Avalanche player and each one's relationship with Roy, which will delight Avalanche fans. And hockey fans in general will enjoy the moments when the authors break from the season's narrative to tell stories from their individual "notebooks," such as Frei's account of a late-season interview with Roy in which the once hyper-intense coach admits that he realizes he has no real control over how playoff pairings develop: "I believe in destiny.... If it's meant to happen, it will happen." (Nov.)