KUSA - Ray Bourque is still motivating the Colorado Avalanche.
Bourque joined the team in March 2000 after nearly 21 seasons with the Boston Bruins and became the rallying point around the Avs' 2001 Stanley Cup championship. The team was driven to get the defenseman his one and only Cup before ending a 22-year career.
Last week, Bourque met with the current Avs squad before their game in Boston, and Bourque kept it simple: Why Not.
"When we met Ray Bourque in Boston, Ray said, 'Why not us?' And that's been the words we've been using," Avalanche coach Patrick Roy said Thursday morning. "'Why not ... another win tonight?'"
The Avs take their six-game win streak against the Detroit Red Wings Thursday night at the Pepsi Center. The longtime conference rivals, the Red Wings (5-2) moved to the Eastern Conference in the NHL's offseason realignment. That doesn't mean the history has faded.
Roy, who led the Avalanche to their two Cup wins, said the rivalry back then was a bit more chippy because of all the postseason success. In Roy's eight seasons in Colorado (1996-2003), the Wings and Avs combined for five Cups (Colorado 1996 and 2001; Detroit 1997, 1998 and 2002).
"Every year when we were playing each other, the team that was winning had a good chance to win the Stanley Cup," Roy said. "It's not bad for two teams to win five Stanley Cups in the period of eight years. It's pretty easy to build a great rivalry in situation like this."
Roy is expected to have a sitdown with former Detroit goalie Chris Osgood. He now coaches the Red Wings' young goalies.
The two had a now-famous fight during a game in April 1998, just before the playoffs. Osgood got the final takedown in the fight, and the Wings went on to win the Cup.
Colorado is nearing the NHL record for winning streak to open a season, which is 10 games (Toronto in 1993 and Buffalo in 2006).
It will be a good challenge for us tonight, to be honest with you," Roy said. "[Detroit] is a very good team, but 'why not?' "
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