Patrick Roy has announced his return to the NHL with a series of victories and vocal outbursts.

Colorado Avalanche coach Patrick Roy has his team playing at a high level and his employers wondering when his next outburst will occur. Doug Pensinger / Getty Images
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Patrick Roy let everyone know he was back in the NHL, as a coach, with a YouTube-worthy temper tantrum in his first game.

As his Colorado Avalanche team were wrapping up a victory over the Anaheim Ducks, he argued with his counterpart, Bruce Boudreau, then angrily pounded down the glass partition separating the team benches.

The meltdown earned him a US$10,000 (Dh36,700) fine and had observers wondering what was coming next from the fiery, former star goaltender. As it turned out, what came next was a string of victories that turned the Avalanche from a Western Conference doormat into an October power.

Roy’s team won their first six games before a loss to the Detroit Red Wings ended the two-week party. It included road victories at Toronto, Boston and Washington.

If Roy’s volatile nature was on display at times during his Hall of Fame career (he won four Stanley Cup championships, two with Montreal and two with Colorado), and was revisited against the Ducks, his players testify to a more measured coaching style.

The forward Matt Duchene told that the relationship is founded on mutual respect.

“It’s not like the coaches are one group and we’re another,” he said. “Even when we’re not playing well, he comes in and says what needs to be said. But he doesn’t belittle us, and that’s nice.”

Patience has worked so far.

The 6-0 start tied a record for a rookie coach, matching Mario Tremblay’s 1995 debut in Montreal, where Roy was the goalie. Roy and Tremblay, former Canadiens teammates, had a contentious relationship, though. Only a few weeks in to Tremblay’s tenure, he left Roy on the ice during a nine-goal barrage, and the goalie demanded a trade.

Roy’s arrival in Denver in December 1995 was Colorado’s good fortune once. It may be again, 18 years later. The Quebec native, 47, honed his coaching skills during the past eight years with the Quebec Ramparts, a junior team.

When Roy was hired by the Avs in May, he insisted he would change the losing culture of a franchise that had missed the playoffs for three consecutive seasons.

The most noticeable on-ice improvement is the goalkeeping. Semyon Varlamov was a sub-par performer during the past two seasons, but the Russian, 25, has conceded only 10 goals in his first six games this season.The offense, meanwhile, has been a balanced effort. Thirteen players have scored, with Duchene’s five leading the pack.

Last June’s No 1 draft pick, Nathan MacKinnon, is already showing off his passing skills with a team-leading six assists.

But the early season focus figures to stay on Roy and his barrier-breaking start.