"I've been saying to everybody, it's just another game, but deep inside I guess it's not," Roy said Saturday morning. "It's always special playing against a former team. But I have so much respect for them. Things are so much different than when I was traded."
Roy left Montreal on bad terms when he was traded to the Avalanche on Dec. 6, 1995. He helped the Avalanche to two Stanley Cup championships before retiring after the 2002-03 season. The Avalanche retired his No. 33 jersey in October 2003 and the Canadiens did the same five years later.
"I'm so happy to have a good relationship with the Montreal Canadiens," Roy said. "When they retired my jersey, I appreciated that. It was great for me to see my jersey there. I was happy that (Canadiens general manager) Marc Bergevin gave me a call. I respect him a lot the way he handled the situation. Even now I speak to him on the phone here and there but always with a lot of respect."
The Avalanche will take a five-game winning streak and an 11-1-0 record into the game after they retire former defenseman Adam Foote's No. 52 jersey.
"It means a lot and I'm so happy for him," Roy said. "He's a player I enjoyed seeing playing in front of me. I enjoyed every game. He was a warrior for us. He was playing against the top line every night. He battled, he competed. We had no doubt every night that he would perform at a high level."
Jean-Sebastien Giguere will start in goal for the Avalanche in his first home appearance of the season. Giguere has won all three of his starts with two shutouts, an 0.67 goals-against average and .981 save percentage.
Former Avalanche goalie Peter Budaj will start in goal for the Canadiens. Budaj, who spent six seasons in Colorado, has a 2-0-0 record with one shutout, an 0.50 goals-against average and .982 save percentage.
"I've been feeling 100 percent for around a week now," he said. "I'm ready to play my game."
Here are the projected lineups for Montreal and Colorado: