It was a relatively light week on the schedule for Laval as they had just a pair of road games in Cleveland. However, they were able to take care of both of them, extending their franchise-best winning streak to six games.
The Week That Was
Nov. 8: Rocket 2, Monsters 1 – Laval has been involved in some tight defensive games as of late and this was another of those. However, the Rocket picked up their attack in the third period and just shy of the midway mark, Josh Brook picked up his second goal of the season (and first point in nearly a month) which held up as the winner.
Nov. 9: Rocket 4, Monsters 0 – Charlie Lindgren has had a rough start to his season but to his credit, he had a strong showing in this one. Matthew Peca picked up his first goal in Laval (in nine games) while Kevin Lynch’s first goal as a member of the Rocket in the first period held up as the winner in what was a chippy affair with a combined 64 minutes in penalties.
Goals: Alex Belzile (6)
Assists: Belzile/Leskinen/Vejdemo (5)
Points: Alex Belzile (11)
+/-: Noah Juulsen (+3)
PIMS: Belzile/Waked (22)
Shots: Xavier Ouellet (52)
News And Notes
– Laval is one of two teams to not allow a power play goal on the road (Syracuse is the other at 24/24). They’re 28/28 on the penalty kill away from home which has helped give them the top penalty kill in the league at 94.8%.
– The road team has fared well whenever Cleveland and Laval match up. The visitors have won six straight matchups and eight of nine (dating back to last season).
Last Game’s Lines:
Hudon – McCarron – Weise
Peca – Evans – Belzile
Jevpalovs – Lynch – Waked
Alain – Vejdemo – Cox
Olofsson – Ouellet
Leskinen – Juulsen
Alzner – Brook
The Week Ahead
Nov. 13: vs Belleville – The Senators started off slow but have picked up points in four straight games. Drake Batherson has picked up where he left off last season and is once again leading the way in scoring while averaging over a point per game. While Ottawa believes they have a pair of promising goalie prospects down there in Marcus Hogberg and Filip Gustavsson, the pair have struggled considerably early on, allowing 49 goals in 13 games.
Nov. 15: vs Milwaukee – A familiar face sits atop the leaderboard offensively for the Admirals as Daniel Carr is once again scoring plenty in the minors. Milwaukee is one of the stingiest teams defensively as they’re allowing less than 2.5 goals per game. Former Hab Jarred Tinordi has yet to record a point this season but sits in the top five in penalty minutes.
Nov. 16: vs Bridgeport – The homestand comes to an end with a visit from the Sound Tigers who currently have the lowest point percentage in the league. They have a young core up front that has had difficulty scoring while they’re one of only a few teams that is basically trying to rotate through three goaltenders. They still don’t have Josh Ho-Sang who was sent home more than a month ago to await a trade that doesn’t appear to be close to materializing.
Last season, Lukas Vejdemo got off to a slow start which wasn’t entirely surprising considering he was adjusting to a new league and the smaller ice surface. He made strides as the year went on and was holding his own on the second line before an injury ended his season prematurely. Nonetheless, there was a bit of room for optimism.
With the extra depth the team brought in down the middle, it looked as if Vejdemo would be starting from the fourth line again. And he did. However, with Ryan Poehling recalled and Phil Varone injured, Vejdemo is still on the fourth line. This is a little concerning if not baffling considering he also happens to be second on the team in points despite the lack of playing time.
Michael McCarron has no real future with the team, Jake Evans hasn’t scored yet, and Kevin Lynch is a nice guy to have on a minor league contract but he shouldn’t be playing ahead of actual prospects. You can’t tell me that all three of them have brighter futures than Vejdemo. I’ll give you Evans despite his struggles but the other two, no. This is the final year of Vejdemo’s contract and they’ll need to find out if he’s worth qualifying or not. Perhaps giving him a bigger role, one that he has earned (especially with the team short-staffed down the middle), would actually help them figure that out. It’d probably make them a better team along the way too.