It was a tough week on the road for Laval. They only managed a single win in their three games and saw their roster get depleted even further due to injuries and recalls in the process.
The Week That Was
Nov. 27: Senators 5, Rocket 3 – For some reason, Belleville just seems to have Laval’s number. The Rocket actually held the lead in the third after a pair of goals in the opening minute of the final frame but Cayden Primeau ultimately allowed three goals on just five shots as the Sens came back for the win. The penalty kill had an off night in this one with two goals allowed out of just four Belleville power plays.
Nov. 29: Rocket 4, Crunch 2 – Getting just 16 shots in a game isn’t going to be enough to win most nights but it was enough for Laval here. They scored two quick ones in the second period and never looked back as Scott Wedgewood, one of the better goalies in the AHL, had a tough outing for Syracuse. They’ll take it.
Nov. 30: Thunderbirds 6, Rocket 3 – It was another tough night for the penalty kill (just two kills in five opportunities) as well as Primeau who is now in a stretch where he has allowed four or more goals in four of his last five starts. Laval actually clawed back from a two-goal deficit in the third period but that’s as close as they got as Springfield picked up three unanswered after that.
Goals: Charles Hudon (9)
Assists: Otto Leskinen (11)
Points: Lukas Vejdemo (14)
+/-: Alain/Juulsen (+5)
PIMS: Otto Leskinen (39)
Shots: Riley Barber (68)
News And Notes
– With Gustav Olofsson recalled and Nikita Jevpalovs getting hurt, Laval wrapped up their road trip with just one extra skater on the roster. While Olofsson is now back, Otto Leskinen is on his way to Montreal while Noah Juulsen (migraines) is once again out.
– After recording a three-point game against the Marlies on November 2nd, Dale Weise has not recorded a single point in seven games since then.
Last Game’s Lines:
Peca – McCarron – Barber
Weise – Poehling – Lynch
Alain – Vejdemo – Cox
Pezzetta – Evans – Waked
Alzner – Brook
Culkin – Folin
Leskinen – Lamarche
The Week Ahead
Dec. 4: vs Cleveland – The road team has won the first four matchups so far this season which is a bit of an oddity in the early going this year. The Monsters are one of the top defensive teams in the East as their 2.59 goals allowed per game is only bested by Hartford at 2.57. With Laval’s forward group getting weaker and weaker, this is probably going to be a low-scoring affair.
Dec. 6: at Syracuse – For the second straight Friday, Laval will take on the Crunch on the road. Cory Conacher is back giving them their top offensive weapon although the Rocket did well shutting him down a week ago as he was held off the scoresheet while being on the ice for four Laval tallies.
Dec. 7: at Springfield – And for the second straight Saturday, they get the Thunderbirds on the road as well. (That’s a rather odd scheduling quirk…) Springfield had no troubles scoring in their last matchup and have very quickly moved to second in the Atlantic Division in goals scored.
I have to admit, I’m a bit puzzled that Charlie Lindgren didn’t get the recall with Keith Kinkaid being sent down to get some extra playing time. I know Cayden Primeau got off to a hot start which is exciting but over the past three weeks, Lindgren has outperformed Primeau and it’s not even close. If you’re looking for someone to go into New York and beat the Rangers, wouldn’t it have made sense to go with the hotter hand? Yes, Primeau is the future and now at least he won’t be running the risk of being asked of trying to snap a ten-game losing streak in his NHL debut but I’m not convinced he’s the best option of the two at this moment and when you’re trying to get back into the playoffs, this moment is the one that matters, not getting someone experience for down the road. There’s a reason that 20-year-old goalies are few and far between in the NHL. Here’s hoping Primeau’s eventual debut isn’t another example of that.