Despite a long list of injuries and recalls, Laval had a decent showing through the second quarter of their season which results in some good grades for their goalies and defencemen.
Players must have played in at least 5/19 games to receive a grade.
Charlie Lindgren – B: It was a lighter workload for Lindgren in this segment but he played a little bit better than he did in the first quarter before being recalled to Montreal. It’s looking like he could very well stick with the Habs for a while yet so his playing time with Laval the rest of the way will likely be limited.
2nd Quarter Stats: 6 GP, 3-1-1 record, 2.52 GAA, .889 SV%, 0 SO
Cayden Primeau – C-: With Montreal, Primeau played quite well. That wasn’t the case for most of his starts with Laval. Wouldn’t you know it, he looked like a rookie trying to find his way most nights which, for a first-year pro, isn’t all that shocking. What this stretch should show the Habs is that he is simply not ready to be Carey Price’s backup on a longer-term basis.
2nd Quarter Stats: 9 GP, 4-4-0 record, 3.64 GAA, .844 SV%, 1 SO
Keith Kinkaid – D+: Yes, he was rusty when he was sent down having hardly played in Montreal but it’s not as if Kinkaid was making a push for more playing time when Laval used him either. His starts ranged from adequate to really bad which, for a veteran that’s hoping to get back to the NHL, isn’t very good.
2nd Quarter Stats: 6 GP, 3-2-1 record, 2.99 GAA, .894 SV%, 0 SO
Otto Leskinen – A-: There was some noted improvement over the first stretch of the year which resulted in him getting a quick look with Montreal (which didn’t go particularly well). Leskinen didn’t miss a beat or pout after getting sent down either which is a promising sign. They’ve sheltered him to an extent so far with some of the veterans that they have and that’s something I hope they ease out of in the second half.
2nd Quarter Stats: 13 GP, 1 goal, 7 assists, 8 points, even rating, 12 PIMS, 25 shots
Xavier Ouellet – B: After a sluggish start to the season at both ends, Ouellet played more like the top pairing defenseman that he’s expected to be in the minors. He deserves some credit for shifting over to his off-side and holding his own; that versatility could come in handy depending on what the Habs decide to do with their back end over the next month.
2nd Quarter Stats: 14 GP, 6 goals, 5 assists, 11 points, -1 rating, 9 PIMS, 31 shots
Karl Alzner – B: No one is going to be mistaking him for someone that’s pushing for an NHL recall but let’s give credit where credit is due here. After a really poor first quarter, Alzner stepped up defensively and had a much bigger impact in that regard. He even chipped in with eight points at the offensive end which is something no one was expecting. The contract is still ugly but he contributed nicely for Laval.
2nd Quarter Stats: 18 GP, 1 goal, 7 assists, 8 points, +9 rating, 0 PIMS, 27 shots
Gustav Olofsson – B-: Olofsson is showing himself to be a perfectly serviceable minor league defender. Unfortunately, the Habs were likely hoping for more but his short stint with them suggests it’s unlikely. He has slotted in on the top pairing with Ouellet and has played well defensively but he is more of a complementary piece at this point which likely wasn’t the expectation heading into the season.
2nd Quarter Stats: 17 GP, 0 goals, 5 assists, 5 points, +4 rating, 6 PIMS, 30 shots
Evan McEneny – B-: After missing all of training camp and the first couple of months of the season, McEneny worked off the rust relatively quickly and has established himself as a fixture in Laval’s lineup (earning himself a full-season contract in the process). His ability to play the right side (as a natural lefty) has certainly helped endear him to the coaching staff as well. As far as minor league signings go, this was a good one.
2nd Quarter Stats: 10 GP, 2 goals, 0 assists, 2 points, +3 rating, 10 PIMS, 20 shots
Josh Brook – C+: This was a better stretch but Brook still isn’t impacting the game at either end like he showed flashes of being able to do in junior. That has left him on the third pairing (and now on the fringes of a spot in the lineup). Defencemen often take a while so this isn’t necessarily the most alarming but he is a long way away from being a plausible NHL recall.
2nd Quarter Stats: 18 GP, 1 goal, 5 assists, 6 points, +3 rating, 10 PIMS, 29 shots
Christian Folin – D+: Like Kinkaid, I know there was some rust to work off (a lot in Folin’s case after sitting for so long) but for someone with some NHL pedigree, he didn’t exactly do a whole lot on his conditioning stint. That played a role in him going unclaimed on waivers and now his stay with the Rocket will be a longer one. I could see the Habs trading Folin by the deadline for another minor leaguer in part to free up more ice time for Brook.
2nd Quarter Stats: 8 GP, 1 goal, 1 assist, 2 points, -1 rating, 0 PIMS, 6 shots
Maxim Lamarche – D: I think back to this time a season ago where Lamarche wasn’t just holding his own but was actually being an impact player on Laval’s back end? What happened to that player? He’s firmly outside of the top seven right now so his playing time is going to be virtually non-existent in the second half unless injuries strike or the Habs move some of their extra bodies out.
2nd Quarter Stats: 11 GP, 0 goals, 0 assists, 0 points, -3 rating, 13 PIMS, 12 shots
N/A: Ryan Culkin (1 GP), Noah Juulsen (2 GP), David Sklenicka (2 GP, released)