Last week wound up being a light one for Laval with one of their games being postponed due to weather. Unfortunately for them, the one they did play didn’t have a happy ending. Even worse, their rapidly thinned-out defensive depth has taken two more recent hits.
The Week That Was
Dec. 21: Syracuse 2, Laval 1 – This one didn’t get off to a good start for the Rocket as they were down by a pair less than six minutes into the game. Between injuries and recalls, Laval wasn’t icing the best of teams which made it hard for a comeback. They did put forth a good effort and while Rafael Harvey-Pinard was able to pot one late, that’s as close as they were able to get.
Goals: Anthony Richard (18)
Assists: Jesse Ylonen (16)
Points: Anthony Richard (31)
+/-: Nicolas Beaudin (+7)
PIMS: Mitchell Stephens (29)
Shots: Rafael Harvey-Pinard (93)
News And Notes
– Anthony Beauregard and Santino Centorame were both recalled from Trois-Rivieres. They were sent back briefly on Monday to play at that level but then they are expected to be back with the Rocket.
– Justin Barron has been recalled to Montreal while Nicolas Beaudin was loaned to Team Canada for the Spengler Cup. More on that move shortly.
– Jesse Ylonen has been on a nice run offensively as of late. Since the beginning of November, he has 19 points in his last 21 games.
Last Game’s Lines:
Harvey-Pinard – Belzile – Ylonen
Teasdale – Gignac – Pitlick
Condotta – Stephens – Bourque
Dube – Abbandonato – Parker-Jones
Beaudin – Schueneman
Norlinder – Dello
Trudeau – Galipeau
The Week Ahead
Wednesday/Friday – vs Syracuse – Yep, them again. With their game against the Penguins being cancelled on Friday, it will be three straight matchups against the Crunch. The good news is that these are head-to-head opportunities to try to gain on a playoff spot but with Laval being without a lot of players and Syracuse having most of theirs, it will be tough. Not much has really changed since last week’s matchup.
I know I went on a rant about roster management just a couple of weeks ago but Montreal (and by extension, Laval) apparently aren’t learning from their mistakes. At a time when you’re down several defencemen due to injuries at both levels, is this really the time to loan one out to another team? I’m not talking about Alex Green either. No, this time it’s Nicolas Beaudin who was loaned to Team Canada for the Spengler Cup where he’s not exactly playing a whole heck of a lot. Is this really what’s in the best interest of the organization? He sure isn’t doing any developing over there and Laval’s back end is about to get overmatched once again against the Crunch.
Hey, when you’re supposed to be fighting for a playoff spot, what better way to do that than get rid of your depth and dilute your talent? Yeah, that sounds like a great strategy…if you’re trying to tank. But this is the AHL. There’s no draft positioning to be jockeying for and no reason to throw in the towel. But with the moves that have been made lately, it feels like that’s exactly what management is doing. Even if you’ve written off the season, even if you’re planning to change the coaching staff after the season (and I’m starting to think that’s the end game here), you can at least pretend to want to try to help your farm team. Management owes that much to their players – they owe it to their ticket-buying fans too – and it’s about time they started acting like it instead of letting serviceable players go for nothing in return and then doing absolutely nothing about it when it comes back to bite them. I’m pretty sure that’s Hockey Management 101 right there.
This group has done a lot of good but their AHL mismanagement thus far has been terrible and that needs to change. At a very minimum, stop giving players away and letting others go on what amounts to a midseason vacation. At least that shouldn’t be too hard to ask, should it?