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Laval had a chance to get a bit of distance on the final play-in spot in the North Division last week.  They weren’t able to get it but enter the final week of the season holding down that last spot.

The Week That Was

Apr. 7: Monsters 5, Rocket 4 – If Laval winds up missing by a point, this is the game they’re going to look back at.  They held a two-goal lead heading into the third period but then some penalty trouble came back to bite them.  Three penalties led to two power play goals from Rocket killer Trey Fix-Wolansky (one was a two-man advantage) and Cole Sillinger’s second career AHL tally (and second of the game) proved to be the winner midway through the frame.

Apr. 8: Rocket 5, Crunch 3 – A poor start had Laval down early but they rebounded nicely, scoring two in the first to take the lead and then added two more early in the second to give themselves some breathing room.  They certainly needed it as Syracuse came back with two of their own, setting the stage for a third period that saw Kevin Poulin peppered with 19 shots.  He stopped them all, allowing the Rocket to get the key win, capped by a Tory Dello empty-netter.



# Player GP G A +/- SOG PIMS
3 Jayden Struble 2 0 1 +2 7 2
5 Tory Dello 1 1 0 +1 2 0
6 Corey Schueneman 1 0 0 +2 2 2
13 Nicolas Beaudin 2 0 1 +2 3 0
14 Jan Mysak 2 2 0 +1 5 0
18 Danick Martel 1 1 0 +1 1 0
19 Emil Heineman 2 1 1 E 7 2
20 Gabriel Bourque 2 0 3 +2 0 0
23 Nolan Yaremko 1 0 1 E 0 0
24 Joel Teasdale 2 0 0 E 7 0
27 Mitchell Stephens 2 0 2 +1 2 2
29 Mattias Norlinder 2 0 2 -2 1 0
42 Lucas Condotta 2 0 1 +2 2 0
44 Olivier Galipeau 2 0 1 -1 0 2
68 Riley McKay 2 0 1 +1 0 0
81 Xavier Simoneau 2 1 1 E 2 5
84 William Trudeau 2 1 1 +2 6 0
90 Anthony Richard 2 1 0 +1 5 2
92 Pierrick Dube 2 1 0 E 10 0
98 Peter Abbandonato 2 0 0 E 2 0


# Player Record GAA SV% SO
31 Cayden Primeau 0-1-0 5.22 .848 0
39 Kevin Poulin 1-0-0 3.00 .923 0

Team Leaders:

Goals: Anthony Richard (26)
Assists: Peter Abbandonato (35)
Points: Anthony Richard (59)
+/-: Nicolas Beaudin (+16)
PIMS: Riley McKay (118)
Shots: Anthony Richard (181)

News And Notes

– While Laval wasn’t able to get Brandon Gignac back from his injury, they did get Danick Martel back in their lineup against Syracuse, giving them a reliable offensive threat for the stretch run.

– The Rocket got some help for the Cleveland game with Cayden Primeau and Corey Schueneman being sent down for that one before being recalled prior to the Syracuse contest.  Those two were returned to Laval along with Jesse Ylonen and Rafael Harvey-Pinard to play on Monday although it’s likely some of them will be recalled to Montreal in time for their next game on Wednesday.

– It has been a tough year for Jan Mysak who had just two goals in his first 36 games.  He has been more productive as of late, however, notching three tallies in his last four contests.

Last Game’s Lines:

Richard – Abbandonato – Simoneau
Heineman – Stephens – Dube
Bourque – Condotta – Teasdale
McKay – Mysak – Martel

Trudeau – Beaudin
Struble – Dello
Norlinder – Galipeau

Standings Watch

Rather than do the usual look-ahead, let’s look at the standings.  Heading into Monday’s action, here is how things look with the remaining opponents for each team (points percentage in brackets):

5) Laval – 70 points, Mon vs WBS (.471), Wed vs TOR (.638), Fri vs SYR (.565)
6) Cleveland – 69 points, Mon vs GR (.464), Fri at UTI (.551), Sat/Sun at/vs ROC (.572)
7) Belleville – 68 points, Fri at ROC (.572), Sat/Sun at TOR (.638)

The top team will play the fourth seed (currently Utica although it could be Syracuse as well) in a best-two-of-three series for the right to play the top seed (Toronto) in the first round.

Final Thought

When the Habs acquired Frederic Allard at the trade deadline, it was a bit of an interesting move in the sense that they took away from their weak forward depth to add more depth on the back end.  At a minimum, it seemed like Allard would fit in on the third pairing most nights and be an upgrade at least.  But that hasn’t been the case.  He has played just five times since being acquired and has been a healthy scratch on nine occasions heading into the final week.

This feels like a situation where there’s a disagreement in terms of what the plan was.  While Nate Schnarr probably didn’t have a future with the Habs or Rocket beyond this season, he was at least a regular in the bottom six.  To move him for someone that was hardly going to play seems kind of pointless, doesn’t it?  Oddly enough, Allard might have had a better chance of playing more had he been brought up to Montreal and stayed there.

Unfortunately for him, it’s hard to see him getting back in.  He’s clearly eighth on the depth chart right now and with the team in must-win situations from here on out (unless Cleveland and Belleville lose multiple games), it doesn’t make sense for them to play him now after sitting him all these other games.  What seemed like an acquisition that would provide value hasn’t exactly worked out that way which is certainly disappointing since it was really the only move made to try to bolster Laval’s roster all season.