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After a rough first couple of months of the season, Laval put together two of their best efforts of the campaign before the holiday break, collecting a pair of victories in the process.

The Week That Was

December 20: Laval 3, Syracuse 2 – The Crunch are one of the stronger teams in the Eastern Conference but the Rocket played them pretty well.  Laval trailed on two separate occasions but each time, Tobie Paquette-Bisson got that goal back by the end of the period.  That set the stage for Brandon Gignac to pot the winner just shy of the midway mark of the third period.

December 22: Laval 5, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton 2 – In this game, it was the defence chipping in offensively that made the difference as William Trudeau, Logan Mailloux, and Arber Xhekaj were among Laval’s four scorers in the second period, three of which came with the man advantage.  That gave Jakub Dobes more than enough goal support to help take down one of the better teams in the Atlantic.



# Player GP G A +/- SOG PIMS
4 Tobie Bisson 2 2 0 +2 3 0
10 Joshua Roy 2 0 2 +1 2 0
14 Jan Mysak 2 0 1 -1 4 2
15 Sean Farrell 1 1 1 +2 3 0
17 Nathan Legare 2 0 0 E 8 0
20 Gabriel Bourque 2 0 1 E 3 0
21 Riley Kidney 2 0 1 E 1 0
23 Nolan Yaremko 1 0 0 E 0 0
24 Logan Mailloux 2 1 2 E 2 0
25 Brady Keeper 2 0 1 -1 3 0
28 Lias Andersson 1 0 0 E 3 2
29 Mattias Norlinder 2 0 0 -1 4 0
37 Brandon Gignac 2 2 1 -1 7 2
42 Lucas Condotta 2 0 1 E 2 2
49 Jared Davidson 1 0 0 E 0 2
61 Philippe Maillet 2 0 3 +1 1 0
68 Riley McKay 2 0 0 E 1 2
72 Arber Xhekaj 2 1 0 E 2 2
81 Xavier Simoneau 2 0 2 +1 4 6
84 William Trudeau 2 1 0 +2 9 0


# Player Record GAA SV% SO
71 Jakub Dobes 2-0-0 2.00 .927 0

Team Leaders:

Goals: Brandon Gignac (10)
Assists: Brandon Gignac (17)
Points: Brandon Gignac (27)
+/-: Mitchell Stephens (+7)
PIMS: Riley McKay (51)
Shots: Joshua Roy (84)

News and Notes

– With Sean Farrell and Lias Andersson both returning from their respective injuries, Alex-Olivier Voyer and Jakov Novak were both returned to ECHL Trois-Rivieres.

– Nicolas Beaudin has been loaned to Canada’s entry into the Spengler Cup for the second straight season.  Considering he’s around eighth on their current depth chart and the tournament only lasts a week, there isn’t a ton of risk with this move.

– While Jakub Dobes’ full-season numbers aren’t strong, he has put up a .933 SV% in his last five starts.  It’s too early to say he’s turning a corner but this is at least a promising step in the right direction.

Last Game’s Lines:

Simoneau – Gignac – Roy
Kidney – Condotta – Bourque
Farrell – Maillet – Andersson
McKay – Mysak – Legare

Xhekaj – Mailloux
Trudeau – Paquette-Bisson
Norlinder – Keeper

The Week Ahead

Thursday at Belleville – The Senators have struggled this season and entered the break as one of the lowest-scoring teams in the AHL.  On the other hand, Belleville has 14 goals in three games so far this season against the Rocket so they know how to score versus Laval.  Their top scorer, Angus Crookshank, has been up with Ottawa lately so the Rocket might catch a break on that front.

Friday/Saturday vs Syracuse – It’s a quick rematch from Laval’s victory this past week.  With it being three games in as many nights, it stands to reason that Kasimir Kaskisuo will make his Rocket debut in one of these two games.  Four Syracuse players are averaging at least a point per game in the first three matchups against the Rocket including former Hab prospect Gabriel Dumont.

Final Thought

The returns of Sean Farrell and Lias Andersson is great news for Laval with the exception of maybe one player, Jared Davidson.  Injuries slowed him down at the beginning of the season and lately, he has been the go-to player for who to sit when it’s time to get someone else a game, including ECHL recalls.

Davidson’s on-ice play hasn’t been good enough to necessarily warrant an every-game role on merit.  On its own, that’s not much cause for concern; first-year pros often take some time to get acclimated.  So from a coaching standpoint, while I may not like the idea of a non-prospect playing over a prospect, I get the logic.

But from a player development standpoint, I don’t like it.  If Davidson is 13th or 14th now on the depth chart, why is he in Laval?  While he’s on an AHL contract, he’s a Montreal prospect, one that they need to decide on signing or not by June.  It’s hard to evaluate a player who’s in and out of the press box.

If it were up to me, I’d send him down to Trois-Rivieres for a couple of weeks.  Give him all the minutes he can handle on the top line and special teams; he’s someone accustomed to being in that situation from his time in junior last season.  Let Davidson get a rhythm going and then bring him back up into a regular role with Laval, not just sporadic fourth-line minutes.  That’s a much better way to assess his development than how things are going now.  Now that Laval has a bit of healthy depth, this is the perfect time to do it.  This is, after all, a Montreal affiliate so if injury history repeats itself, that depth won’t be there for long.  They should take advantage of the opportunity while they can.