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The week got off to a strong start for Laval with a shutout in Bridgeport but they weren’t able to capitalize any more than that, dropping their last two games while sliding a little further out of the playoff picture.

The Week That Was

February 28: Laval 4, Bridgeport 0 – It took a while for Laval to get going but they found their scoring touch in the second, scoring four times with four different forwards pitching in.  That was more than enough goal support for Jakub Dobes who picked up his first professional shutout in the victory.

March 1: Hartford 2, Laval 1 – A slow start proved to be the Rocket’s downfall in this one.  The Wolf Pack scored early in the first, then added a power play marker ten minutes later which proved to be the difference-maker.  Emil Heineman got Laval on the board in the first minute of the second but they weren’t able to beat Dylan Garand a second time to get at least a point.

March 2: Springfield 7, Laval 3 – The Rocket threw everything but the kitchen sink at Springfield’s net in this one.  They had 26 shots in the first period and came out of it tied at two.  They added 30 more in the final two periods but beyond a late goal from Mattias Norlinder, that was all they could manage.  Meanwhile, Dobes struggled playing his third game in four nights as the Thunderbirds beat him seven times on 27 shots.



# Player GP G A +/- SOG PIMS
4 Tobie Bisson 3 0 2 E 4 0
12 Filip Cederqvist 3 1 0 E 4 5
14 Jan Mysak 3 0 1 E 8 0
15 Sean Farrell 3 0 2 +1 9 2
17 Nathan Legare 3 0 0 E 8 0
19 Emil Heineman 3 2 0 +1 13 2
21 Riley Kidney 2 0 0 -1 3 7
24 Logan Mailloux 3 0 0 E 6 4
27 Mitchell Stephens 3 0 2 -1 8 0
28 Lias Andersson 3 1 2 +1 5 17
29 Mattias Norlinder 3 1 0 +2 4 0
37 Brandon Gignac 3 0 1 +1 8 0
42 Lucas Condotta 3 0 0 -1 4 2
44 Olivier Galipeau 3 0 1 +2 6 4
49 Jared Davidson 3 1 0 -1 9 0
52 Justin Barron 3 0 1 E 5 0
61 Philippe Maillet 3 2 0 +1 8 2
68 Riley McKay 1 0 0 E 2 0
81 Xavier Simoneau 3 0 2 E 3 4
84 William Trudeau 3 0 0 -1 6 2


# Player Record GAA SV% SO
71 Jakub Dobes 1-2-0 3.03 .895 1

Team Leaders:

Goals: Philippe Maillet (15)
Assists: Brandon Gignac (29)
Points: Brandon Gignac (43)
+/-: Galipeau/Paquette-Bisson (+13)
PIMS: Xavier Simoneau (105)
Shots: Logan Mailloux (127)

News and Notes

– Mattias Norlinder returned to the lineup from his lower-body injury.  That pushed Chris Jandric into the reserve role but he wasn’t sent down to Trois-Rivieres as they’ve often done with their extras.

– Jakub Dobes leads all rookie netminders in games played with 37 this season.  That happens to be just one off the league lead.  Despite it being an up-and-down year, he’s certainly getting all the playing time he can handle.

– That games played total is going to go up faster for Dobes over the next little while as Kasimir Kaskisuo is listed as out week-to-week with a lower-body injury.  Strauss Mann is back up and serving in the number two role but with his struggles this season, he probably isn’t going to play much if at all.

Last Game’s Lines:

Simoneau – Gignac – Heineman
Andersson – Maillet – Farrell
Davidson – Stephens – Cederqvist
Kidney – Mysak – Legare

Trudeau – Barron
Paquette-Bisson – Mailloux
Norlinder – Galipeau

The Week Ahead

Wednesday: vs Syracuse – The Crunch have been arguably the hottest team in the division over the past few weeks and have gone from a team that Laval was within striking distance of to one battling for the division lead with Cleveland.  The Rocket have played them tight so far having split the six-game series but Syracuse has a stronger roster than they did for some of those games.

Friday/Saturday: vs Cleveland – Speaking of the division leaders, the Monsters are the top-scoring team in the AHL, led by Trey Fix-Wolansky and Jake Christiansen, one of the top-scoring blueliners in the league.  They also have top prospect David Jiricek who has bounced back and forth this season but is currently in the minors.  Another of their top rearguards, Nick Blankenburg, should be back in the lineup for this set as well.  Despite being division rivals, this will be the first two matchups of the season for these teams.

Final Thought

It could be a light trade deadline for the Habs and an even lighter one for Laval.  They’d probably like to get Joshua Roy sent back down but that might be the best chance at getting someone of consequence for the Rocket. 

At the moment, Montreal has only four open contract slots left.  One of those will be for Lane Hutson and I expect Luke Tuch will burn the first year of his deal now as well as incentive to avoid testing free agency in the summer.  It’s safe to say they’d like to keep at least one spot open for the summer as expiring deals don’t come off the books until July 1st.  That doesn’t leave them much wiggle room to make another move like the Filip Cederqvist one, a swap that was solely to bring in someone for the Rocket.

As I’ve said before, I’d like to see the Habs parse through the AHL-contracted options out there to see if there’s a loan deal available.  Maybe call up Carolina and see if they want to send a prospect there instead of the ECHL as they don’t have their own affiliate this season.  Yes, it might come with an obligation to play that player but if they can get a talent upgrade, that’s the most important part.  The depth has been thinned out lately so if there isn’t a chance to bring in an impact piece or two, maybe they can at least help on that front.  Otherwise, expect them to be busy on the ATO front in a few weeks.