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Laval took care of business early in the week but when it came down to trying to take down a team they’re chasing for a playoff spot, they instead turned in an ugly effort, losing some of the ground they had previously gained in the playoff chase.

The Week That Was

March 13: Laval 5, Bridgeport 1 – Laval hadn’t played great against Bridgeport prior to this game but they came out much stronger in this one, signalling early that this was two points they were going to get.  The Rocket scored twice late in the first on tallies from defencemen and added a shorthanded marker early in the second from Brandon Gignac to give themselves a cushion they’d never look back from.

March 15: Laval 3, Bridgeport 1 – This time, the Islanders were better prepared (and had their starting goalie in uniform).  The teams traded goals before the two-minute mark of the first before Riley Kidney broke a long scoring drought to give the Rocket the lead back a few minutes later.  Philippe Maillet added a power play marker in the second while Jakub Dobes had a strong game to help secure the win.

March 17: Toronto 7, Laval 1 – Needing a big start, the Rocket instead laid the proverbial egg.  They were doubled up in shots in the opening 20 minutes and Dobes struggled, allowing four to beat him, putting the Rocket in a deficit they had little chance coming back from.  Mitchell Stephens had a season-high ten shots but none of them could beat Dennis Hildeby; Laval’s lone tally came from Emil Heineman.



# Player GP G A +/- SOG PIMS
4 Tobie Bisson 3 2 0 +1 3 0
12 Filip Cederqvist 2 0 0 E 4 0
15 Sean Farrell 3 1 1 E 5 0
16 Arnaud Durandeau 2 0 0 E 5 0
19 Emil Heineman 3 1 1 +1 8 4
20 Gabriel Bourque 3 0 1 -1 3 0
21 Riley Kidney 3 1 0 -1 8 0
24 Logan Mailloux 3 0 2 +2 6 4
27 Mitchell Stephens 3 0 1 -1 11 0
28 Lias Andersson 3 1 2 +3 8 0
29 Mattias Norlinder 3 0 1 -1 1 0
34 Jacob Perreault 3 0 0 -1 6 0
37 Brandon Gignac 3 1 1 +1 6 2
42 Lucas Condotta 3 0 0 E 4 0
44 Olivier Galipeau 3 1 1 E 6 4
52 Justin Barron 3 0 2 -1 3 2
61 Philippe Maillet 3 1 1 +1 4 0
68 Riley McKay 1 0 0 -2 0 12
81 Xavier Simoneau 1 0 0 +1 0 0
84 William Trudeau 3 0 1 +2 3 4


# Player Record GAA SV% SO
71 Jakub Dobes 2-1-0 2.58 .887 0
73 Kasimir Kaskisuo 0-0-0 4.59 .769 0

Team Leaders:

Goals: Anderson/Gignac/Maillet (17)
Assists: Brandon Gignac (35)
Points: Brandon Gignac (52)
+/-: Bisson/Galipeau (+15)
PIMS: Riley McKay (115)
Shots: Logan Mailloux (136)

News and Notes

– There wasn’t any good news on the injury front.  Jared Davidson is out indefinitely with an upper-body injury while Xavier Simoneau’s season is over as he needs shoulder surgery.

– Laval did get some help on the back end as David Reinbacher was re-assigned from Kloten in the Swiss League.  More on that shortly.  In the meantime, Chris Jandric was returned to ECHL Trois-Rivieres in a corresponding move.

– Riley Kidney’s goal against Toronto was his first since December 15th, a span of 31 straight games without a goal.

Last Game’s Lines:

Farrell – Gignac – Heineman
Durandeau – Maillet – Andersson
Kidney – Stephens – Perreault
McKay – Condotta – Bourque

Trudeau – Barron
Paquette-Bisson – Mailloux
Norlinder – Galipeau

The Week Ahead

Friday/Saturday: at Belleville – So far, the teams have split the first six games of the season series (which is better than usual for Laval).  Somehow, there are six head-to-head matchups left between these two.  Belleville made a couple of moves to add before Friday’s trade deadline, picking up Jamieson Rees from Carolina and Wyatt Bongiovanni from Winnipeg.

Sunday: at Toronto – If nothing else, at least Laval doesn’t have to wait too long for a rematch from their rough outing on the weekend.  Joseph Blandisi has been quite productive against his former team as he has scored seven goals in seven games against the Rocket.  Meanwhile, Logan Shaw, another former Hab, is second in Toronto scoring against Laval.  The Rocket will be hoping that trend doesn’t continue, that’s for sure.

Final Thought

As many expected, David Reinbacher has officially been assigned to Laval and Montreal GM Kent Hughes has already indicated that the youngster won’t be brought up to Montreal before the end of the season.  While I had just written a what-if scenario about him finishing up with the Canadiens, I think this is the better of the two options.

While it’s reasonable to think that there could be some struggles, I think there’s a good chance that he plays a fairly prominent role fairly quickly.  Without Brady Keeper, Laval’s right-shot defensive depth is quite limited.  There is Logan Mailloux and Justin Barron, and, well, that’s it.  While handedness is not everything, J-F Houle will likely jump at the opportunity to try to create a bit more balance on the back end which means Reinbacher should play fairly quickly.

There is no obvious candidate to come out of the lineup.  Mattias Norlinder has struggled but as a Canadiens prospect, there is still going to be a priority to play him so he’s still going to play fairly often.  Olivier Galipeau is on an AHL deal but he has been a reliable piece on the third pairing.  I think he’s the first one to sit but he has played well enough to be in there regularly as well.  Frankly, it’s a good problem to deal with heading into the stretch run, especially with a three-in-three set coming up.

Some rookies get eased into things but I’d be surprised if Reinbacher is one of them.  I think they’ll be relying on him a fair bit before too long.  And if he can live up to that, he’ll give Laval’s back end a big boost.