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While Laval still has plenty of work to do to lock down a playoff spot, they certainly bolstered their chances of reaching the postseason after picking up three crucial divisional victories in as many days last week.

The Week That Was

March 22: Laval 3, Belleville 2 (OT) – This was far from a strong performance from the Rocket who were down by two early in the third and couldn’t muster up much offensively; they only had six shots per period in regulation.  However, Lias Andersson got Laval on the board on the power play just before the midway mark, setting the stage for David Reinbacher to tie it less than 90 seconds later in his AHL debut.  Then, in overtime, it was another prospect blueliner being the difference-maker as Logan Mailloux potted the winner to give Laval the extra point.

March 23: Laval 3, Belleville 2 – This time, Laval started off better with Emil Heineman opening the scoring just past the five-minute mark while veterans Philippe Maillet and Brandon Gignac gave the Rocket a two-goal cushion heading into the third period.  From there, Jakub Dobes stood tall to get his second win in as many nights.  (Oddly enough, Laval had six shots in two of the three periods in this game too.)

March 24: Laval 4, Toronto 1 – Kasimir Kaskisuo allowed a tough one early in the second to open up the scoring but that wasn’t enough to start the repeat of their last matchup.  Instead, they scored three goals before the end of the second, giving them a cushion they were able to hold onto in a third period where they sat back.  Notably, three of the four goals came from the bottom six as the secondary scoring was the difference, something that hasn’t been the case all that often.



# Player GP G A +/- SOG PIMS
4 Tobie Bisson 3 0 0 +1 2 0
12 Filip Cederqvist 3 1 0 +1 2 0
15 Sean Farrell 3 1 0 E 3 2
16 Arnaud Durandeau 2 0 2 +1 1 0
19 Emil Heineman 3 1 0 +1 3 2
20 Gabriel Bourque 3 1 0 +1 3 2
21 Riley Kidney 2 0 1 +1 1 0
24 Logan Mailloux 3 1 2 E 4 2
27 Mitchell Stephens 3 0 3 +3 5 2
28 Lias Andersson 3 1 2 E 4 2
34 Jacob Perreault 2 0 0 +1 2 2
37 Brandon Gignac 3 1 1 +1 6 6
42 Lucas Condotta 3 0 1 E 2 0
44 Olivier Galipeau 3 0 0 +2 7 0
52 Justin Barron 3 0 0 -1 6 0
61 Philippe Maillet 3 1 2 -2 4 2
64 David Reinbacher 3 1 1 +2 2 0
68 Riley McKay 3 1 0 +1 3 2
84 William Trudeau 3 0 0 +1 1 2


# Player Record GAA SV% SO
71 Jakub Dobes 2-0-0 1.47 .931 0
73 Kasimir Kaskisuo 1-0-0 1.00 .960 0

Team Leaders:

Goals: Anderson/Gignac/Maillet (18)
Assists: Brandon Gignac (36)
Points: Brandon Gignac (54)
+/-: Olivier Galipeau (+17)
PIMS: Riley McKay (117)
Shots: Logan Mailloux (140)

News and Notes

– Penalties have been a problem for Laval this season.  They became the first team to reach 1,000 penalty minutes on the season.  For a team that sits 26th in penalty killing, this certainly isn’t a stat they wanted to be leading the way in.

– With David Reinbacher being added to the roster, the Rocket had eight defencemen.  Accordingly, Chris Jandric was returned to Trois-Rivieres.

– After going through a bit of a cold stretch recently, Logan Mailloux has worked his way back up to third in scoring among AHL defencemen.

Last Game’s Lines

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

Trudeau – Mailloux
Galipeau – Barron
Paquette-Bisson – Reinbacher

The Week Ahead

Wednesday at Utica – Laval hasn’t fared too well versus the Comets this season with Utica picking up points in six of seven games.  Special teams, in particular, have been a problem with the Comets outscoring the Rocket 8-1 on the power play (this is where that penalty stat above becomes even more important).  With Jake Allen in New Jersey, Nico Daws and Akira Schmid are both now in the minors so Laval will be facing a quality netminder either way.  Worth noting, their leading scorer in the head-to-head matchups this season (Brian Halonen), is now up with the Devils.

Friday/Saturday vs Belleville – The two sides played twice last week but there are still four more matchups out of the final nine this season.  After struggling against the Sens lately, Laval has fared better lately and now has a 5-3 record in the season series.  Fortunately, their leading scorer, Angus Crookshank, is up with Ottawa for the time being which would be a nice bonus for Laval once again.  Once again, these are must-win games for both sides.

Final Thought

Last season, this was around the time when Emil Heineman came over after his year in Sweden came to an end.  You might recall that he made quite an impact down the stretch, notching seven goals and two assists in 11 games, helping Laval climb their way into a playoff spot.

What that run also did was increase expectations for him coming into the season.  The hope was that he’d be a consistent scorer, one that would also see some action with the Habs.  However, the consistent scoring hasn’t quite come.  13 goals in 39 games isn’t bad by any stretch (it’s over a 20-goal pace over a 72-game season) but the game-to-game performance has been a bit sporadic.  While he did get a handful of games with Montreal, he wasn’t playing well enough to force his way into another opportunity compared to someone like Joshua Roy.

For me, Heineman is one of the biggest wild cards for Laval during the stretch run.  We saw last year that the extra pressure didn’t seem to faze him.  Will that be the case this time around?  If Heineman can get on a run like last year down the stretch, Laval’s playoff chance should improve considerably.  It also might help him restore some value after some of the shine came off in a season that has seen him battle injuries and not quite produce to expectations.  This isn’t a make-or-break stretch but I think it’s quite an important one for him.