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The home stretch of the season has arrived for the Rocket who had a pair of critical home games as they look to hold onto a playoff spot.  They were able to earn a split which keeps them in a playoff spot for now but their grip on one is a little weaker now.

The Week That Was

April 5: Syracuse 3, Laval 1 – Justin Barron gave Laval the lead in the first and through the first half of the season period, the Rocket had been playing well against the North Division leaders.  However, in the second half of the game, the Crunch took it to Laval.  Jakub Dobes did his best to hold the fort but a Jack Finley goal eight minutes into the third was the difference-maker.  Laval had a late power play but couldn’t do anything with it to tie it up.

April 6: Laval 7, Springfield 4 – This was far from a defensive battle with both teams allowing plenty of quality chances.  Arnaud Durandeau had a pair of goals after being a healthy scratch the game before while David Reinbacher picked up his fourth point in eight games when he scored in the second period.  However, it was Mitchell Stephens who stole the show with a five-point outing, capped by a hat-trick goal into the empty net with just over a minute to go.



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


# Player Record GAA SV% SO
71 Jakub Dobes 1-1-0 3.03 .912 0

Team Leaders:

Goals: Philippe Maillet (20)
Assists: Brandon Gignac (36)
Points: Brandon Gignac (55)
+/-: Tobie Bisson (+18)
PIMS: Riley McKay (136)
Shots: Logan Mailloux (147)

News and Notes

– Laval didn’t have Justin Barron in their lineup against Springfield after he was recalled on an emergency basis to Montreal following the injuries to Kaiden Guhle and Arber Xhekaj.

– Brandon Gignac also didn’t play against the Thunderbirds due to a lower-body injury.  He’s listed as day-to-day.

– It was an odd week for Strauss Mann.  The netminder was recalled from ECHL Trois-Rivieres on Tuesday, sent down on Wednesday, then brought up again on Thursday.

– Speaking of Trois-Rivieres, the Lions didn’t wind up suspending operations after all although Newfoundland, under the same owner, did.  This means that they won’t have the big taxi squad for the stretch run of their AHL-contracted players.  Ideally, the new owner comes in and the affiliation is extended.

– Florian Xhekaj has been signed to a tryout deal now that his junior season has ended.

Last Game’s Lines

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

Trudeau – Mailloux
Paquette-Bisson – Reinbacher
Norlinder – Galipeau

The Week Ahead

Thursday/Saturday at Cleveland – There’s some good news and bad news when it comes to the Monsters.  At the moment, their goalie tandem is up with Columbus so that’s ideal.  However, the Blue Jackets have also sent back two of Cleveland’s top forwards, including Trey Fix-Wolansky, one of the AHL’s leaders in points per game.  The Monsters are comfortably in a playoff spot but they’re within striking distance of first in the North so they’ll have something to play for in these games.

Final Thought

It has been around a month since the Habs made an intriguing swap of underachieving prospects, moving Jan Mysak to Anaheim for Jacob Perreault.  While it’s far too early to make any sort of definitive conclusions about this swap, the early returns suggest that neither team won and that both might have actually lost the swap somehow.

With Laval, Mysak was a serviceable fourth liner, one that I long felt was underused.  In San Diego, he has been scratched several times already and been on the fourth line when he is in the lineup.  Perreault wasn’t producing anywhere near expectations but it’s fair to say they were getting more from him than they have from Mysak early on.

On the flip side, Perreault has underwhelmed considerably in the early going with the Rocket.  He has almost as many penalty minutes as shots on goal and with two points in 11 games, he’s producing at a lesser rate than Mysak was.  As an offensive player, he doesn’t bring much to the table when he’s not producing and, well, he’s not producing.

Fundamentally speaking, I don’t have an issue with ‘change of scenery’ trades.  If you’ve determined a prospect isn’t going to work, move on while he still has some value.  But right now, this one may have done more harm than good for both sides.