Montreal Canadiens AHL Affiliate | Laval Rocket News: Joel Bouchard, Alex Burrows, Marco Marciano, Maxime Vaillancourt, Xavier Ouellet, Laurent Dauphin, Gianni Fairbrother, Guillaume Brisebois, Terrance Amorosa, Tristan Pomerleau
ROCKET SPORTS MEDIA | LAVAL, QC. — The Rocket returned to action on Monday night after eight days without a game. Joel Bouchard kept his troops fresh with five practices during the week at the Bell Centre before travelling to Ottawa.
The coach mixed things up to avoid a drop in the players’ energy level. They alternated between video sessions, practising special units, scrimmage, and off-ice workout. Bouchard was happy with his squad’s attitude in between the games.
The result on the ice wasn’t convincing on Monday night. Laval took 18 shots on goal and were shutout 3-0 by Belleville.
“We were terrible. We were out of sync. Our transition was a disaster. Our puck movement from the back end was not very good,” Bouchard said.
Laval squares off versus Belleville again on Wednesday before facing Toronto in a home-and-away series starting on Friday in Toronto, and at the Bell Centre on Sunday.
Coaches in the American Hockey League (AHL) deal with movement on their roster on a daily basis. Whenever Bouchard gets asked about a plan, he answers that he makes lineup decisions on game day because he never knows when one of his players will be called up to Montreal.
In the last two weeks, Bouchard had to deal with losing two members of his coaching staff. Firstly, Alex Burrows was added to the Canadiens coaching staff on February 24th when Kirk Muller was relieved of his duties.
“He’s passionate about hockey, he brings enthusiasm to the rink, we’re going to certainly miss that. We had a lot of fun with him and the boys. He did a great job for the power play,” Bouchard spoke about Burrows. Burrows joined the Rocket on the same day that he announced his retirement from the National Hockey League. “He’s just a hockey nut, and he loves it, and he’s passionate like he was as a player.”
Francis Bouillon jumped behind the bench to help out while the team was in Montreal. Bouillon is happy in his current role of player development coach for the organization and wasn’t interested in replacing Burrows.
Bouchard and Daniel Jacob will split Burrows’ functions for the near future. The shortened season and the COVID protocols in force make it difficult to quickly find a replacement. Bouchard hired Jacob as his assistant when he joined the Rocket, after the duo spent four years behind the bench together for Blainville-Boisbriand Armada in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL).
On Tuesday night, Marc Bergevin appointed Sean Burke as director of goaltending for the Canadiens. Burke needs to quarantine 14-days before joining the team, since he was residing in Arizona. As a result, Laval Rocket goaltending and video coach Marco Marciano received a call to work with Montreal’s goalies during the transition period.
“His best quality is that he’s a hard worker. He’s passionate, he’s dedicated. He didn’t play in the National Hockey League, but he went though a lot of levels of hockey,” Bouchard said on Marciano.
Marciano has been with the Canadiens AHL affiliate since 2013. He’s followed the team from the time that it was in Hamilton, St. John’s, and now Laval. Bouchard has known Marciano from the time that they were both part of the Montreal Junior coaching staff in the QMJHL.
Marciano will be relaying Burke’s plan to the Canadiens goalies during the transition. The two have already worked together recently as Burke would visit Laval regularly to work with the goalies.
“He’s very energetic, and he just loves his job. When you have someone like that who’s always positive, it radiates, and in turn it makes you have a positive outlook,” said Cayden Primeau on Thursday.
“He’s a very enthusiastic guy,” said Carey Price after their first practice session. “He brings a lot of energy and it’s going to be fun.”
Vaillancourt Joins Staff
On Sunday, the Rocket announced that Maxime Vaillancourt will join the team’s coaching staff, assuming the goaltending and video coach duties on an interim basis while Marciano is with Montreal.
The Laval Rocket announced on Sunday that Maxime Vaillancourt will join the team's coaching staff, assuming the goaltending and video coach duties on an interim basis, replacing Marco Marciano currently with the Canadiens as interim goaltending coach. pic.twitter.com/arwzxQGEvQ
— Rocket de Laval (@RocketLaval) March 7, 2021
Vaillancourt has served as goalie coach and video coordinator with the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada in the QMJHL since 2011, and had the opportunity to join Hockey Canada for the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge in 2018-19.
Vaillancourt was with the Armada in the QMJHL’s Rimouski bubble until Sunday, and began his quarantine on Monday in order to join the Rocket on March 15th.
The plan is that Vaillancourt will travel with Laval on their western Canadian road trip that takes them to Calgary and Winnipeg from March 18th to 30th.
Gianni Fairbrother signed a three-year entry level contract with the organization that begins for the 2021-22 season. Fairbrother was drafted in the 3rd round, 77th overall by the Canadiens at the 2019 draft. He played three games with Laval this season, collecting one assist before returning to his junior team.
“He really handled the AHL really good. He’s a man. I thought he adjusted when we talked to him about a few things we wanted him to look at, and paid attention,” evaluated Bouchard.
Xavier Ouellet and Laurent Dauphin were recalled by the Canadiens and were assigned to the taxi squad before the team headed to Vancouver for Monday’s game. “Their attitude was really good, and they had buy-in in what we’re trying to accomplish,” said Bouchard on the veterans.
The Canucks loaned Guillaume Brisebois from the Utica Comets to Laval. The defenceman will join the Rocket on Saturday. Brisebois has been on Vancouver’s taxi squad since the start of the year. In his career, he has played 165 games in the AHL, and eight games in the NHL.
On Monday, Laval added two players to their roster. First, they signed Terrance Amorosa to a professional tryout contract. In 2019-20, Amorosa scored six goals and added 12 assists in 48 games played with the Kansas City Mavericks in the ECHL.
Secondly, Tristan Pomerleau signed an amateur tryout contract. In 2019-20, Pomerleau scored three goals and added 10 assists in 29 games with the University of New Brunswick.