Montreal Canadiens AHL Affiliate | Laval Rocket News: Laval Rocket Week in Review, Cayden Primeau, Gustav Olofsson and Matthew Peca Recalled, Christian Folin on Conditioning, Noah Juulsen Health Concerns
ROCKET SPORTS MEDIA | LAVAL, QC. — The Rocket just concluded a three-game road trip that had them pick up two of the possible six points. On Wednesday, the Senators scored three unanswered goals in the third period to go on to win by a 5-3 score. Belleville has won all three games between these two teams this season.
On Friday, Laval beat the Crunch for the first time in Syracuse since March 3rd 2018. Jake Evans opened the scoring in the first minute of the game for his team as they went on to win by a 4-2 score.
“We got a couple moments in the game where they buzzed us pretty good, but we we just did the simple things and got pucks out and then forechecked and that’s the strength of this team and we played to that,” said Karl Alzner after the game.
The Rocket ended their road trip on Saturday with a 6-3 loss against the Thunderbirds. Springfield scored three unanswered goals in the third period.
“I think it’s been a tough travel week I think guys were a little slow and lost focus I think off the start. And I think that just continued on. And then I think the third, we got some energy, got our legs back and started playing our way. And I thought we had a really good third,” said Evans post-game.
This week, Laval hosts Cleveland on Wednesday night at Place Bell. It will be the fifth matchup of the season, with each team winning two games each. On the weekend, it will be déjà vu for the Rocket as they will head on the road to face Syracuse on Friday and Springfield on Saturday for the second consecutive weekend.
With Keith Kinkaid placed on waivers by the Canadiens on Monday, Cayden Primeau was recalled. In the six hours between the announcement of Kinkaid not on the ice for practice in Brossard and the announcement of the recall, I felt it was a slam dunk that Charlie Lindgren would be the one getting the call to join Montreal. I didn’t even understand why there was even a debate on this topic on social media.
I don’t think that the Canadiens current situation are good conditions for a prospect to make his debut. I think that Primeau playing the entire season with Laval would serve him better for his development.
In 12 starts this season, Primeau has 7-4-1 record with a 2.58 goals against average, .910 save percentage, and recorded one shutout. He was currently going through the most difficult stretch of his young professional career having allowed 14 goals in his last three starts.
“I love Cayden, I love his attitude, the way he behaves. When these things happen, it’s how they going to rebound after,” said the coach after Saturday’s game. Despite his recent slump, Primeau still ranked in the top-20 in the AHL for goals against average and save percentage.
Since the start of the season, Bouchard has been alternating the starts between both goalies and they have both delivered good results. Lindgren has 5-5-2 record with a 2.71 goals against average, .893 save percentage, and has also recorded one shutout.
Lindgren was named third star in Friday’s game, making 26 saves including several key stops.
“He’s a character guy. He has good intentions, good attitude, he comes to the arena every day to work. For me, he was our best player tonight, our first star,” said Bouchard after the game.
“He made a couple huge saves there in the third to to let us get those two points tonight. He had a heck of a game. Bounce Back game for him after losing the last one,” said Michael McCarron. “He deserves more wins than he has on his record. We haven’t played very good in front of him. And you know, we gave a good effort in front of him tonight and he answered the bell when when he needed to.”
In an unexpected move, the Canadiens recalled Gustav Olofsson from Laval on Friday. I was surprised because there were no injuries on defence in Montreal at the time of the recall. I think Olofsson has had a good season in Laval and has been moving the puck well. In 22 games with Laval this season, Olofsson scored one goal and added nine assists.
“He hasn’t had it easy in the last two years,” said Joel Bouchard on Friday. Olofsson has missed significant time over the time span due to injuries. “We’ve asked a lot of him since he joined us. He changed things in his game. He had some really good games, and there was games where it was more difficult. He’s conscious about that and we were telling him that it’s part of his learning, and now we’re happy to see him in the NHL.”
Matthew Peca was recalled to the NHL on Monday. The Canadiens have had the minimum 12 forwards on their roster since the injuries to Jonathan Drouin and Paul Byron. I assume that the recall was made with the intention of placing Peca in the lineup to play this week.
After a slow start to the season, Peca has started to consistently put points on the board in 11 of his last 13 games. He’s currently on a six-game point streak, which started on November 20th when he started playing on the top line with Michael McCarron and Riley Barber, replacing Alex Belzile currently not playing due to an upper body injury.
Folin on Conditioning
On Wednesday, the Canadiens assigned Christian Folin to Laval for conditioning purposes. Folin’s last game with Montreal was on October 19th, and the rust showed in the first game he played with the Rocket on Wednesday against Belleville.
“I think it’s obviously tough when you haven’t played for so long and then you get thrown in here with a bunch of new guys that you don’t really know. I felt rusty to start I’m not gonna lie about that. I think anyone would, but I think as the second period went on, I felt I got in the rhythm and started making plays and being physical but overall I’m not satisfied with the game,” Folin said post-game.
Folin had three defensive partners in the three games last week. He played with Otto Leskinen on Wednesday, Maxim Lamarche on Friday, and Ryan Culkin on Saturday, and the coach gave him penalty killing responsibilities all week.
“I really like my progress. It’s obviously tough when you haven’t played for a while and then getting three really good games here in the short span of time. I’ve been feeling much better every game, my body’s feeling good and the lungs are feeling good. I started playing well and and do what I do well, and it’s just fun and I mean, it’s just so exciting to be back out playing,” said Folin about his play following the game in Springfield.
“We’re going to push Folin to go to the next level. There’s things in his game that we have to work on,” said Bouchard. The plan is for Folin to stay for the maximum 14-day stint that is allowed, which would give him the opportunity to play seven games with Laval.
Juulsen Health Issues Continue
Noah Juulsen‘s health issues have continued and I’m starting to be concerned about him. Juulsen has played in only two of the last six games. He didn’t travel with the team to Belleville on Wednesday as he was visiting a specialist due to recurring migraines. Juulsen told 91.9 Sports that the migraines started following the injury he suffered last season.
Juulsen joined the team in Syracuse and played on Friday, however missed the game against Springfield the following night because he wasn’t feeling well. This is a situation that I hope the organization and their medical staff follow closely.
(Note: All quotes courtesy of 91.9 FM Sports)