The All-Star game break is often beneficial for recharging the batteries and it seems that the Laval Rocket really needs it.
Even though it did not have a bad match, Saturday afternoon, the Montreal Canadiens’ farm club lost 3-1 to the Rochester Americans, after signing a convincing 6-2 victory. , the day before.
When a journalist pointed out to him that his team had just lost four of its last five outings, head coach Jean-François Houle took a few seconds to do the math. When he realized that this was indeed the case, he came to a simple conclusion.
“We’re going to enjoy this break,” he said, smiling.
After a difficult start to the season, the Laval team put themselves back in the playoff picture by winning 13 games out of 16. During their recent streak of failure, the Rocket, however, committed a lot of turnovers and did not offer the same quality game.
The bravest would prefer to resume action quickly to try to turn the tide, but for Houle, the watchword for his men during the four-day leave planned in the calendar will be rest.
“We are asking the players to take some rest and come back ready in four days to attempt a push towards the playoffs. It may not seem like it, but the number of matches is plummeting and they are all important. On the way back, we go on the road for two weeks. We just have to take a step back and be ready,” emphasized the head coach.
The Rocket currently sit sixth in the American Hockey League North Division, but just three points separate the third-place Toronto Marlies from the seventh-place Utica Comets.
Only one player from the Laval team will not be able to take advantage of this long leave: defender Logan Mailloux. However, he will have a good reason, because he will represent the team at the all-star game.
Mailloux has had his ups and downs this season, but he is second among American League rookie defensemen with 29 points. He has had at least one point in 11 of his last 14 games, showing progress in his game.
The Habs’ 2021 first-round pick expects to have a lot of fun among the league’s elite.
“I think it will be very pleasant. There are several good players from around the league who will be there. I think it will be a great experience,” expressed Mailloux.
Houle, for his part, mentioned that he would try to stay away from his computer during the break, but he will surely think about what he can do to turn things around. The fourth trio, made up of young Jan Mysak, Jared Davidson and Riley Kidney, perhaps gave him a first avenue of solution.
While the Canadian could make a few call-ups to replenish his roster, at the dawn of the NHL trade deadline, Mysak, Davidson and Kidney showed against the Americans that they could take on extra work.
“If we have to lose players, I think these three are capable of playing higher up in our lineup. It gives us options. It’s important to have depth, especially if we want to make a push for the playoffs,” noted Houle.