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AHL Preview: Laval Rocket to play three games in four nights

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Laval faces an important homestand this week before the team heads back out on the road

Daniel Carr
Daniel Carr
Club de Hockey Canadien, Inc.

After completing a quick two-game road trip last week, the Laval Rocket are playing the first of three home games this week on Wednesday night against the Toronto Marlies at Place Bell. The full schedule is as follows:

  • Wednesday, November 1st vs. Toronto Marlies, 7:30 PM
  • Friday, November 3rd vs. Syracuse Crunch, 7:30 PM
  • Saturday, November 4th, vs. Syracuse Crunch, 3:00 PM

Injuries

Jeremy Gregoire returns to the Rocket after missing seven games, when a preseason injury flared back up. After only playing four games so far this season, the penalty kill expert returns to the line-up.

Another penalty-kill specialist, Markus Eisenschmid remains out of the line-up however, missing his fifth game in a row on Wednesday.

Chris Terry has played injured last few games after getting hit on October 25th and leaving the game. He was a game-time decision for both road games, but managed to play the games, albeit with visible difficulty. Terry is clearly trying to work his way through the injury, but perhaps for the better good of a long season ahead, he would be best served to make sure that the injury is fully healed before returning to play.

Also playing with a few bruises is defenceman Tom Parisi who took 15 stitches to his chin in the game against Toronto.

Hopefully this will be the week that Noah Juulsen returns from his broken foot. He started skating two weeks ago, and the initial diagnosis of a six week absence is up on Thursday. Perhaps he will play one of the two games on the weekend.

Veteran Scratch Count

  • Eric Gelinas: 5
  • Nicolas Deslauriers: 2
  • Jakub Jerabek: 2
  • Peter Holland: 1
  • Chris Terry: 0

Gelinas is expected to be scratched for a third game in a row, and for the sixth time this season, on Wednesday night.

Wednesday’s Expected Line-Up

Forwards

  • Daniel Carr / Byron Froese / Kyle Baun
  • Jordan Boucher / Peter Holland / Chris Terry
  • Nicolas Deslauriers / Daniel Audette / Jeremy Gregoire
  • David Broll / Niki Petti / Antoine Waked
  • Scratched: Tomas Ebbing, Yannick Veilleux
  • Injured: Markus Eisenschmid, Jeremiah Addison

Defence

  • Matt Taormina / Brett Lernout
  • Tom Parisi / Jakub Jerabek
  • Simon Bourque / Stefan Leblanc
  • Scratched: Eric Gélinas (veteran rule)
  • Injured: Noah Juulsen

Charlie Lindgren gets the start, with Zachary Fucale as backup. Fucale should play one of the weekend games.

Know Thy Enemy

The Rocket played the Marlies this past Saturday, so they are quite familiar with their North Division rivals. Both teams sit at 12 points, however Toronto has played less games than Laval.

There are no offensive stand-outs for the Marlies, who don’t count on any player playing at a point per game pace. It’s pretty much scoring by committee for them with Ben Smith, Nikita Soshnikov, and Andreas Johnsson leading the pack, with defencemen Timothy Liljegren and Andrew Nielsen providing solid support from the back-end.

Garret Sparks has been spectacular for the Marlies in nets however, so the lack of firepower is more than made up by him and his 0.934 save percentage. He will backed up by Calvin Pickard.

As for Syracuse, Michael Bournival and Cory Conacher lead the charge for the struggling club who is sitting in the basement of the North Division. The back-to-back games against the Rocket will essentially be an eight-point opportunity for the Crunch to get closer or for the Rocket to create separation. If Benoit Groulx’s squad hopes to climb its way back into the standings, the Crunch will need veteran Michael Leighton and rookie Connor Ingram to do much better than their sub-0.900 save percentages thus far this season.

Where To Listen/Watch

All games are broadcast in French on 91.9 Sports and shown in English at AHLlive.com. In addition Saturday’s afternoon game against the Syracuse Crunch will be shown on RDS.