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Cayden Primeau getting a chance to regroup as Keith Kinkaid starts Tuesday in Laval

The young goaltender is going through a slump at the AHL level.

Shanna Martin

Cayden Primeau was sent down to get some game action while the Montreal Canadiens are in Western Canada. In his second game in Laval, he will watch from the bench.

The team announced that Keith Kinkaid will start for the Laval Rocket when they take on the Rockford IceHogs at Place Bell on Tuesday night.

It has been an up and down season for Primeau in his first professional season. He has been going through a slump at the American Hockey League level, which has been split by a somewhat successful stint in the NHL with the Canadiens.

“I don’t make the decisions,” Primeau said after Saturday’s 5-0 loss to the Rochester Americans about him being sent down. “Personally, I try to be ready when my name is called. It was a great experience and I learned a lot. It’s good to be back here and take everything that I learned and trying to improve even more.”

Primeau’s call up and strong play in Montreal overshadowed the struggles he had at the AHL level. In five of his last six starts for the Rocket he has allowed at least four goals. The only game he didn’t was a shutout. Not all of that is on Primeau, but it points to what Joël Bouchard has said often this year. He’s said it regarding Ryan Poehling, Josh Brook, and now Primeau. There’s still development to be done.

“It’s all mileage for him,” said Rocket head coach Joël Bouchard. “There are things to work on. There were goals that he needs to look at, he needs to learn from those plays. There will be games where the team will not be as good as it is normally.”

Sean Burke is in town and Bouchard said he will work with Primeau this week. The team also plays on Friday in Utica and it is likely Primeau will get the call for that game.

Primeau said that the team told him they had confidence in him when they sent him down. He also said for a goaltender there isn’t much adjustment to make when being called up or sent down.

“You have to be ready for anything, and your job as a goalie is to stop the puck,” Primeau said.