Montreal Canadiens Affiliate, Laval Rocket Could Clinch Playoff Berth Tonight

LAVAL, QC - APRIL 08: Cedric Paquette #13 of the Laval Rocket. (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)
LAVAL, QC - APRIL 08: Cedric Paquette #13 of the Laval Rocket. (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images) /

The Montreal Canadiens will not be making the playoffs this season, but their top affiliate might be joining the postseason party.

The Laval Rocket are on the verge of guaranteeing a spot in the 2022 Calder Cup Playoffs and could seal that deal in the next few hours.

The Rocket are taking on division rival Syracuse Crunch tonight. They do need to win that game in order to clinch, but they already got the help they needed from other games this evening.

The American Hockey League has an unbalanced schedule this season, so not all teams are going to play the same number of games. That means playoff seeding will be determined by points percentage instead of just looking at points in the standings. With the Rochester Americans losing in regulation to the Cleveland Monsters, the Rocket just need two more points to clinch a playoff spot.

That would be a big accomplishment for a Montreal Canadiens affiliate.

This is the fifth season of the Laval Rocket’s existence and they have not played a playoff game yet. They did have a great season last year, but there were no playoffs in the Canadian Division.

Before the Rocket were born, the Habs farm team was the St. John’s Ice Caps for two seasons. They missed the playoffs in 2016 and lost in the first round in 2017.

Previous to the Ice Caps, the Habs affiliate in the AHL was the Hamilton Bulldogs. They made it to the semi-finals in 2010 and 2011, but then missed the playoffs in their final four years of existence.

That means since 2011, the Canadiens AHL teams have made the playoffs just one time and were eliminated in the first round in four games. Combined, they have zero playoff series won and just a single playoff game victory since Randy Cunneyworth was their head coach and David Desharnais was playing games in the AHL.

There is just over a week left in the AHL regular season, and the Rocket are in line to grab a playoff spot tonight. It would end the Laval franchise’s playoff drought and give the Habs top affiliate a chance to win its first playoff game since 2011.

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