Montreal Canadiens AHL Affiliate, Laval Rocket Back Their Way Into First Postseason

LAVAL, QC - APRIL 08: The Laval Rocket celebrate (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)
LAVAL, QC - APRIL 08: The Laval Rocket celebrate (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images) /

The Montreal Canadiens season is down to just three regular season games with no playoffs coming, but the Laval Rocket are going to take part in their first ever playoff series.

The Habs AHL affiliates haven’t had a lot of playoff success recently. In fact, since 2011, they have made the postseason just once and won only one game in a first round series loss. The current iteration of the Habs top farm team is the Laval Rocket, and they did not play a single playoff game in their first four years of existence.

Part of that was due to things outside of their control. The team had an excellent season in 2020-21 but there were no playoffs in the Canadian Division so they were crowned division champions based on their regular season record.

This season, they will have a chance to win a more legit division, or league championship. Earlier today, based on other games taking place while the Rocket had the day off, Laval officially qualified for the 2022 Calder Cup Playoffs.

They really did take the back door to get there, but they have made it nonetheless.

The Rocket could have helped their cause with a couple of games earlier this weekend but they played two of their worst games of the season.

On Friday night, the Rocket took on the Toronto Marlies in Laval. With a chance to all but solidify their playoff seeding, the Rocket took a 1-0 lead on a Joel Teasdale goal in the first period. It was all Marlies after that as Toronto scored five unanswered to win the game 5-1.

Saturday night was a game against the Syracuse Crunch on the road but it had a very similar result. Once again, Teasdale opened the scoring, this time just over three minutes into the game. Syracuse tied it less than four minutes later and would go on to score five unanswered and win the game 5-1.

A win in either of those games and the Rocket would have clinched a playoff spot on Saturday night.

But it took a Rochester Americans regulation time loss on Sunday afternoon to put them just far enough behind Laval to give the Rocket their first ever playoff berth.

Though they have now lost three straight, the Rocket still have a chance of finishing third overall and avoiding the 4 vs 5 play-in round. The Calder Cup Playoffs sees five teams from every division make the postseason, but the fourth and fifth seeds play a three game series to determine who takes on the #1 overall seed in each division.

The Rocket now have three games remaining on their schedule. They play Wednesday and Thursday against the Marlies who are desperately clinging to the final playoff spot, but aren’t all that far behind the Rocket. Laval closes out its regular season on Saturday with a game against the Syracuse Crunch.

If the Rocket play well, they have a chance of reeling in the Crunch and starting the playoffs on home ice as the #2 seed in the North Division. Continuing their losing streak for three more games could drop them all the way to fifth and a three game road series to try and earn a date with the Utica Comets who are running away with the top seed in the division.

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