Former Montreal Canadiens Going to be Difficult for Laval Rocket in Playoff Series

Nov 28, 2019; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Montreal Canadiens left wing Charles Hudon. Mandatory Credit: Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 28, 2019; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Montreal Canadiens left wing Charles Hudon. Mandatory Credit: Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports /

The Montreal Canadiens season ended last weekend, but they have plenty of prospects still on the ice.

Kaiden Guhle, Jan Mysak, Arber Xhekaj, Joe Vrbetic and Daniil Sobolev have all already advanced to the second round of their WHL and OHL series. Xavier Simoneau, William Trudeau, Joshua Roy and Riley Kidney are all about to begin their QMJHL postseason’s as huge favourites in round one.

The Laval Rocket are also heading to their first ever playoff series and it will begin on Friday night.

The Rocket finished the season third in their division by points percentage and will head to Syracuse to take on the Crunch in the division semi-final series. It is a Best-of-5 series that puts two teams that were very close in the standings against one another. They played each other eight times in the regular season with the Rocket coming out victorious five times.

The key for the Rocket in winning the series might be their ability to shut down a couple of former Montreal Canadiens forwards.

The top two goal scorers on the Crunch are Charles Hudon and Gabriel Dumont. Each of them finished tied for 8th in the AHL in goals with 30.

Hudon was a 5th round pick of the Canadiens in 2012. He played a total of 125 career games with the Canadiens over five different seasons, scoring 14 goals and 41 points. He led the organization to play in Switzerland in 2020-21 and returned to North America this season to play for the Crunch.

He was always a great goal scorer at the AHL level, putting up 101 goals over his last four seasons with the Canadiens minor league affiliate.

Gabriel Dumont was drafted by the Canadiens in the 5th round of the 2009 NHL Draft. He has played 90 NHL games in his career, but only 18 of them were with the Canadiens, though he did also play three playoff games in 2013 with the Habs. He scored one goal and three points in his 18 regular season games with the Habs.

Dumont played six seasons for the Canadiens AHL clubs, maxing out at 20 goals in 2014-15 and 49 points the following season. The 31 year old is in his second stint with the Crunch who are the farm team of the Tampa Bay Lightning, and he had 30 goals and 62 points in 75 games this season.

The Canadiens AHL teams have not won a playoff series since 2011. If they are going to do it this season, they will have to find a way to shut down a couple of their own products.

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