Laval Rocket Eliminated from Calder Cup Playoffs

LAVAL, QC - MAY 12: Goaltender Cayden Primeau. (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)
LAVAL, QC - MAY 12: Goaltender Cayden Primeau. (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images) /

The Laval Rocket’s playoff campaign has just begun, and it- what’s that? It’s already over? They got swept in two games? They scored just one goal? Well, that was short-lived. Yes, unfortunately for the Habs fans out there hoping the Laval Rocket could fill the hole in their heart usually occupied by the Canadiens, that won’t be happening.

After a long, exciting playoff run last season that saw them come one game away from the finals, the Laval Rocket failed to follow that up again this year. After scratching and clawing their way to get into the post-season, it appears as though the Rocket just didn’t have much left in the tank.

In the last article about the Rocket, we discussed how unique the AHL’s playoff format is, with 23 teams making it in. The first round of the playoffs is a best-of-three series, and in the Rocket’s case, it only needed two. Laval played the Utica Comets, and after an embarrassing 4-0 loss on home ice Wednesday, they needed to win games two and three to advance.

Obviously, that didn’t happen, losing a heartbreaker on Friday to fall two games to zero, ending their season. Laval led for most of the game on Friday before Utica scored the equalizer with just two seconds left in the third, before winning in overtime. I can’t think of a worse way to lose, and I feel particularly bad for Cayden Primeau.

After fighting tooth and nail just to get into the playoffs, to lay such a fat egg in the playoffs is disappointing. The only positive to draw from is the play of Cayden Primeau, as he pretty much stood on his head to give his team a chance. Unfortunately, the Rocket provided him with just one run of support across the two games, and even that was nearly enough to get them to a deciding game three.

The whole team, but especially Primeau, played so well just to get here, but for whatever reason, they couldn’t get anything going offensively. You have to give credit to Utica, they clearly had a game plan, and they stuck to it, smothering the Rocket. They’ll move on to play the Toronto Marlies in Round Two. As for the Rocket, I suspect they’ll get some reinforcements next year, like Joshua Roy, Riley Kidney, and potentially even Filip Mešár if the Canadiens decide they like him there over the OHL.

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