Montreal Canadiens: Jakub Dobes Finding His Footing With Laval Rocket

Sep 30, 2023; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Montreal Canadiens goalie Jakub Dobes
Sep 30, 2023; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Montreal Canadiens goalie Jakub Dobes / David Kirouac-USA TODAY Sports

The Montreal Canadiens have a bit of a goaltending problem on their hands, but it isn't that they can't fine one. In fact, they have three on their roster and the problem has been trying to get that number down to two.

Sam Montembeault has played well recently and signed a three-year contract extension this season so he appears to be the future number one, or at least 1A. Cayden Primeau has been up to the task when called upon so the 24 year old appears to have a long term home as well.

That leaves veteran Jake Allen as the likely odd man out, but the team has been trying to find a solution since October without any luck. While they work to turn their three goalie system at the NHL level into two, there is another potential option developing quickly with the Laval Rocket.

Jakub Dobes was a fifth round draft pick of the Canadiens in 2020. He would go on to play two years of college hockey with Ohio State and performed admirably while there. He somewhat surprisingly turned pro this season instead of returning for a third NCAA season and it did not look like a good decision early on.

The Ostrava, Czechia native allowed at least three goals in each of his first six starts of the season and posted an awful 4.75 GAA with a .853 save percentage. He simply appeared to be in the wrong league and started losing the net to Strauss Mann, though he wasn't performing all that much better.

Dobes first great start of the season came on November 12 when he stopped 23 of 25 shots but he left the game with about ten minutes to play due to cramping. It wasn't an immediate flip of the switch as Dobes was pulled in his next start after allowing four goals in the first period, but he has been muhc better since.

In his past 14 starts, the 22 year old has put up much more respectable numbers at the AHL level. In those games, he has a 2.85 GAA with a .910 SV% which don't put him among the league's elite, but do put him just above the middle of the pack which is quite a turnaround from his first six games.

Dobes has allowed three goals or less in 11 of his past 12 games, giving the Rocket a chance to win each night, and they have done a lot of winning in that time. Dobes has lost just once in regulation in his past 13 starts and has a record of 7-1-1 in his last nine.

The Rocket started the season 1-6-1 and appeared headed for a disastrous season, but have already pulled themselves back into a playoff spot and are 14-8-5 in the past 27 games. Dobes turning his game around at the same time as the team is no coincidence as he has played a huge role in their climb back to respectability.

The question now is just how far can this team go in the AHL? If Dobes continues to improve as he has all season, the 6'5" netminder should be poised to take them on a long playoff run in the spring.