Canadiens Get Creative With Two Surprising Call-Ups From Laval
Montreal Canadiens general manager Kent Hughes got creative this week, calling on surprising names to help the Canadiens in the final stretch.
As of Monday, Jordan Harris, Kirby Dach and Jake Allen had not yet skated since being held out with injury over the last week.
With the Canadiens set to make the trip to Long Island to play the New York Islanders this Wednesday, they needed to make some emergency recalls in order to ice a 20-man roster.
But there’s a bit of a problem, as the Laval Rocket, who are in the midst of a heated playoff push, also play the very same night against the Toronto Marlies.
It would have been easy for the Habs to simply recall Rafaël Harvey-Pinard or Corey Schueneman to come in and help the team against the Islanders, but it would have significantly hurt Laval’s chances of topping the best team in the North Division on the same night.
To remove any of these players at forward would have beeen a huge blow to the Rocket’s chances of beating the Marlies on Wednesday; thereby losing their advantage in the AHL playoff race.
Harvey-Pinard even confirmed that he would be finishing out the season with the Canadiens’ AHL affiliate, meaning the Canadiens are likely counting on other options.
Instead, the Montreal Canadiens tried to compromise by calling up players with lesser roles on the Rocket, but that own a valid NHL contract.
Here’s how it could work.
Best Of Both Worlds
At forward, the Canadiens chose to call on Joël Teasdale.
Teasdale makes for an excellent story, as the 24-year-old flourished with the extra ice time he received once the Canadiens plundered the Rocket of their top forwards.
In 57 games with the Rocket this season, the gritty winger put up 23 goals and 15 assists for 38 points, proving to be one of the more clutch forwards for Laval down the stretch.
With the return of Laval’s top offensive players and the arrival of Emil Heineman, Teasdale was once again relegated to the bottom six last night by head coach J-F Houle.
It could stand to reason that, with the Rocket using him in a lesser, he was a very strategic recall for the Canadiens.
For a player that has had such a tough time battling injuries, giving him his first NHL game is a well-deserved reward for a great bounce-back season.
Peter Abbandonato with the moves and Joël Teasdale makes it 2-0 Rocket! pic.twitter.com/k6PhtX85kb
— Scott Matla (@scottmatla) December 29, 2022
Keeping Your Defences Up
Things got a little tricky last night for the Montreal Canadiens, as the Laval Rocket lost one of their top defencemen in Nicolas Beaudin to an upper-body injury.
The severity of the situation is not yet known, but it does bring the Rocket’s defensive numbers down to just seven.
With the loss of Beaudin, it’s expected that Olivier Galipeau would enter the lineup, leaving newly acquired Frédéric Allard as the odd man out.
Normally, the Canadiens would call on Corey Schueneman for reinforcements in this situation, as they did last week, however, given the player’s importance to the Rocket’s back end, there was a change of course here.
The Canadiens chose to emergency recall Allard instead of Schueneman, as the 25-year-old is likely to be a scratch for Wednesday’s game anyway; allowing the Rocket to maintain their defensive structure and the Canadiens to have six healthy defencemen if Harris is ruled out for the season.
Allard has already played a game for the Canadiens back in March and could be used in a sheltered manner on the third pairing to finish out the year.
Two Birds, One Stone
Not only do these recalls help the Laval Rocket maintain pace in their AHL playoff run, but they also help the Canadiens in their effort to maintain the fifth-best odds in the NHL Draft Lottery.
By calling up players like Allard and Teasdale, rather than Schueneman and Harvey-Pinard, the Canadiens will be icing its weakest lineup of the season in their final two games.
The Islanders, who desperately need a win to keep pace in the Eastern Conference Wild Card race, could leapfrog the Florida Panthers with a win over the Canadiens.
The Boston Bruins, whom the Canadiens face the very next day at home, will also be icing an AHL-heavy lineup in order to rest their top players.
It’s the perfect opportunity for Kent Hughes to hit two birds with the same stone; both ensuring his advantageous lottery position and giving his AHL affiliate the best chances to make a run in the AHL playoffs.
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Surprising to whom ?
Teasdale is a cross between Marchand and Gallagher but with size
6ft 205lb Goal Scorer and his Partner Condotta Have the same Dynamic with a higher skillset the then Condotta’s cousin Matt Martin and Cizikas.
Give them a Center on 4th line Barbashev ,Accari , M.Barron , Sissons or my personal favorite option Colton Dach , Those guys will be a 4th line so good you’ll swear they were top 6 kinda like Armia-Staal-Perry were as a unit elevating themselves above their individual play becoming greater as a unit.
MTL is testing out how close he is because despite a great 2 years.
He had the highest of highs met by the lowest of lows .
Most people thought he was done at the pro level after sitting out a year before the Pandemic forced him to sit out over a year. He’d gained all this weight (muscle) and was unable to play the Paul Byron style Roadrunner that helped him beat Suzuki head to head for the Memorial Cup , Scoring title that playoffs and MVP.
Instead he became a player actually suited for the bottom 6.
Before the Pandemic no way he survives in MTL’s system based on needs.
But we got no real 4th line guys but Pezzetta who i just clued in is an ideal Center option we can groom internally and while not great at faceoffs i know from his time in laval playing 4th C , he was good .
Point is he evolved into a player that can more or less replace Byron or Evan as they retire or get promoted. Guys who werent Physical who learned to be physical to get a NHL job . Teasdale could be the best 4th line Leader since S.Thorton lead the Merlot line .
Im excited for all our Youth going forward but the top 9 is so unclear with such depth in competition. But the Bottom 9 we got Pezzetta basically unless we plan on shoving RHP there too . Guys like Condotta and Teasdale are guys to watch as they bring the total package as far as ideal 4th line players in todays era.