Weekend Q Preview
For those who might not find NHL action sufficient tonight (less than half the teams are in action, what's up with that) here's a little look at what's going on in the QMJHL:
Rimouski @ Cape Breton, 6 PM ET
The Oceanic is in the midst of an Eastern swing that has not been in their favour thus far. They've dropped their last two games, against Halifax and Saint John respectively. Cape Breton is the third of four opponents, the last one being Acadie-Bathurst on Sunday, that Rimouski faces on this roadtrip. Meanwhile, tonight they face a Screaming Eagles' squad that is at the bottom of the Maritime Division, with a 4-8-0-1 record and a paltry 26 goals scored within that campaign. Captain Félix Lefrançois and Kirkland-born defenseman Ryan Kavanagh are guys to watch for the Oceanic, while Canadiens' fans will want to have a look at Morgan Ellis, also captain of his squad.
Victoriaville @ Moncton, 6:30 PM ET
The Tigres' Philip-Michaël Devos leads the league with 26 points in 12 games. His team is at .500 for the year, but their last game was a notable success, having won 7-1 at the expense of the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies. Moncton, who kicks off their Pink in the Rink weekend, didn't fare too badly themselves, topping Halifax 5-1 this past Sunday with notable help from goaltender Shane Owen, who made 36 saves in the win. Standingswise, Moncton is 8-3-0-2 for the year, only behind the Acadie-Bathurst Titan in the Maritime Division. Victoriaville will continue on to PEI and Saint John to round out their weekend while Moncton will take on the Screaming Eagles at home on Sunday afternoon.
Chicoutimi @ Montreal, 7:05 PM ET
This game can be seen on Canal VOX. It's the second of three road games in four nights for the Sagueneens, who lost to the MAINEiacs by a score of 3-1 on Wednesday night. It has not been easy for Richard Martel's team this season, their offensive troubles leading to what is now a seven-game winless streak. However, ex-Junior Guillaume Asselin, traded for the rights to Louis Leblanc, is on the points' leaderboard with 15 in 12 games. The Juniors, for their part, have a record of 6-2-3-0, good for second in the Telus West division behind the Voltigeurs. Most recently they came off a three-game back-to-back weekend roadtrip where they collected 3 of a possible 6 points against Atlantic teams. In the offensive category, Canadiens' prospect Philippe Lefebvre leads the team with 15 points in 9 games, 7 of which are goals. Chicoutimi's other opponent this weekend is Gatineau on Saturday whereas Val-d'Or takes on Montreal on Sunday.
Val-d'Or @ Drummondville, 7:30 PM ET
The Foreurs have fared decently in a tough division and take on the head of said division in the Drummondville Voltigeurs. The Volts are clinging to a tiny point that separates them from the Remparts at the top of the league leaderboard and are coming off a split weekend, losing 1-0 to Acadie-Bathurst in a shootout and beating Chicoutimi 3-1 the next day, but they've lost their last three games at home. The last meeting between the two teams had the Foreurs coming out on top by a 4-2 margin, a game that put Val-d'Or's physicality on showcase against a tired Drummondville squad. Top prospect Sean Couturier leads the way offensively for the Voltigeurs, with eight goals and six assists, while Olivier Archambault is 5-5-10 for the other side. It's the first of three games in three nights for the Foreurs, as they meet Quebec and Montreal in the days following this matchup while Drummondville closes out their homestand against Gatineau on Sunday.
Quebec @ Shawinigan, 7:30 PM ET
Named the best team in the CHL this week, the Remparts, quite simply, are on fire. They are the only team in the league who has yet to lose in regulation time, though they have played the least amount of games (10, while most teams are at 12 or 13). With the help of goaltender and Phoenix prospect Louis Domingue (plus rookie backup Jimmy Appleby), they have allowed a league-low 20 goals against. The other culprits are on the offensive side, notably Jonathan Audy-Marchessault, Joël Champagne and rookie Tomas Filippi who have a combined 60 points. For their part, Shawinigan has one of the surprises of the league in Yannick Veilleux. They, like the Tigres, sport a .500 record with recent success (they are coming off a win of 6-2 against Val-d'Or).