Two teams with very different realities will compete in the series between the Cataractes of Shawinigan Sherbrooke Phoenix. Especially in the net.
On one hand, the Shawinigan Cataractes (2nd overall) were traded before the trade deadline in order to have a guardian 20 years Philippe Cadorette. On the other, the Sherbrooke Phoenix (15th) capitalized on the young Evan Fitzpatrick to go through.
Just look at their record for a season preview for their respective clubs. While Cadorette was dominant in the image Cataractes Fitzpatrick showed little constant, which explains in part the season sawtooth of Sherbrooke.
Eligible next NHL draft, Fitzpatrick has an experience of 89 parts in the QMJHL, including three in the playoffs. For its part, Cadorette kept three times more games than his rival. This is also with an experience of 60 games in the playoffs that begin in 2016 playoffs Friday in Shawinigan.
Ironically, several rumors sent Cadorette in Sherbrooke this season while the veteran still moving in the League of the East Coast with the Norfolk Admirals. A little fruitful stay for the old guard Drakkar Baie-Comeau, which explains his return to the QMJHL.
“We trust our guard: he often made the big saves, summed Captain Anthony Beauvillier after the victory May to February last Friday. Philippe is a 20 year old dominant. He was brought to Shawinigan to stop the puck and he does it very well. We are used to see him do his work night after night. ”
“This is one of the best goalkeepers in the circuit. It is hard to beat, night after night. “
One who will play his last series in the Major Junior already has his game plan in mind:
“I’m going to be aggressive in trying to be as big as possible before my goal and positioning myself in front of the area reserved to the keeper. All I want is to give a chance to my team to win every game against Phoenix. ”
Sherbrooke also seems to already know what to do to thwart it.
“It will put traffic in front of him, ahead leading scorer Birds, Guillaume Gauthier. This is one of the best goalkeepers in the circuit. It is hard to beat, night after night. However, it will still video to analyze his play. ”
Same story on the side of the coach Stéphane Julien:
“We did not put enough traffic in front of him during our last game against Shawinigan. Because when he sees the pucks, he stops them. We should do more exercise to create scoring chances. ”
If Evan Fitzpatrick offered unequal benefits in 2015-2016, however, he proved in the past he could handle pressure raising his game a notch at important moments. As in the Match of the best hopes BMO introduced this season in Vancouver.
“What happened in season are over now, said Fitzpatrick. This is what’s great about hockey. As soon as a game ends, we must think about the next and was lucky to recover quickly. ”
Remains to be seen if it will give reason to Jocelyn Thibault and former CEO Patrick Charbonneau, who took a gamble early in the season.
To admit that his teammates have not always supported. The indiscipline of Sherbrooke and difficulty powerplay have also detracted from Phoenix recently.
“If we find our efficiency powerplay and we avoid the penalty box, it will help a lot. Because at even strength, well we cope, “says Gauthier.
The replica of Cadorette?
“We have to close the game in our area to curb big offensive players of the Phoenix,” says one who has already admitted that the big Sherbrooke guns will be to monitor whether the Cataractes wish to move to the second round, which would be a formality by many experts and amateurs.