(Quebec) The QMJHL’s third least productive team with 147 goals, the Remparts are looking for solutions to find the back of the net. On the eve of the third duel against the Sherbrooke Phoenix this season, head coach Philippe Boucher reconfigured his trios to training on Tuesday in hopes of creating a spark.
That’s how veteran Mathieu Ayotte ended up with Philipp Kurashev and right winger Matthew Boucher in the team’s first trio. The combination had met with some success when Ayotte arrived in Quebec City after the holiday season.
On the second line, the American duo of Igor Larionov J r and Shaun Bily was paired with Belarusian Dmitry Buynitskiy, while Derek Gentile rotate a third trio completed by Louis-Olivier Côté and Filip Garneau. Of the remaining four strikers, Yanick Turcotte, Mikaël Robidoux, Andrew Coxhead and Olivier Mathieu, a player will be cut off to form the fourth trio.
“We would like to score a few more goals. When Ayotte was healthy [he drags a shoulder injury], he played with Matt and Phil, and it went well for a couple of games . In the weekend when Larionov, Bily and Buynitskiy were together, it was the same thing. And we will try Garneau with Côté, who plays the best hockey, and Gentile, whom we hope to see unblock. These are tests. There is still some stability in the duos, “said Philippe Boucher, after training the team, at the Youth Pavilion on Tuesday.
The thrashing trio was greeted with philosophy by striker Olivier Garneau, who will try to light his two new trio partners, who are looking offensively.
“It’s not we who decide the trios. We can not do anything, except for what we do on the ice. That’s all we can do. It gives us the best of ourselves. We try to get used to the guys we play with and try to create a chemistry quickly so that it works in the games. I think it goes into practices to start, “said the assistant-captain of the Remparts.
Garneau is hopeful of seeing Gentile and Côté emerge from their lethargy. The latter had recently shown encouraging signs before being cleared of the score sheet in his last two games. In the previous seven games he had scored one goal and four assists.
“These are two players who have a very good offensive talent and are working very hard on the ice. Already today, in practice, it was going well. If we manage to transpose that into the games, it’s going to be fine and we’re going to have a chance to score. Afterwards, he’ll just have to be opportunistic, “said the 18-year-old striker.
Certainly, the attack can not rely entirely on the first trio. Garneau and company are well aware of this. “We have to get used to producing on all four trios. Now, I think we have four very good trios capable of producing. It just needs to be done in the games . ”
Victorious by the 4-0 mark on the Phoenix in Quebec City on Friday, the Remparts can still show confidence at the Leopold-Drolet Sports Palace on Wednesday.
“We go there with confidence. Last week, we had four points out of six, which is a good week, Garneau added. Especially after the long trip back to the Maritimes, which had been very hard … ”
Confident for Julien
Philippe Boucher may have never been led by Claude Julien, but he was sympathetic to the Franco-Ontarian coach who was fired on Tuesday morning after 11 seasons at the Boston Bruins bar. “I was never led by him, but I had the chance to play with him at the Pro-Am Gagné-Bergeron in 2014. Spending 11 years with the same organization is a lot in the NHL. For assistant coaches, it’s not uncommon, but for coaches, it’s rare. It proves that he was successful. I’m not worried about him. I’m sure he’ll be behind a bench before long, “he said.
Held out of action for just over a month due to a knee injury, Jesse Sutton is expected to be ready to reconnect with the action in Victoriaville on Saturday. “I skated all week. During the last two days, I participated in the regular session with the team. I feel very good, “said the man who casually checked a check by Yanick Turcotte on Monday. For his part, Philippe Boucher praised the ethics of his striker, who acted “like a real pro” during his rehabilitation. “He knows what he has to do to get back to the best of his form. He did well in the last few weeks. ”
Author of his first white career play in the QMJHL against the Phoenix on Friday, goalkeeper Dereck Baribeau will be sent again in the fray against the formation of Stéphane Julien, who has the second advantage of Circuit Courteau (26, 8%) in Sherbrooke on Wednesday. “Because he played very well against Sherbrooke last time. And the plan, when we sat down last week, was to give the game against Victoriaville to “Geno” [Kiselev] and to play Dereck against Sherbrooke. That’s what we did and it happened as hoped. So we go back with him, “Boucher explained.