QMJHL: are the Remparts the underdogs against the Olympiques?

LHJMQ: are the Remparts the neglected against the Olympics?

UPGRADE DAY

They finished first in the regular season standings. They had their best season since returning to the QMJHL 26 years ago. However, it seems that it will be in the shoes of the underdogs that the Remparts will begin their semi-final series against the Gatineau Olympiques, Friday, at the Videotron Center.

< ul>

  • Also read: “The cruise is over” – Patrick Roy
  • Also read: Tickets for the Remparts at crazy prices on resale sites
  • Read also: Is Serge Beausoleil a candidate for the title of head coach of the Remparts?
  • Our expert Kevin Dubé has also planned that Quebec would suffer elimination in seven games in this expected confrontation, which would pave the way for a final between Gatineau and Sherbrooke. 

    This neglected status of the Remparts can be explained by the fact that the Olympiques have been a steamroller since mid-season, they who have won 31 of their last 33 meetings. And since the start of these series, Louis Robitaille's players have scored 53 goals, conceding only… nine. 

    For his part, Patrick Roy recognized it after his Red Devils eliminated the Océanic in four games: his team will have to play better hockey if it wants to reach the final. “The cruise is over!” added the head coach on Monday.

    He prefers not to know

    Two days later, the pilot said at the end of the morning training that the role of favorite or that of neglected however mattered little to him: “I prefer not to know it, honestly. Like I told my whole gang, the important thing is how we prepare for Friday. The way we are going to play. I'm really focusing on that.”

    “What's important is that we have to raise our game a notch, he added. We have to play better hockey than the one we played in the first two series if we want to get through these very good teams [and reach the Memorial Cup].” 

    Even if his role as head coach prevents him from falling into the game of predictions too, he went there from his own analysis, with a smirk: “If there is one thing I can assure you, it's that in the end, there is only one team that will win!”, launched the former emeritus goalkeeper.

    Lapenna, like Vasilevskiy< /p>

    Speaking of goalkeepers, the Remparts will have to find a way to destabilize the impressive Francesco Lapenna. 

    Traded from Charlottetown to Gatineau last season, Lapenna, 20, has posted a 28-5 record since joining the Olympiques. He also posted a 2.22 goals-against average and a .926 save percentage in the 24 regular season games following the trade. he plays good hockey, but the Olympiques also play good hockey in front of him, pointed out Patrick Roy. But there is no miracle recipe: when a goalkeeper is in his area, you have to work well in front of him, obstruct his view.”

    The head coach also cites as an example the work done by the Maple Leafs to destabilize Lightning goaltender, Andrei Vasilevskiy, in the NHL playoffs.

    “They make the goaltender's job a lot harder, he noted. But I'm not saying anything extraordinary: Gatineau will surely do the same with [William Rousseau].”

    A duel of goalies?

    Because Rousseau also shows great confidence this spring, after a more laborious end to the season. The veteran has posted a sparkling .930 save percentage over his eight wins. 

    But what about a goalie streak? Roy isn't sure. “Yes, I think one of the two goalkeepers can make a difference in the series. But you have to be careful, they are two teams with a lot of depth. They have four lines like us, three pairs of defenders like us, two good goalkeepers like us…”

    “But of course goalkeepers can always play a role. I'm not the right person to say otherwise…”, added the man with three Conn-Smythe trophies.