Rafaël Harvey-Pinard has shown “that he is capable of playing in the NHL”, according to Martin St-Louis

Rafaël Harvey-Pinard has shown “that he is able to play in the NHL”, according to Martin St-Louis


MONTREAL | Rafaël Harvey-Pinard has scored 14 goals and collected 19 points in just 32 games. But beyond the numbers, the 24-year-old winger has earned the respect of his teammates, coaches and team management. He is now an NHL player.  

For the Carolina Hurricanes' visit to Montreal, Harvey-Pinard received some bad news. Slowed down by a few sores, he will not be in uniform against Rod Brind'Amour's gang. 

Since his recall from the Laval Rocket on January 17, number 49 will skip his turn for the first time . 

“He needs a day off, he's been giving us a lot of it lately,” said Martin St-Louis. 

Harvey-Pinard did not participate in practice with the Canadiens on Friday. Last Tuesday in Philadelphia, he blocked a shot from defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen with his left foot. He returned to action against the Flyers, but missed a few appearances. 

Player of the Month

Winner of the Molson Cup for the month of March, Harvey-Pinard will therefore receive this honor for the first time with a jacket on his back, rather than his Habs jersey. 

“If you had said in January that I was to win this cup, I would not have believed it, ”he said when he left an optional training session on Saturday morning at the Bell Centre. 

“I wanted to have an impact within the team, that's the mentality I had when I arrived,” he continued. I get recognition for my game in March. It's a great honor and I'm very proud of it.”

More flowers

It had already been written in the sky for a few weeks , but it is becoming more and more a certainty: at the end of the next season, Harvey-Pinard will sign a one-way agreement with the CH. 

At a press conference on Saturday morning, Martin St-Louis described him as an NHL player. 

“He won the confidence of the coaches with his confidence,” said St-Louis. He has shown that he is capable of playing in the NHL. But it's something he has to continue to demonstrate, especially for a young player. He has built a good track record. He convinced many people that he can play in the NHL. He's not just one guy who will stay in the American League. In his sample, he showed many things. It was hard for him to achieve that. But what will happen in the future, it may be even more difficult.

Harvey-Pinard is smart enough to know he won't be allowed to slow down at the next camp. St-Louis has already sent him a little message reminding him that the rest will remain difficult. 

The winger from Arvida, however, has several cards in his game, since he can play in advantage numerical, shorthanded, on the wing of a first line or on the wing of a fourth line. 

“When you ask me to talk about RHP, I immediately think with a Swiss army knife, explained St-Louis. You need that on your team.”

Returning Joel Armia

Joel Armia will return to action against the Hurricanes due to the absence of Harvey-Pinard. He has missed the last 19 games due to a respiratory infection.  

At the blue line, David Savard will be absent for a second game in a row. 

Samuel Montembeault will be the starting goaltender. He will face Antti Raanta.