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Jakub Dobes is saving the Rocket’s season

At the beginning of November, the Rocket’s season was looking like a nightmare. The club was dead last in the AHL standings, injuries were piling up by the ton, and it was looking like a lost season for the Canadiens’ training club.

At this point, some were beginning to question the job security of Jean-François Houle, the team’s head coach. Things were really, really bad.

But instead of letting it get to them, the Rocket decided to put on their work boots and get their season back on track. Since then, there have been a few rough patches, but on the whole, there’s been a lot more upside.

Last night, in a game where Arber Xhekaj destroyed Brennan Saulnier in a Rocket victory, the club added two more points to its record.

The Rocket have now amassed 15 points (out of a possible 16) in their last eight games. Only an overtime loss to the Utica Comets (in what was a completely, utterly insanegame ) has kept the Rocket from scoring both points in a game during this stretch.

What accounts for the team’s recent success? There are a few reasons: a number of the team’s long-lost players are back, the many youngsters are starting to find their feet, Arber Xhekaj has come on board to energize the team (the pair he forms with Logan Mailloux is playing some excellent hockey), but above all, the emergence of Jakub Dobes has had a lot to do with it.

Just yesterday, Dobes tasted victory in a game in which he turned aside 28 of 30 shots against Belleville, an important game given that the Senators are a direct rival of the Rocket.

And clearly, we’re not talking about a “rare” good game in his case: after a difficult start to the season, Dobes has an 8-1-1 record in his last 10 games, a stretch in which he has a 2.45 goals-against average and a 0.920 save percentage.

The recent arrival of veteran Kasimir Kaskisuo to back him up seems to have helped, but in reality, Dobes was starting to take off even before Kaskisuo’s arrival.

Speaking of Kaskisuo, he’ll be the starting goaltender tonight in an important game for the Rocket, who face the Senators once again. If the Rocket wins and the Rochester Americans are defeated, the Rocket will be tied for third in its division, which would put it in the thick of the playoff race.

For a club whose season was a nightmare just a few weeks ago, this would be exceptional.

Prospects like Jacob Fowler and Cayden Primeau are often talked about as potential goalkeepers of the future in Montreal, but the Rocket’s recent successes are a reminder that Dobes shouldn’t be forgotten at this level.

All that remains to be seen is whether, unlike Primeau (according to Philippe Boucher), Dobes has NHL-calibre hands.

In gusto

– Speaking of CH goalies.

– Great read on Joshua Roy.

– Completely absurd.

– I laughed.

– News from the QMJHL.

– Will the Bulls be able to trade him?

– Mike McCarthy will not sign a contract extension until the 2024 season. He will therefore be the Cowboys’ coach with a contract that expires at the end of the season.

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