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Logan Mailloux: the next few hours may determine whether he’ll play with the Habs this week
Credit: Capture d'écran / Screenshot

Tonight, Florian Xhekaj and the Laval Rocket play a crucial game against the Cleveland Monsters. The club can’t really afford to lose any more games, and theoretically could be eliminated from the playoff race as early as today.

If the Senators, who play at 5 p.m., win and the Rocket lose tonight, the Rocket’s playoff hopes, already hanging by a thread, are over.

Jean-François Houle’s team must therefore focus on what they can control, but the fact remains that they may need help to make the playoffs. And next weekend’s two games against the Senators, which are crucial as things stand, could become completely irrelevant for the Rocket by the end of the day.

And that’s where Logan Mailloux comes in.

The young defenseman, who is enjoying an excellent rookie season in the AHL (46 points in 69 games), has been rumored for months to be a candidate for a potential recall. His coach in Laval reiterated earlier this week that he sees Mailloux as pretty close to the NHL, and we know the Habs would like to give him a chance to play with the big club this season.

That said, with the Rocket in a big playoff race, retaining Mailloux makes sense in terms of the club’s need for its best players. But if he’s suddenly out, it becomes a lot less serious for the club-school to imagine a world in which Mailloux is recalled by the big club.

There’s also a world in which the Rocket are still alive in their playoff race on Monday morning, but the Habs still give Mailloux a chance. The Rocket won’t play again until next Friday, so Mailloux could make an NHL stop before helping the Rocket the following weekend.

On the other hand, we might want to let him concentrate on his season in Laval as long as the club has a chance of making the playoffs… but with hopes dwindling, it’s not impossible that the situation could change.

We’re talking here… but with Mailloux in Columbus at the moment, could he make his NHL debut on Monday night in Detroit for a single game, then “leave his place” to Lane Hutson the following day, who seems to have a good chance of playing (at least) Tuesday’s game?

The two could theoretically play alongside each other, but will Martin St-Louis want to play with two NHL rookie defensemen on his brigade? Maybe if he plays with seven defensemen, or maybe when he has the last shift on Tuesday night, but the question remains.

Speaking of the next few hours for Laval, we can also wonder whether they won’t have an impact on Jean-François Houle’s future at the helm of the team. The coach is without contract for next season and has not been hired by the Tricolore’s current management.

So it’ll all be something to keep an eye on, but considering there’s a world in which the Rocket’s playoff hopes are dead and buried in a matter of hours, these will be two great storylines to follow.

And that doesn’t even include the possibility of David Reinbacher getting his chance in the NHL early this week, although I’m much less of a believer in that scenario.

In bursts

– Indeed.

– Great news in Chicago.

– It’ll be against the Habs.

– Good words for the Quebec player.

– Well done.

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