October 03, 2016

67's (2-2-1) Week In Review: Lafreniere helps seal weekend split

Let the Liam Herbst vs. Olivier Lafreniere rivalry begin.

Premature and as much of a stretch as it may be -- the two may never actually play a game against each other -- but the 67's dealt Herbst to Guelph to give an over-primed Lafreniere a spot in the crease, and both are making an impact in their new digs.

While the ex-Barberpole southpaw netminder was named CHL Goaltender of the Week for the first week of the season, Lafreniere used his two weekend starts to help capture three of a possible four points to close out their Western Conference road trip.

Herbst was, at times, the hockey equivalent to a closing pitcher in Ottawa during Jeff Brown's first year.  At one point, he lead the league in third-period GAA.

But a lot of it was on Ottawa's defensive system, which hasn't been there in full force just yet.  They're allowing the give-and-go into the middle of the ice way too easily, and neither of their netminders are world-beaters when it comes to lateral movement.

If the shutdown defence is there for Lafreniere, it's anyone's guess what it'll do for his goals against -- be it as a backup or a starter.

  • The powerplay will get there eventually, the 67's will have to decide sooner or later whether Sasha Chmelevski is better centering the top powerplay unit or playing his off-side at the point.  It's a work in progress with the man advantage.
  • Trading Jeremiah Addison (who hasn't looked out of place with Montreal in NHL pre-season action) paved the way for Austen Keating, who is already averaging two points-per-game.  67's forwards have always had a knack for going on tears after being overlooked by Hockey Canada, as he was with the Ivan Hlinka roster.  Artur Tyanulin has matched him point-for-point.
  • Trent Mallette stayed home for the weekend, to give Ottawa's young blood some more ice time.  Mallette won't produce as much offence as most OA's which causes an interesting internal discussion for the team.  Is his speed, forechecking and havoc-wreaking style more ideal for Brown's cycle-heavy system than an overaged blueliner or mid-six center?

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