Emil Heineman only has 24 games of experience in the American Hockey League, but it appears his words have found the right ears.
Just over a month ago, after an embarrassing setback at the hands of the Belleville Senators, the 22-year-old forward spoke about the lack of pride in the Laval Rocket locker room.
The pride was there on Friday night, when the Montreal Canadiens farm club defeated the Manitoba Moose 5-2 for their ninth win in 13 games.
“We're really playing as a team right now. We're playing for the logo and that makes a big difference,” Heinemann said. “As a team, we go out on the ice and fight for each other. That's beautiful to look at. We have to keep the pace up and keep working every day.” »
That loss to the Senators was the eighth in a series of nine, but since then, the Rocket have become one of the most dangerous teams in the American League.
The season is clearly not over yet, but the Lavalians will wake up Saturday morning in fifth place in the North Division. This seeding would be enough to allow them to reach the playoffs.
Things can change quickly in sports, and the Rocket's current winning streak, which includes six straight games by at least one point (5-0-1), has shown a nice sample of what's possible for this team.
“We have raised our game to a higher level. We play better within our structure and understand when to do the right things. Our team spirit is very good and the players stick together. It is a matter of the team and the goalkeepers do the job,” said coach Jean-François Holly.
The current training is very small and experience must come slowly. There were also many new players, which always requires a period of adjustment.
Patience has clearly been a virtue for the Rocket, as the chemistry seems to continually build both on and off the ice.
“I said at the beginning of the season that we needed to get to know each other a little bit. Now that we're halfway through, things are a little better and we know each other a little bit more. That's one of the big reasons. When you tap on the ice, it's “It often taps on the ice, too.”
The attacking players are also back on track, after a slight deficiency. That's especially the case for Joshua Roy, who has collected 12 points in his last 13 games since that loss at the hands of the Senators.
“I think the confidence is high,” Roy noted. I had a more difficult time, but I regained my confidence. I'm building on that. Our trio is performing very well as well and we have chances to score. Now it's a matter of repeating it every night. »
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