The Montreal team is on the threshold of the playoffs in the LPHF

The Montreal Canadiens? The expected exclusion materialized on April 4. The Laval Rocket? The final blow was given to him last Friday, in Belleville, after a heartbreaking scenario.

There was the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada and its three home duels against the Sherbrooke Phoenix in the QMJHL, but nothing else for hockey fans in the greater Montreal region, in terms of elimination matches of the three main men’s hockey leagues with a foothold in Quebec.

But in case people still don’t know, there is professional women’s hockey in Montreal. And barring an unimaginable catastrophe and, in fact, unlikely to materialize, the Montreal team will fill this void in about a fortnight.

Confirmation could come as early as Wednesday evening, at the Verdun Auditorium, with a victory in regulation time against the New York team in what will be the Montreal team’s last home match of the season.

At first glance, the statistics largely favor Kori Cheverie’s troupe. With three games still to play, Montreal (8-3-5-5) has 35 points and is in second place in the standings, tied with Minnesota. For its part, the New York team (3-4-10-3) is languishing in the bottom rung, with only 20 points.

But don’t go talking to defender Catherine Daoust about the poor record of the Montreal team’s next rivals, nor the fact that Montreal (3-0-0-1) amassed 10 points out of a possible 12 against New York this season.

” It means nothing. Everyone is capable of beating everyone in this league. We don’t take this lightly and we can’t wait to have our place in the series. We want the advantage of the ice,” said Daoust after Monday’s training session at the Verdun Auditorium.

New York will come to Verdun not only in last place, but also with the worst gap between goals scored and goals allowed (40 against 51).

However, the New York team has in its ranks one of the best players on the circuit in Alex Carpenter, third in the league with 20 points, one less than Marie-Philip Poulin and Natalie Spooner, from Toronto.

Also, it will play for its survival since a setback in regulation time will eliminate it from the picture of the first playoffs in the history of the league.

“It’s a scary team to face. They have excellent players, the type who can quickly change the course of a match. I think they’re going to play desperate,” Cheverie said.

“As far as our strategy is concerned, nothing is changing. The way things are going at the moment, we are happy with our progress. If we can play a full 60-minute game and dominate, statistically, to the point where we should have won in regulation against Toronto (last Saturday), I believe that strategy will work against everyone,” she added.

Cheverie also mentioned that she and her assistants have already turned part of their sights towards the next playoffs. This, even if the qualification of the Montreal team is not official, nor its final ranking nor the identity of the first rivals.

“I think if you wait until the end of the season, it’s too late,” said Cheverie.

“So we already have our process in place. This has no impact on our players, and it doesn’t change the conversation. Certainly our staff is preparing for the present, but we also have preparation in place for the playoffs. We don’t know who we will face, but we will be ready for anyone,” she added.

According to goalkeeper Ann-Renée Desbiens, it is important for the moment to continue to improve on team concepts and details to prepare for the playoffs.

“We are confident. We want to have the ice advantage. It’s the “fun” of playing in Montreal. We have the best fans. So, we focus on that. But it’s also about refining our game systems, the little things to improve, so that once we get to the playoffs, we’re ready to go there and win it all,” said Desbiens.

After Wednesday’s game, the Montreal team will play in Ottawa on Saturday afternoon, before concluding the schedule in Boston on Saturday, May 4.

The playoffs are expected to begin around May 8.

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