Do The Moncton Wildcats Have What It Takes Between The Pipes?

It’s clear in this era of the game a team with championship aspirations need two amazing goaltenders. It can be 1A or 1B scenario or ride the number one all the way.

Either way you better trust that both your netminders are capable of taking you to the promise land.

Do the Wildcats have what it takes between the pipes to win a championship or two?

The Wildcats addressed their goaltending situation way back in June acquiring Edmonton Oiler Prospect Olivier Rodrigue, but is that going to be enough?

Is Olivier Rodrigue a championship caliber puck stopper?

That’s an easy question to answer.

Hell yeah!

Olivier Rodrigue is elite, he’s world class.

Here’s another question.

Can Charles Antoine Lavallée carry the load if Rodrigue stumbles down the stretch or gets hurt?

You see that’s what people should be asking!

That’s the real question?

Right now for many that verdict isn’t in, but I certainly wouldn’t bet against the kid.

You see there are always going to be the “what if” scenarios in the game especially when it comes to goaltending and major junior hockey, its inescapable.

Nonetheless, are the Wildcats confident a 17 year old netminder with limited action under his belt over the past two years can be the guy if Rodrigue, a bonafide star veteran goes down to injury or falters?

Obviously, you can’t play the “what if” game all the time because it would simply drive you crazy, but for the sake of argument let’s just speculate for minute.

What if the Wildcats are shopping Lavallée in favour of a more veteran backup to support Rodrigue?

Who might that be?

Which veteran netminder would they be targeting?

What would a trade of that magnitude do to their future outlook of the franchise between the pipes?

Who do the Cats have coming up in the pipeline?

There’s no doubt Lavallée will be a starter next season in the QMJHL, whether it’s Moncton or else where that remains to be seen.

The young netminder worked tremendously hard transforming his body in the off season.

Lavallée lost close to twenty pounds in hopes of getting a lot stronger and quicker.

His hard work has definitely paid off!

Lavallée has looked quicker in the blue paint this season and considerably more comfortable in his surroundings, but it’s clear the aforementioned 1A 1B scenario doesn’t exist in Wildcat land.

Olivier Rodrigue has been John Torchetti’s go to guy right from the start and rightfully so.

Rodrigue is an elite level tender with spectacular technique, compete and battle.

The Oilers Prospect’s rebound control has been tremendous as of late as well.

There’s no denying Olivier Rodrigue has what it takes to win a championship(s).

Going back to last season it’s been very hard for Lavallée to find the net.

Right now there’s no question the net belongs to Olivier Rodrigue.

The veteran netminder has seen action in 17 of the Cats first 24 games this season.

That’s a lot of games.

Rodrigue as of late has been outstanding and played his best game of the season this past Thursday night versus The Sags.

He was simply spectacular.

The veteran netminder is finally settling in after an up and down start with the Cats.

Rodrigue has looked nervous at times early on this season and has allowed a few bad goals.

The 19 year old backstop has looked hesitate and deep in his net especially to start games. Nevertheless, one can only imagine the pressure of playing in a new city with all new teammates and having championship aspirations.

That has to be daunting even for a seasoned veteran.

So where does Charles Antoine Lavallée fit in all of this?

The 17 year old puck stopper from Sorel-Tracy, Quebec has only appeared in 26 career games.

Some would say that’s not nearly enough for a young talented netminder trying to find his way in the QMJHL.

Lavallée’s numbers are respectable, but are 26 games of experience going to be enough to gain the trust of the Cats brain trust?

One can only speculate the “what if” scenarios going through their minds weeks before the start of the most important Trade Period in franchise history.

Lavallée is a respectable 15-7 all time, with a 3.13 GAA and .890%.

Is that good enough to carry the Cats where they need to go?

It’s clear the net will be Lavallée’s when Rodrigue is away at the World Juniors.

One would assume Rodrigue is a shoe in for one of three spots with Team Canada.

Let the “what if” scenarios fly, ‘tis the season, but it’s going to be a fantastic audition for Lavallée to prove he can be a number one a the Q level.

Would the Wildcats adopt a wait and see mentality for Lavallée or would they pull the trigger on a deal to bring in a veteran presence early on during the Trade Period?

See it’s all “what if” scenarios.

What if this?

What if that?

Are the Wildcats shopping their young goaltender of the future?

There’s no indication at this point that they would ever consider such a thing.

Are the Wildcats looking to add a veteran presence to solidify their goaltending tandem moving forward?

There’s no indication at this point that they would ever consider such a thing.

So in my opinion this is what we do know.

Olivier Rodrigue is playing inspired hockey and is an elite level.

Charles Antoine Lavallée will play a lot of games between now and the return of Olivier Rodrigue.

Charles Antoine Lavallée is going to be a starter in the league, it’s just a matter of when.


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