The Armada are looking mighty invincible as they sail into Baie-Comeau Friday in search of an eighth consecutive win.
Blainville-Boisbriand have been on a mission since a 6-3 loss to Acadie-Bathurst on Nov 4th, a game they were forced to play short-staffed due to the CHL Super Series. Four of the team's top performers, including captain and Detroit second-rounder Xavier Ouellet, were selected to play for Team QMJHL in the series opener against Team Russia the following night.
The Armada (20-5-2) have outscored the opposition 40-to-13 during their seven-game reign of terror - and are challenging Halifax for first overall in the QMJHL.
The strong start is a carry over from the team's surprise playoff run last spring - that saw rookie Marc-Olivier Roy break out with 14 points (6-8-14) in 11 games. Roy led the club with a plus-11 rating in the postseason, second to Nathan Mackinnon (+12) among all Q rookies.
The Boisbriand native has continued to garner draft attention this season with 29 points in the first 25 games (11-18-29) - and 46 penalty minutes - already surpassing his rookie totals from `11-12 (63-17-22-39, 29 PIM).
Carl Lemelin files scouting notes on Roy - and undrafted rookie Marcus Hinds, a `94-born winger bypassed in his first year of eligibility.
Marc-Olivier Roy (RW, 2013) - energetic, hard-working two-way winger .. propelled by a non-stop motor - maintains effort level from shift to shift .. not overly flashy, yet quite sound in all aspects of the game .. developed nice chemistry on the top line with Christopher Clapperton and Cedric Paquette, a unit that has been together all year long and can work wonders on the power play .. brings some toughness and grit - not afraid to stick his nose in .. relentless chasing the puck on both the forecheck and backcheck - and is a solid bodychecker .. strives to finish checks and initiate contact, however, at 180 pounds, doesn't make much of an impression at this stage due to his under-developed strength .. can be guilty of over-pursuit in the defensive zone however, and neglecting his coverage responsibilities at times .. uses a wide base and balanced stride to change directions on a dime and keep hounding the puck carrier .. lively skater with solid all-around agility .. reaches a decent top gear swiftly - helped by a fairly powerful lower body .. boasts exceptional balance on his edges which allows him to take shots on goal from less-than-ideal release points .. won't shy away from traffic areas to create scoring chances .. quite effective working the cycle along the boards .. displays a keen sense for when to pass and when to shoot for the most part - while also possessing good shooting accuracy .. proficient at one-timing the puck on target from the right half-board, where he usually operates on the power play .. can be too selective however and must focus on being more assertive .. prone to getting overly fancy at times when in prime shooting spots .. should continue to be a riser if his offensive production keeps up.
Marcus Hinds (RW, 2012) - rookie forward has seen his ice-time limited mostly to checking duties as this season progresses .. a heavy-footed skater with some awkward balance issues on changes of directions, a weakness that seems to have made him a lurking-type offensive player .. waits motionless on his wing at the red line on breakouts, rarely offering a decent outlet for the defensemen carrying the puck .. also guilty of being a bit of a spectator in the offensive zone, waiting for linemates to win puck battles before engaging in the play .. does possess a decent shot and release, however must continue to upgrade his passing skills, which are below par .. did demonstrate his value on the penalty kill however, being deployed on the first unit .. effectively used a long reach and sound positioning to close off lanes with his body and stick .. displays good anticipation away from the puck, enabling him to thwart opposition breakout plays .. progress will be contingent however upon improvements in work ethic, lower-body strength, and overall stamina.