After experiencing ups and downs with the Canadiens, Cayden Primeau rolled up his sleeves to find his bearings with the Laval Rocket. He never pressed the panic button despite the many criticisms directed at him.
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The Rocket's No. 31 hasn't broken anything in the final weeks of the regular schedule. However, since the start of the series, he is unrecognizable.
He is 6-1 with a 1.93 goals-against average and .936 save percentage. Outside of the stats, he made several crucial saves in the playoffs against Syracuse and Rochester.
On the other hand, he has not changed the recipe that has brought him success in the past.
“I kept the same technique and the same attitude in front of my net, explained Cayden Primeau to the representative of the Journal on Wednesday. The most important aspect is my confidence.
"I see the puck very well on the ice."
If the Rocket make it to the Calder Cup final, Primeau could emulate a certain Carey Price. Fresh out of the ranks in 2007, the latter allowed the Hamilton Bulldogs, the Canadiens' subsidiary at the time, to win top honors.
The following season, Price made the jump to the NHL. Even though Primeau pulls off that feat this season, it's hard to draw comparisons between the two stories.
Ready for the next round
Primeau will have to keep the momentum going if the Rocket want to advance to the American League Finals. The goaltender will have his say on the outcome of the series against the Springfield Thunderbirds which begins on Saturday.
"We are playing well and we are confident," said Primeau. Against the Thunderbirds, it will be a challenge every game. We are excited.”
And he is ready for a duel against his former teammate Charlie Lindgren.
“We were very close when he was with the Rocket. It's fun to see him succeed. If he's in goal for his team, it's going to be a fun battle."
The DNA of the Primates
Primeau seems comfortable with the atmosphere and the pressure of the playoffs. His numbers are there to prove it. It was the same for his father Keith at the time.
Did he receive any particular advice from his father at the dawn of his first series in the professional ranks?
"Not really," Primeau said. The only thing he told me was to be ready for anything and be ready for every game.
“I love big games at this time of year. For the rest, he leaves it to my coaches to give me the necessary guidance.
We remember Keith Primeau's famous goal in the fifth period of overtime that gave the Philadelphia Flyers a victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2000.
At that time, Cayden was not a year old at this time. However, he heard about it throughout his childhood. In Rochester last week, he felt like he was reliving an identical scenario as the Rocket and the Americans needed three overtime periods to decide a winner.
"I thought about it during the game. I wished it wouldn't last as long as my dad's game, Primeau said. After our meeting, I realized the magnitude and the length of the meeting we had just played.