At the beginning of the season that was the question. After ten games, it still is a question to be answered.
The “boat”, as some fans here call the team, has begun the season with a team-record six wins in a row, including one at the home of the team’s harsh rival Rimouski Oceanic. For most of those wins, were missing six players: rc Yannick Lehoux (2000 3rd pick of L.A.Kings) g Ghislain Rousseau (2000 4th pick of Buffalo Sabres ) rc Joël Perrault (2001 5th pick of Anaheim Mighty Ducks) rw Robin Leblanc ( 2001 3rd pick of New Jersey) ld Daniel Bergeron (invited by the NY Islanders) and lc Pascal Pelletier (invited by the Edmonton Oilers)
Undrafted and uninvited to a pro camp veteran player Charles Linglet, matched with an undraftabled sixteen years old rookie Benoit Mondou (son of former Montreal Canadiens Pierre Mondou), were carrying the team on their shoulders. Linglet had a swell start with a hat-trick in each of the first 3 games of the year and is still the league’s points leader with 28.
After this record start, things begin to look worse with 3 losses. It seems that the team has suddenly learned to lose in team. Nothing seems to work, sloppy goaltending, bad defensive mistakes, lack of transition game, lost of momentum, bad chemistry etc. Everybody wanted to put it in the net but no one seems to be able to score the key goal.
In the tenth game, things settled a little bit with a 6-3 win. In it. the star team captain Lehoux scored 4 goals, 2 of those goals shorthanded. In 5 games, Lehoux (who scored 5 of his 8 goals short-handed) will likely be able to break the Canadian Hockey League record – health providing – of short handed goals.
The team also got great news with the return of injured players: twenty years old Jean-Jr Morin and eighteen years old Pascal Pelletier en route to play 3 games in the Maritimes.
For the time being, the Drakkar is second in the Frank Dillio conference and also second in general standing.
After these 3 road games the team will play 2 back to back games at home and will go again on a 3 games road trip against teams of the Robert Lebel Conference. After these eight games we will be able to more freely analyse the chances of the team for the length of the season.
Draft wise the team have only four players available to the 2002 NHL Entry Draft: ld Jonathan Lachance, rw Martin Mandeville, lw Marc-André Roy, rc Jean-François Savage. At the time being none of those players has shine, unless some teams would be interested in the enforcer Roy who has shown some skills in that department.