Olympiques starting to show consistency

By Nicolas-L. Horic

After struggling for the first few weeks of the season, they Olympiques are finally showing some consistency. With 11 games played, Hull had a poor record of 4 wins and 7 losses mostly because of a really bad streak where they lost 5 out of 6 straight games. But that loosing streak ended on October 16th in Hull when the Olympiques scored 6 straight goals to win over Chicoutimi. Since then, they are undefeated in five games with wins over Rimouski, Acadie-Bathurst twice and a 2 –2 tie with Moncton this past Wednesday.

Responsible for the team’s recent success are forwards Philippe Dupuis, Maxime Talbot and Simon St-Pierre and defenseman Jesse Lane. Here are their stats since the win against Chicoutimi, 5 games ago.

Philippe Dupuis4 goals – 6 assists
Maxime Talbot4 goals – 3 assists
Simon St-Pierre7 assists
Jesse Lane2 goals – 4 assists

In the process, Jesse Lane got picked as the defensive player of the week in the QMJHL but he also got picked as the CHL player of the week. Lane, besides netting 2 goals and adding 4 assists, also finished the week with a good plus / minus ratio of +3. Just as a reminder, Lane was selected in the 3rd round by the Carolina Hurricanes in last years NHL entry-draft.

Hull’s leading scorer (Dupuis) ranks in 31st among the league leaders, which is pretty far. Dupuis is in fact 16 points behind the league leader Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau (Chicoutimi) who has 33. But has long has the team keeps on winning, none of that will matter.

But one thing that matters even with the team’s recent success is the poor offensive support coming from defenseman Martin Vagner. So far, Vagner has recorded only two assists in 13 games. Along with Jesse Lane, Vagner was supposed to generate many scoring opportunities but it’s just not happening. Hopefully for the Olympiques, the stellar play of Doug O’Brien does compensate. O’Brien has already doubled is production from last year. From the 6 points he scored last season, he has now jumped to 13 (4 goals, 9 assists) in 16 games and he shows no signs of slowing down. At 18 years of age, O’Brien will be eligible for the NHL entry-draft that will take part in Nashville next June so if he keeps playing this way, he will make scouts turn their head.

Next week, the Olympiques will play three games on the road in the Atlantic Provinces. First stop will be in Cape Breton where they will face the struggling Streaming Eagles who lost 4 of they’re 5 last games. Two days later, the Olympiques will be in Halifax where they will face a totally different team, the red-hot Mooseheads who scored 30 goals in they’re last 5 games. Finally, the trip will end in Moncton on Saturday. This will be the rematch after last week’s game that ended in a tie in Hull.