Rafaël Harvey-Pinard goes above and beyond point production
During last week-end, the Rocket got itself a brand new leading point getter. It’s #11 Rafaël Harvey-Pinard, who put up a five games point streak that added eight to his total.
That streak ended on Monday in a 2-1 Rocket win against the Cleveland Monsters in front of their fans at the Bell Place. That being said, it’s not like Harvey-Pinard didn’t get his chance to add to his running tally.
As the forward said this week, the confidence that comes with those points on the board can’t be bought. It allows him to keep creating those opportunities and therefore maintain that level of offensive production.
“It’s relieving to put up points on the board” admitted Harvey-Pinard on Saturday. “I worked hard, I had scoring chances but it just wasn’t going in. I feel like hockey is such a game of confidence. Right now, I think I play with a bit more of confidence on the ice and it makes all the difference.”
The ironic part of this point streak is how it ended; during what probably was Rafaël Harvey-Pinard’s best game of the streak. Against Cleveland, in a game that was mostly played at 5 on 5, Harvey-Pinard led the Rocket with a 77.27% Corsi percentage. Concretely, he was on the ice for 17 Laval shot attempts but only 5 from Cleveland. It shows that when he was playing on Monday night, the Rocket were pushing forward way more than defending their own end.
What’s even more impressive is that none of those 5 Cleveland shot attempts were scoring chances. On the other hand, Laval had seven scoring chances with Harvey-Pinard on the ice at 5 on 5 during that game.
That +7 differential is tough to put up in a single game. Actually, it ties the best mark for a Laval Rocket forward this season. The good news for the team is that all of those performances materialized in February; Jesse Ylönen on the 2nd versus Utica, Justin Ducharme the 9th against Syracuse and Alexandre Fortin the 25th versus Belleville.
It surely isn’t just luck that allowed Harvey-Pinard to join that list. After all, since the beginning of the season, he has maintained a +35 scoring chances differential. That is the best mark among all Laval Rocket forwards this season. He even has a healthy lead on his closest teammates there; Jean-Sébastien Dea with +24.
When you shift towards Corsi percentage, still at 5 on 5, the #11 comes in third place among Laval Rocket forwards with a really decent 57.43%. It’s so close to Ryan Poehling’s 57.45% before he established himself in Montreal. Alex Belzile is the only other one ahead at 62.53%.
Even if Rafaël Harvey-Pinard’s point streak just ended, it’s obvious that it’s only a matter of time before he starts a new one. With the amount of chances that he and his team get on a regular basis when he is on the ice, it seems like a given.
While we wait for that new streak, he is still Laval’s best available forward to help them spend more time in the offensive rather than the defensive zone. It’s always an important asset to be able to offer to your team but it’s even more so when you speak about a farm team who wants to mold the future or the organization while making its playoff push.
Considering that Jesse Ylönen has a -5 scoring chances differential at 5 on 5 without Harvey-Pinard that jumps to +14 when they play together, we can conclude that #11 allows his team to keep pace with its two main objectives without any compromises.