Laval Rocket | David Reinbacher’s “beautiful experience”

It’s certainly not David Reinbacher’s fault if the Laval Rocket was beaten 7 to 1 last Sunday in Toronto. The defender, after all, only arrived in Quebec on Monday.

However, since he is now a full member of the Rocket, he was not going to escape Tuesday morning’s training, which was anything but gentle. Endless one-on-one battles, as high an intensity as possible, and even a back-and-forth session between the two blue lines at the end of the session.

There will be no hiding: the young man was starting to drag his feet during this punishing portion of this first day with his new team. And we won’t blame him, even though he was battling jet lag and hadn’t played a match in two weeks.

The baptism of Reinbacher’s American League is therefore a settled thing. Finally, one of his baptisms, since he will probably play his first match Friday evening in Belleville, an Ontario town which bears its name very poorly.

“He looked really good, even though he came in a particularly difficult practice,” said teammate Justin Barron. We can see right away that he’s an intelligent player, that he sees the game well. He skates so well… I’m excited that he’s arrived, and I can’t wait to see him play. »

Enthusiasm is probably the feeling that best sums up the Austrian’s arrival on our side of the Atlantic. During a short press scrum, he did not hide his relief at having finally finished a long and difficult campaign in Kloten (17-29-6), where he notably played under the orders of three head coaches different. The club’s general manager was also fired on Tuesday.

The “positive” he draws from this season? “I spent a lot of time in the defensive zone, where I was able to develop,” he said. I did a lot of video, which allowed me to work on small details. »

He also believes he has “gained maturity” and has “made mistakes from which (he) can learn”.

Reinbacher is a good player. He didn’t throw stones at the organization that gave him his first professional experience. However, we felt much more enthusiastic when he spoke of the “great experience” he is about to have in Laval. Having participated in the Canadiens’ training camp last September, he recognized several faces upon his arrival. And after months of losing, he joins a group fighting to make the American League playoffs.

“I just want to play, gain experience and have fun,” he summed up.

” Comfortable “

Happy coincidence (or not), these are exactly the expectations that head coach Jean-François Houle has for him.

The 19-year-old guard, first round choice of the Habs in the last draft (5e in total), will of course have to get to grips with the small North American ice rink and the subsequent change of pace in the flow of the game.

Besides, “what we want is for it to be comfortable”, indicated the pilot, in front of a certainly large group of journalists for a little Tuesday in Laval.

“We don’t want him to think too much,” added Houle. We just want him to play, to keep things simple. We want him to have fun and show what he can do. »

In training, Reinbacher was paired with Tobie Paquette-Bisson, who became the indisputable defensive mentor this season. We can therefore assume that he will quickly join the “top-4”, although, according to Houle, ice time is distributed fairly evenly at this position.

Logan Mailloux, for his part, skated to the right of William Trudeau, and Justin Barron, in the company of Olivier Galipeau. Mattias Norlinder looked a lot like the extra man, having had a difficult season.

Mailloux and Barron, moreover, will keep their place on the power play… for now. Initially, Reinbacher’s task will be concentrated five against five. But we suspect that this offensive defender will get his turn before long.

His arrival, moreover, immediately injects a dose of internal competition on the right flank of the Rocket’s defense, now made up of three high-ranking prospects of the Canadian.

“He’s quite a player and I know he will help us,” said Logan Mailloux. I’m not worried about the competition, I just want to win matches. »

Jean-François Houle, in any case, does not want to get lost in conjectures about the use of Reinbacher. The Habs must play two games before the Rocket’s next meeting, so their formation can still change between now and Friday. And he insists: the young man will have to take his time to adapt to his new environment.

Although it will still start quickly, with three games in three evenings, an American League classic, and six in nine in total. “He’s almost going to sleep at the arena! “, said the pilot, laughing.

In his eyes, however, Reinbacher could not arrive at a better time, as the playoffs approach, “the level of play is very high” in the league

“It’s great that he’s here,” believes Houle. This is a great opportunity to show off. »

That’s good, his young protégé seems to find the same thing.


Leave a Comment