(Montreal) There is of course a long way to go, and Jean-François Houle will be the first to point this out. But after a full week of leading practices and two victories in as many preparatory duels, the head coach of the Laval Rocket appeared satisfied with what he has seen so far.

“For us it was important to establish a good structure at the start of camp and I think it worked well with both games. Our forecheck was excellent, our offensive zone plays were good, we scored three power play goals in Toronto, we were able to practice our [numeric] disadvantage today, so that will pay off,” said assessed Houle after his players’ 5-2 win against the Belleville Senators on Sunday in Laval.

“Yes, we are happy with our camp. But when it’s the real teams, it changes a little bit. And yes, we are going to have a young team, and like I said, we are going to make mistakes. And we’re going to work together to try to improve everything,” he immediately continued realistically.

More specifically, Houle said he took away a lot of positives from Sunday’s match. Asked to compare this meeting with the one played Thursday in Toronto, which his team won 3-1, Houle expressed small nuances.

“I think we played the way we wanted to play, with speed and good passing games. We were good defensively,” he analyzed when talking about Sunday.

“We had a little less possession of the puck in Toronto. [Sunday], I found that in the offensive zone, we had good puck possession. In Toronto, it was a little different but there again, there were positives. »

The Rocket players will return to the ice Tuesday morning for the first of three training sessions in a row before starting their regular schedule Friday against the Abbotsford Canucks at Place Bell.

These three days will allow Houle to refine the concepts he seeks to implement within his group. Also, he will continue his experiments in order to establish the best possible combinations, both on offense and on the blue line.

Sunday’s game notably showed that attackers Joshua Roy and Philippe Maillet could have success together.

Furthermore, Houle delivered a different observation after using defenders Logan Mailloux and William Trudeau on the same pair on Sunday.

Satisfied with Mailloux’s work, Houle, with transparency and honesty, described Trudeau’s performance as “average” against the Senators.

“We will perhaps do other tests because they are two players of the same type. They like to attack. Sometimes it might be better to have a defender who likes to attack with a player who is a little more defensive. We will continue to do tests with our defenders,” Houle mentioned.

All of these tests that Houle plans to do over the coming days will also depend on developments around the Montreal Canadiens.

On Sunday, the team placed the names of forward Joel Armia and defenseman Gustav Lindström on waivers. Monday morning, the Habs still had 25 players on their roster, two above the allowed limit.

Thus, Houle was not able, on Sunday, to say precisely how many players he will keep in Laval when the season begins.

At the moment, the Rocket has 29 players in training, including 17 forwards, eight defensemen and four goalkeepers.