Inside the Numbers for the Final Round
The 2017 QMJHL President Cup final will feature two great franchises of the 2005 expansion who have followed very different paths in their first 12 seasons. While the Sea Dogs forged their future by drawing the 1st overall draft pick 5 times, their opponents moved home twice, from St.John’s to Montreal, and then in Boisbriand in 2011. Now comes the final battle between the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada, led by Joël Bouchard, and Danny Flynn’s Saint John Sea Dogs.
Saint John vs Blainville-Boisbriand
- Friday | 2017-05-05 | BLAINVILLE-BOISBRIAND @ SAINT JOHN
- Saturday | 2017-05-06 | BLAINVILLE-BOISBRIAND @ SAINT JOHN
- Tuesday | 2017-05-09 | SAINT JOHN @ BLAINVILLE-BOISBRIAND
- Wednesday | 2017-05-10 | SAINT JOHN @ BLAINVILLE-BOISBRIAND
- * Friday | 2017-05-12 | BLAINVILLE-BOISBRIAND @ SAINT JOHN
- * Sunday | 2017-05-14 | SAINT JOHN @ BLAINVILLE-BOISBRIAND
- * Monday | 2017-05-15 | BLAINVILLE-BOISBRIAND @ SAINT JOHN
* = if necessary
- SERIES PROFILE
- COMPARISONS (REG.S.)
- Roster… SNB | BLB
- STATS | big report (PLAYOFFS)
- STATS | big report (REG.S.)
- Tickets… SNB | BLB
Recap of the 2016-17 regular season
- Saint John (48-14-5-1, 102 points, 1st in the overall standings) – after winning the regular-season title for the 4th time in their history, the Sea Dogs boasted the league’s best record on the road in 2016-17, with 23 wins (.676).
- Mathieu Joseph – is considered one of the most complete forwards in the QMJHL. He had an excellent offensive season with 80 points in 54 games (36 goals), but he also had the best plus-minus differential on his team with +37. He was a finalist for the Guy-Carbonneau trophy for Defensive forward of the year. His 2016-17 campaign was interrupted with a stint on the Canadian junior team at the World Championship (silver medal).
- Thomas Chabot – accompanied Joseph on Team Canada, and his performances earned him the title of top defenseman of that tournament. He was later named the QMJHL defenseman of the year for his season of 10 goals and 35 assists; a total of 45 points in only 34 games. This Beauce player started the season with the Ottawa Senators last fall, playing his very first game in the National Hockey League on October 18th against Arizona.
- Bourque and Zboril – Two other defensemen have at least 40 points this season for the Sea Dogs, Simon Bourque (56 in 59GP), and Jakub Zboril (41 in 50GP)
- Danny Flynn – is an experienced coach who just this season passed 300 wins in the QMJHL. He was recently awarded coach of the year and leads a squad of 11 players already affiliated to NHL teams. His private goal is surely to put his name on the President Cup for a third time, after his previous experiences with Moncton (2006 and 2010).
- Since January 1st, including playoffs, the Sea Dogs have maintained a win percentage of .804, by virtue of 37 wins in 46 games; the best record in the league for 2017.
- Blainville-Boisbriand (43-19-4-2, 92 points, tied for team record, 5th overall) – Joël Bouchard is this group’s band leader, occupying several major positions, in addition to being a part owner. He is president, managing director and head coach of the team, since taking over the franchise and transferring it to Boisbriand. There have been successes since then, with 3 divisional championships (2011-12, 2012-13, 2014-15), and now with a participation in the post-season grand final. Through his passion, Bouchard knows how to bring a team to the next level. The quality of the team’s game, coupled with an unwavering work ethic, shows their pride, game after game. Bouchard has already got his hands on the President Cup as a defenseman, exactly 25 years ago with the Collège Français de Verdun in 1992
- The Armada won the Robert-Lebel trophy for the second time in their history (2.58, 2014-15), an honour given to the team that has the best goals average (2.47, 2016-17).
- Record season – from one year to the next, the Armada’s defensive squad has been impressive. This year, it continued to dominate, shutting out their opponents 10 times in 2016-17; a new QMJHL record. Samuel Montembeault earned 6 of these (2.40, 907, 28-9-1-0). While his rookie teammate Francis Leclerc blanked opponents 4 times in 30 games, and earned the QMJHL’s best goals-against average (2.31, 908, 15-8-2-2).
- TJ Melancon completed the regular season with 19 goals; the most for a QMJHL defensemen – ahead of Nicolas Meloche of the Islanders (16), and Simon Bourque of the Sea Dogs (15).
- Important acquisitions – a few new players were acquired by the Armada during the season by trade, adding offensive talent and depth on defense: Pierre-Luc Dubois (18-year-old, Columbus 1st-round pick in the 2016 draft, 3rd overall, acquired from Cape Breton). Alex Barré-Boulet (19-year-old, 81 points in 65 games in 2016-17, acquired from Drummondville) and Tobie Paquette-Bisson (19, reliable defenseman as evidenced by his +26 differential this season, acquired from Cape Breton).
- Head-to-head in 2016-17 – AVANTAGE Saint John (1-0-1-0)
- 2016-10-12 SNB 2 BLB 3 OT
- 2016-12-11 BLB 1 SNB 4
The 2017 Playoffs so far
- This is the first time the two teams will be meeting in the playoffs
- Saint John (12-2 |, 857) – The Sea Dogs eliminated Rimouski (4-0), Val-d’Or (4-0 QF) and Chicoutimi (4-2 SF)
- In 13 of their first 14 playoff games, they literally crushed their opponents. No less than 686 shots on goal versus 308 (2.2 for 1), they racked up 68 goals while only allowing 27 (2.5 for 1)! Against Chicoutimi in the semifinals, they posted their first two shutouts of 2017, thanks to goalie Callum Booth (25 and 23 stops). The club record is 3 shutouts, from the spring of 2011.
- Short-handed, New Brunswickers are unruffled, or almost, their efficiency is 88.6% (46/52) … Moreover, they have scored 5 times when down a man. Mathieu Joseph boasting two such goals on the PK.
- Thomas Chabot – is in a class of his own at the moment. In his last two games, he has 5 points in total, including 3 in the decisive match of the series. In 14 playoff games, he hasn’t finished a with a negative differential. His +24 differential is the best in the post season, ahead of teammates Joseph (+17), Imama, and Bourque (+15).
- Callum Booth – 19-year-old Carolina 4th-round pick (NHL,2015), will have to raise his game a notch when he faces the Armada. Currently, he holds the best goal average (1.85), just ahead of his opponent in the final, Samuel Montembeault (1.95). His save percentage is .912, while receiving an overage of 21 shots per game.
- Saint John, historically, they have a great history road record. They took part in the playoffs 9 times in 12 seasons; In 24 series, they won 18 (.750). Their record in terms of victories and defeats is 76-39 (.661). Read below some comparables with the biggest franchises; those of Laval, Hull, Quebec …
- The Sea Dogs will be taking part in their 4th President Cup final, having already been victorious twice, in 2011 and 2012.
- Blainville-Boisbriand (12-4, .750) – The Armada successively eliminated Drummondville (4-0), Acadie-Bathurst (4-3, QF) and Charlottetown (4-1, SF)
- Alex Barré-Boulet – he stole the offensive show for the Armada with 29 points in 16 post-season games so far. He leads all players in the playoffs with his 14 goals. Barré-Boulet has no fewer than 10 games of at least 2 points this post-season. When you see this # 19, you are sometimes reminded of Joe Sakic, a former Nordique and Avalanche (NHL) player, with his extraordinary feats and offensive abilities.
- Pierre-Luc Dubois – his game has continued to progress since day 1 of the playoffs. In the last two rounds agaisnt Bathurst and Charlottetown, he earned 7 games of 2 or more points. He has so far helped out on 21 of the 62 of his team’s goals; the equivalent of 33.8%, his teammate Barré-Boulet has aided on 46.8% of Armada goals.
- Samuel Montembeault (1.05, .923, 12-2) – in eleven of his 14 games, he allowed only two or fewer goals. On the road, nothing seems to get to him; since March 25th, his goals-against average is 1.84 and his save percentage is .930. He collected 5 of his 12 wins on the road these playoffs.
- Blainville-Boisbriand will be taking part in the final for the very first time.
- By winning last Saturday, in Charlottetown, the Armada earned their first win of a semi-final round following two unsuccessful attempts in the last 4 years (VS BAC, 2013, 2-4 and vs BAC, 2014, 3 -4).
STATISTICS | 2017 Playoffs – Saint John
|Saint John, Sea Dogs||17||20||28||1||0||66||Saint John, Sea Dogs||173||210||213||31||627|
|Saint John, Sea Dogs||8||1||Maritimes Division||0||0||0||0|
STATISTICS | 2017 Playoffs– Blainville-Boisbriand
|Blainville-Boisbriand, Armada||20||19||23||0||0||62||Blainville-Boisbriand, Armada||169||154||161||0||484|
|Blainville-Boisbriand, Armada||9||1||Maritimes Division||8||4||0||0|
- Regular season champions – The Sea Dogs finished first. Since the spring of 2004, 14 consecutive times, the QMJHL team that collected the most regular-season points went on to win it all.
- Double that – 27 times in the history of the league, the Jean-Rougeau Trophy winning team as regular season champion, eventually earned the President Cup at the end of the playoffs. In the current decade, since 2010, 5 out of 7 times, the champions have earned a double “Season / Series” title. Among this group of clubs are the Sea Dogs doing it in 2011 and 2012.
Head-to-Head QUÉBEC VS THE MARITIMES
- 11th battle this year – since Halifax became the first franchise to settle in the Maritimes in 1994-95, the league’s big final has since led to 10 clashes between clubs from Quebec and the Maritimes. So far, it’s a tie, with 5 wins for each territory. The Maritime provinces have been dominant since 2006 though, with successively; Moncton (2006), Saint John (2011 and 2012) and Halifax (2013) proving their supremacy.
|SERIES||Champion City||Team name||Opponent||RESULT||QC||ATL|
|2013||Halifax||Mooseheads||Baie-Comeau||4 @ 1||0||1|
|2012||Saint John||Sea Dogs||Rimouski||4 @ 0||0||1|
|2011||Saint John||Sea Dogs||Gatineau||4 @ 1||0||1|
|2006||Moncton||Wildcats||Québec||4 @ 2||0||1|
|2005||Rimouski||Océanic||Halifax||4 @ 0||1||0|
|2004||Gatineau||Olympiques||Moncton||4 @ 1||1||0|
|2003||Hull||Olympiques||Halifax||4 @ 3||1||0|
|2002||Victoriaville||Tigres||Acadie-Bathurst||4 @ 2||1||0|
|2001||Val-d’Or||Foreurs||Acadie-Bathurst||4 @ 0||1||0|
|1999||Acadie-Bathurst||Titan||Hull||4 @ 3||0||1|
12-SEASONS – BEST IN THE PLAYOFFS
- Saint John – If you examine the Sea Dogs’s first 12 seasons, they have maintained a great percentage of series won (.750, 18/24, 2006-2017). Of all the franchises in the history of the league in their first 12 years in the playoffs, the top performance comes from the Sea Dogs; beating out the percentage of series won by the Quebec Remparts (.731, 19/26, 1970- 1981) followed by Val-d’Or (.667, 12/18, 1994-2005), Sherbrooke (.640, 16/2, 1970-1981) and Cornwall (.636, 14/22, 1970-1981) .
- Blainville-Boisbriand – by comparison, since this franchise is the same age as the Sea Dogs (2005), it should be noted that the “St.John’s / Montréal / Blainville-Boisbriand” franchises have so far maintained a series-win percentage of .500, with a respectable win percentage of .521 (63/121).
- Québec – The Remparts of the 1970s, with 7 finals including 5 championships in 8 playoff years (1970-1977), no other team has ever offered such a high level of performance in such a short time. By comparison, the Sea Dogs will compete in their 4th final, winning 2 to date (2010-2017; 8 years).
- Laval – The Voisins and the Titan, for the period 1984 to 1995 are the franchise that have been the most dominant over a period of 12 years, in terms of percentage of series won (.767, 23/30, 1984-95 ) and percentage of victories (.673, 111 wins in 165 games).
- Hull/Gatineau – What to say about the Olympiques from 1995 to 2006? They are practically nose-to-nose with Laval in terms of series won (.765), while they dominate all franchises, over a 12-year period, for series played (34), winning series (26) games played (181) and wins (114). Like Laval, Hull / Gatineau had 4 championships and 6 finals in 12 years.
12 YEAR PERIOD – THE BEST FRANCHISES IN THE PLAYOFFS
12 consecutive QMJHL Seasons
- Ranked by percentage of series won
|2005-06||2016-17||Saint John||Sea Dogs||115||76||0.661||24||18||4||2 (*)||0.75|
12 first season in the QMJHL
- Ranked by percentage of series won
|2005-06||2016-17||Saint John||Sea Dogs||115||76||0.661||24||18||4||2 (*)||0.75|
- Thomas Chabot (Saint John) – with 33 assists lifetime, in the playoffs, he is seriously threatening the Sea Dog’s franchise record held by Nathan Beaulieu since 2012 (36). Nathan Beaulieu’s mark of 48 is possible for Chabot, who now has 41.
- Alex Barré-Boulet (Blainville-Boisbriand) – added 8 points in his last 5 games against Charlottetown. He earned a new franchise record (SNL / MTL / BLB) with 29 points in a single elimination year. The former record of 20 points (Jess Tanguy and Christopher Clapperton) was also overtaken by Pierre-Luc Dubois who has already amassed 21.
- Samuel Montembeault (Blainville-Boisbriand) – The 20-year-old Armada goalie may earn the lowest average in his team’s playoff history. Etienne Marcoux (2.13, 2013) is the record man, while the Monty’s current average is 1.95 in the 2017 playoffs.
GOALIES AGAINST THEIR CURRENT OPPONENT
- Samuel Montembeault (Blainville-Boisbriand) – for the regular season, against the Sea Dogs only, his goals-against average (1.89) and his save percentage (.929) are impressive. This could be an omen for the series. Below, Montembeault’s and Booth’s detailed records against their upcoming opponent.
… against the Sea Dogs, lifetime in regular season
|2013-14||BLB vs SNB||1||1||0||0||1.86||0.913|
|2014-15||BLB vs SNB||2||1||1||1||0.48||0.978|
|2015-16||BLB vs SNB||2||1||1||1||2.4||0.911|
|2016-17||BLB vs SNB||2||1||1||0||2.91||0.913|
|TOTAL, vs SNB||7||4||3||2||1.89||0.929|
… against the Armada, lifetime in regular season
|2013-14||QUE vs BLB||2||1||0||0||2.6||0.857|
|2014-15||QUE vs BLB||3||1||2||0||4.56||0.829|
|2015-16||QUE vs BLB||2||2||0||1||0.48||0.983|
|2016-17||QUE/SNB vs BLB||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|TOTAL, vs BLB||7||4||2||1||2.74||0.895|
MR. SEA DOGS
- Spencer Smallman – the current Sea Dogs captain is their current player who has worn the blue and white uniform for the highest number of regular-season games (293). On the other hand, he will not be able to become the all-time leader, since Mike Thomas will retain his crown with his impressive count of 343 games played, both in regular and post season.
|1||Mike Thomas||Saint John||2006>>2011||288||55||343|
|2||Spencer Smallman||Saint John||2012>>2017||293||40||333|
|3||Matthew Highmore||Saint John||2012>>2017||289||40||329|
|4||Michael Kirkpatrick||Saint John||2007>>2011||266||51||317|
|5||Kevin Gagné||Saint John||2008>>2013||269||45||314|
WHERE THERE’S TWO, THERE’S THREE
- Bokondji Imama (Saint John) – he has already faced the Armada twice in the post season. While playing for the Baie-Comeau Drakkar, he won two consecutive semi-final rounds in the spring of 2013 and 2014. Will he eliminate the Armada for a third time? Also, will he win his first President Cup, after two failed attempts with the Drakkar, against Halifax (2013) and Val-d’Or (2014, a heartbreak 7-games loss). At 20, in the 2016-17 regular season, Imama played a major role in the offensive chessboard of the Sea Dogs, scoring 41 goals in 66 games. That’s 55 points in total for a player selected in the 6th round by The Tampa Bay Lightning in 2015. He is one of the most impressive power forwards in the circuit at 6’01 and 217 pounds. By including the playoffs, he is only 2 goals away from 50; he has 7 goals and 6 assists in 14 post-season games! Regular season and playoffs included, he has 10 game-winning goals, including one that eliminated Chicoutimi last Sunday in a 6-5 road win.
EXCEPTIONAL 16-YEAR-OLD PLAYERS
- Joe Veleno (Saint John) – at the age of 16, he has already scored on 8 occasions in the 2017 playoffs. The two last players of this age to find the back of the net 8 times in the playoffs were Nathan MacKinnon (13 goals) and Jonathan Drouin (9) with Halifax in 2012. For the Sea Dogs, as a 16-year-old player, Jonathan Huberdeau beat the opposing goalies most often in the playoffs, with 11 goals in 2010. By 2015, Joseph Veleno became the fifth player on this team to be drafted as the first-overall pick in the QMJHL; Luke Green (2014), Alex Grant (2005), Yann Sauvé (2006), Simon Després (2007), also had the privilege of being taken first. Having so many great draft choices helps build strong teams.
GUY LAFLEUR TROPHY
- The most valuable player in the playoffs – you may already have a few names in mind for the title this year. Who will succeed Francis Perron of the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies, the recipient of the Guy Lafleur Trophy, last year? It’s usually a forward who wins the honour (73% of the time | 29/40), whereas 8 goaltenders have won the title since the trophy was awarded in 1978. Only 3 defensemen were acclaimed most valuable player: Sylvain Côté (1986 with Hull, title exceptionally shared with Luc Robitaille), Jason Doig (1996 with Granby) and Danny Groulx (2002 with Victoriaville).
|2011-12||Coyle, Charles||Saint John|
|2010-11||Huberdeau, Jonathan||Saint John|
|1997-98||Dumont, Jean-Pierre||Val D’Or|
|1985-86||Côté, Sylvain & Robitaille, Luc||Hull||D|
|1985-86||Robitaille, Luc & Côté, Sylvain||Hull|
THE PRESIDENT CUP
- At stake for the 48th time in QMJHL history- This trophy was first awarded in the 1960s to the Provincial League championship team before it was merged with the Metropolitan League before the beginning of The 1969-70 season. This new league became the Quebec Junior A League, the current QMJHL. Since then, the trophy has physically grown, being transformed in height, with two additional bases added under the original Cup, in order to attach the name plates of each year’s winners. The attached photographs show the progression between the current trophy and the one Guy Lafleur received from President Robert LeBel in the early 1970s.
- Most titles – the Olympiques (Hull / Gatineau) have hoisted the precious trophy most often, winning it seven times. In 2008, they passed the 1970’s Quebec Remparts, who were 6-time winners.
|PLAYOFFS||Champion City||Team name||SERIES||KIND||OPPONENT||RESULT|
|2016||Rouyn-Noranda||Huskies||FINAL||4 of 7||Shawinigan||4 @ 1|
|2015||Rimouski||Océanic||FINAL||4 of 7||Québec||4 @ 3|
|2014||Val-d’Or||Foreurs||FINAL||4 of 7||Baie-Comeau||4 @ 3|
|2013||Halifax||Mooseheads||FINAL||4 of 7||Baie-Comeau||4 @ 1|
|2012||Saint John||Sea Dogs||FINAL||4 of 7||Rimouski||4 @ 0|
|2011||Saint John||Sea Dogs||FINAL||4 of 7||Gatineau||4 @ 1|
|2010||Moncton||Wildcats||FINAL||4 of 7||Saint John||4 @ 2|
|2009||Drummondville||Voltigeurs||FINAL||4 of 7||Shawinigan||4 @ 3|
|2008||Gatineau||Olympiques||FINAL||4 of 7||Rouyn-Noranda||4 @ 1|
|2007||Lewiston||MAINEiacs||FINAL||4 of 7||Val-d’Or||4 @ 0|
|2006||Moncton||Wildcats||FINAL||4 of 7||Québec||4 @ 2|
|2005||Rimouski||Océanic||FINAL||4 of 7||Halifax||4 @ 0|
|2004||Gatineau||Olympiques||FINAL||4 of 7||Moncton||4 @ 1|
|2003||Hull||Olympiques||FINAL||4 of 7||Halifax||4 @ 3|
|2002||Victoriaville||Tigres||FINAL||4 of 7||Acadie-Bathurst||4 @ 2|
|2001||Val-d’Or||Foreurs||FINAL||4 of 7||Acadie-Bathurst||4 @ 0|
|2000||Rimouski||Océanic||FINAL||4 of 7||Hull||4 @ 1|
|1999||Acadie-Bathurst||Titan||FINAL||4 of 7||Hull||4 @ 3|
|1998||Val D’Or||Foreurs||FINAL||4 of 7||Rimouski||4 @ 0|
|1997||Hull||Olympiques||FINAL||4 of 7||Chicoutimi||4 @ 0|
|1996||Granby||Prédateurs||FINAL||4 of 7||Beauport||4 @ 1|
|1995||Hull||Olympiques||FINAL||4 of 7||Laval||4 @ 1|
|1994||Chicoutimi||Saguenéens||FINAL||4 of 7||Laval||4 @ 2|
|1993||Laval||Titan||FINAL||4 of 7||Sherbrooke||4 @ 1|
|1992||Verdun||Collège Français||FINAL||4 of 7||Trois-Rivières||4 @ 3|
|1991||Chicoutimi||Saguenéens||FINAL||4 of 7||Drummondville||4 @ 0|
|1990||Laval||Titan||FINAL||4 of 7||Victoriaville||4 @ 0|
|1989||Laval||Titan||FINAL||4 of 7||Victoriaville||4 @ 3|
|1988||Hull||Olympiques||FINAL||4 of 7||Drummondville||4 @ 3|
|1987||Longueuil||Chevaliers||FINAL||4 of 7||Chicoutimi||4 @ 1|
|1986||Hull||Olympiques||FINAL||5 of 9||Drummondville||5 @ 0|
|1985||Verdun||Canadien Junior||FINAL||4 of 7||Chicoutimi||4 @ 0|
|1984||Laval||Voisins||FINAL||4 of 7||Longueuil||4 @ 2|
|1983||Verdun||Junior||FINAL||4 of 7||Longueuil||4 @ 1|
|1982||Sherbrooke||Castors||FINAL||4 of 7||Trois-Rivières||4 @ 0|
|1981||Cornwall||Royals||FINAL||4 of 7||Trois-Rivières||4 @ 1|
|1980||Cornwall||Royals||FINAL||4 of 7||Sherbrooke||4 @ 2|
|1979||Trois-Rivières||Draveurs||FINAL||8 PTS||Sherbrooke||4 @ 0|
|1978||Trois-Rivières||Draveurs||FINAL||8 PTS||Montréal||4 @ 0|
|1977||Sherbrooke||Castors||FINAL||8 PTS||Québec||4 @ 1|
|1976||Québec||Remparts||FINAL||4 of 7||Sherbrooke||4 @ 2|
|1975||Sherbrooke||Castors||FINAL||4 of 7||Laval||4 @ 1|
|1974||Québec||Remparts||FINAL||4 of 7||Sorel||4 @ 2|
|1973||Québec||Remparts||FINAL||4 of 7||Cornwall||4 @ 3|
|1972||Cornwall||Royals||FINAL||8 PTS||Québec||4 @ 2 (1)|
|1971||Québec||Remparts||FINAL||8 PTS||Shawinigan||4 @ 1|
|1970||Québec||Remparts||FINAL||4 of 7||St-Jérôme||4 @ 0|