MONTREAL - The Canadiens have high hopes for goaltender Cayden Primeau.
Now in his sophomore season in the pros, the son of former NHLer Keith Primeau is plying his trade with the AHL's Laval Rocket where he boasts a 7-3-0 record in 10 games.
A product of Northeastern University (NCAA) who was selected 199th overall by Montreal in 2017, Primeau has all of the tools to be successful at the next level.
The 21-year-old American made his NHL debut last year, starting two games for the Canadiens and collecting his first career victory.
Read on for a few highlights from Primeau's discussion with Marc Dumont, which is available in its entirety wherever you get your podcasts.
MARC DUMONT: We often speak about your father, but what role did your mother, Lisa, have in your development? Was she the one taking you to those awful tournaments way too early in the morning while you slept in the backseat? What was her role in getting you to this point?
CAYDEN PRIMEAU: She's been the biggest cheerleader. She follows us everywhere. It's funny because when my parents go to my brother's games, she'll put my games on her phone and she watches both. If she's at one of my games, she'll put my brother's game on. She's always watching. She's always making sure she's up-to-date on what we're doing. But growing up, she followed us everywhere. She came along for the ride. Early on, my dad was playing, so credit to her because she took care of four kids all on her own when he was on the road.
MD: Goaltenders are weird. Do you have any superstitions?
CP: Yes, but having almost a year off, I kind of forgot some of them, which is a good thing because at a point they can start to run your life, especially on game days. It was definitely good to get out of that habit, but there are definitely some things I do. I put on my gear from right to left, which I think a bunch of guys do. I also do the same thing when I go out for the beginning of a period.
MD: You have a unique perspective on the ice. As a goalie, can you tell me what's making the Laval Rocket offense work? What is driving all of those shots? And, are you bored?
CP: I'm not bored. Even though the shots are usually lower for us on the defensive side, it doesn't mean that they're not in our zone. It just means that the guys are keeping them to the outside and blocking shots when need be. I'm definitely getting work, but I might not necessarily have to end up making the save. The offense has been flying, which definitely stems from the breakouts. When guys come back and are supporting the puck, it just makes everything so much easier. Our speed is also second-to-none, so we just get flying.
MD: What's the most important thing you can do as a goaltender to maintain a healthy mindset given that it's so important with respect to performance?
CP: The biggest thing is just being real and being honest with yourself, so understanding when you had a bad game or when you didn't feel your best, and understanding when you did feel like you played pretty well. After that, it's about trying not to get too high when you did feel like you played well, but not feeling too low when you feel like you didn't. It's all about staying even-keeled.
MD: There have been a lot of positives for you. How do you feel your development has gone so far, and what have you learned since turning pro?
CP: I try to get better every day. I don't put any major expectations on a year, other than to get better every day. When I'm doing that, it's a success for me. I feel like I have gotten better every day since I've been here, and I'm going to continue trying to get better every day. I'm happy with how I've been attacking practice and games.
MD: Tell us about all the advice and input you've received from Canadiens and Rocket staffers to help you on your journey as a goaltender.
CP: It's been great. Having so many people educated in the goaltending position has been unbelievable. There's been so much help. I think it's a testament to the Habs and how much they're willing to invest in the goaltending position. There are so many great goalie minds. I've just been trying to pick their brains on and off the ice to learn what could ultimately help me be successful.
MD: You actually played with prospect Jordan Harris for one year when you still attended Northeastern. What can you tell us about him?
CP: He's a more offensive-minded player, but that doesn't take away from his defensive skills. He's great in the defensive zone as well. He's definitely an offensive force. He's just solid all around.
MD: What's the best piece of advice that you've received in your career?
CP: Just compete every day. There are some days when you're not feeling great or you're just a little bit tired, but if you push through it and compete, good things will happen.
MD: What do analysts get wrong about goalies the most? I often hear people say that a goalie "isn't trying." Is that ever the case?
CP: Each individual is different, but I would probably say that 98 or 99 percent of the time, the goalie is definitely trying. The position is such a mental game that once you start getting in your head, it could all spiral out of control real quick. As a goalie, the best thing to do is to work on the mental side of things because that will change your on-ice performance immensely.
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