He explained the decision not to use Canadiens prospect Cayden Primeau by saying that he was more concerned with winning than development.
Three games into the best-of-five North Division semifinal, winning and development have gone hand in hand as the Rocket takes a 2-1 series lead into Game 4 Saturday at Place Bell (3 p.m., RDS, TSN 690 Radio, 91.9 FM) because Primeau has taken a step forward in his development.
After Poulin faltered during a 5-3 loss in Game 1, Houle turned to Primeau and the 22-year-old has been the difference in the two wins.
He was outstanding in Game 2 as the Rocket took the home-ice advantage away from the Crunch. He made 37 saves in a 3-2 win.
On Thursday, Primeau stopped 22 of 23 shots as the Rocket delighted a sellout crowd at Place Bell with a 4-1 victory. The game was closer than the score indicated. The teams were tied 1-1 after two periods and Primeau made 13 saves in the third before Laval put it away with two empty-net goals.