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One Month in and What Do I Think?

It has been a while since I actually took to writing and with good reason to a degree.
Giving the crew all the chance to write as we all know that myself and the English language… we don’t see eye to eye most times.

We are a month into the OHL season with most teams playing about a 5th of their season. So what is on my mind as we reach the 20% completion mark for the 2011/12 OHL season…

The 2nd Ranked Problem

After being ranked second in the nation, 2 weeks prior to the season beginning I may add, the IceDogs of St. Catharines have been just awful. With a 5-6-0-1 record the IceDogs are currently 9th in the eastern conference, 16th of 20th in the league. The latter doesn’t mean anything really. Niagara does boast the lowest penalty minutes in the league, which I am sure is a plus that GM/Coach Williamson is happy about leading the league in that stat. The Dogs are getting phenomenal production out of the Hamilton Brothers with Freddie leading Dougie in points 21 to 20, but that doesn’t help get W’s. The Dogs lead the league with a 31.3% PP but are 17th on the PK with their efficiency being 75.9%. definitely not good. Oh and the fact that only 3 players on NIA have a positive +/- (above 0) is ridiculous for the talent this team has. Marty Williamson is about to shake things up and it starts with Pavelka being traded or released after he acquired Chris Festarini from Erie.

Home away from Home

The Brampton Battalion have been one of the stand out teams early on this season, their offense is still a mystery, T-6th highest goal production in the Eastern Conference, but their amazing defence leads the OHL allowing a league best 25 goals, 5 goals less than the next best team, the London Knights. What is also surprising is the Battalion’s 7-3-1-1 record, which includes a 5-0-0-1 record away from the Bunker. Normally you have to win 50% of your away games to have a good season… The Troops need to work on the winning home games part.

Sink or Playing Dead

The Erie Otters are a mess. Period. For a team that has a lot of potential, and the return of a rock in goal by the name of Ramis Sadikov, it is fair to say that the team is vastly underachieving. 2 teams in the OHL have scored less than the Otters 30 goals, Belleville and Kingston… Belleville has 6 wins while Kingston has 2 more points than Erie. The Defence is hurting without Adam Pelech but they have 2 OA blueliners who are a combined -24. Let’s save the talk about the forwards and lack of offence next time. One problem at a time folks.

Did you hear what I Saad?

The Saginaw Spirit needed help and many looked toward the pipes thinking that Galansky and Paterson would not be able to get it done this season. Turns out all they needed was a confidence boost named Brandon Saad. The Pennsylvania native entered the game Sunday with 7 goals and 9 points in 4 games since coming back from the Chicago Blackhawks. The Spirit are 3-1 since his return, 1-7 prior to his return. With Saad coming back, he has lifted the Spirit roster and spread his confidence throughout the team. Saginaw has scored 41 goals this season, 22 since Saad’s return. Paterson has been given the starter’s job, starting the last 6 games including Sunday night. In Saad’s return he has a 2.99GAA and a .925SV% and a 3-1 record. When Josh Shalla returns to the lineup after serving his suspension, this team could easily rocket up to the top half of the Western Conference.

3 Colts and a Sting

Seeing Nail Yakupov leading the league in scoring doesn’t surprise anyone, in fact many are shocked it is not higher than his current 2.23pts/game. Heck if Galchenyuk was healthy, he may be a 3pt/game player. What is surprising is seeing 3 Barrie Colt players behind him. Yakupov leads the league with 29 points in 13 games and behind him are Zach Hall, Tanner Pearson and Colin Behenna with 28, 28, and 24 points respectively. Hall and Behenna have tallied a point in every game they have played. And the trio accounts for 28 of the teams 45 goals (62.2%). What makes Yakupov’s 29 points in 13 games even better… 2 of those games he was held of the score sheet, that makes him a 2.63pts/game when he is on the score sheet.

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