This is the second edition of ITO Hot-Stove. Joining me today in this piece is Matt Leacy, Thayne Hallyburton and Susan Tromanhauser.
Without further ado I'd like to introduce you all to today's debate question: The London Knights currently sit atop the OHL standings. Will they finish in that position?
Though the London Knights have played exceptional hockey to this point, I don't expect them to finish atop the league standings. They're a very young team and right now some of their players are playing over their heads, so to speak.I think the London Knights will be an elite team down the road, but right now I just don't think they're there. I expect the Sarnia Sting, once they get a few bodies back, and Plymouth Whalers will pass them at some point this season.
The London Knights have every intangible that it takes to win. Speed, skill, size, toughness, goal-tending, attention to detail. But their key guys are a little young. The trade deadline will say a lot for what this team will be.There is talk of them dealing Jarred Knight, then there is talk of them bringing in Ryan Spooner. In any case I don't think this team is ready to be considered a top flight team in this league, I would expect Plymouth and Niagara and even Sarnia to go past them in the rankings and standing by seasons-end. 2013 and especially 2014 will be their years...this team has the making of a back-to-back memorial cup threat.
As a born and raised citizen of Rangers Nation, it's very hard to say
anything good about the London Knights. So maybe I'm a little biased
on the subject, but regardless here goes.
I think the Knights have quite a few upsides. Stellar goaltending,
players who can score, and strong defenseman. If there's anything I
can pick on, it's the fact that they seem to take off nights. What I
mean by that is they can occasionally see a team that they should
easily beat, then fall to them. Case and point, the only time the
Knights and Rangers have met this season (at the time of this writing
anyway), the Rangers took a 4-1 lead before the midway point of the
second. The Knights, all credit to them, came back to force a shootout
but lost by a final score of 5-4.
Now with the loss of Dale Hunter to the Capitals, the question becomes
can Mark Hunter successfully take over? Or will the team ignore his
coaching, lack respect for him, and slowly but surely crumble? Guess
we'll find out as the season progresses (my fingers aren't crossed I