15 OHL Playoff Thoughts...
Patterned after Elliot Friedman's 30 thoughts, just a random collection of thought bubbles that have passed through my head after the first weekend of OHL playoff action.
- The Majors are making the expected happen in their series against Belleville but have only scored 3 goals in their last two games (1 empty netter). They also haven't heavily outshot the Bulls in any way.
- Owen Sound could very well have been down two games to London already.
- The Ice Dogs right now have everyone firing. They look more like the prohibitive playoff favourite than the Memorial Cup host Majors do.
- For those who love firewagon hockey, the 8-7 Sudbury win in game two of their series against Ottawa was served up in classic eighties fashion,
- Saginaw, like Owen Sound, barely edged by a lesser seed in Game 1 only to come out and have their lunch handed to them in Game Two.
- As of this morning, three Oshawa Generals (Christian Thomas, Andy Andreoff and Nicklas Jensen) lead the OHL in playoff scoring. The Gennies have scored 22 goals in their first three games against Kingston. But Nicklas Jensen has been an all-star. He could ride a strong playoff performance into the Top Ten come June's Entry Draft.
- Plymouth's Tyler Brown has contributed to both game-winning goals in Plymouth's series against Kitchener so far. He did, however, runover Kitchener goaltender Brandon Maxwell in overtime. That missed call might only serve to fire up his opponents as they go into Game Three in Kitchener tonight.
- Gabriel Landeskog has been a beast in two games for the Rangers but he's going to have to start matching the efforts of Jeff Skinner in last year's playoff run if he wants to bring the blue-shirts back from their 2-0 deficit.
- The Windsor-Erie series has been the tight-checking affair that most people thought it would be. Their double OT, 4-3 Game Two on Saturday night is an early entrant for the best game of the playoffs so far.
- Have Malcolm Subban's two solid games in the Belleville net made him the prohibitive favourite to start next season in Belleville? With only two goals allowed in two games against the mighty Majors, the second Subban brother to don a Bulls uniform has effectively relegated Tyson Teichmann to the end of the pine. Even if Belleville is swept, you have to think Subban's performance has finally added some much needed clarity to the goaltending situation.
- Are the Guelph Storm playing over their head or is this the team that most of us expected to see all year? That there isn't a single Storm player in the Top twenty in league playoff scoring tells you that their secondary scoring is finally starting to come through.
- Both Guelph and London have managed to hold serve on home ice in their series' against Saginaw and Owen Sound respectively. But if they want to complete the upset, they're going to have to show they can win away from the comforts of the Sleeman and John Labatt Centres.
- Sudbury's 8-7 win showed what the Wolves are going to have to do to win against Ottawa. If this becomes a firewagon series, the Wolves have a chance. The absence of Travis Gibbons from the Ottawa line up has been noticeable so far. What makes Sudbury's win even bigger is that they managed to pull it off in Ottawa.
- Could things get worse in Kingston? The Fronts have taken some beatings over the years but the Generals look about to sweep them out of the playoffs in a series where more than a few people gave Kingston even money odds. The Limestone City hasn't seen the second round of the OHL playoffs in a decade and a half. In any other market, that kind of continuing failure in conjunction with Kingston's strong roster this season would lead to the Hockey Operations department being almost completely turned over.
- Has the first weekend of OHL playoff action changed anything? I think it's changed one thing for sure in the OHL East, no one would be surprised to see Oshawa and Niagara in the Eastern Conference Final.
- The Plymouth Whalers and Kitchener Rangers have now played five playoff series since 2003. Kitchener coach Steve Spott used to be an assistant coach in Plymouth. Whalers centre Alex Aleardi is a former Ranger. Kitchener Captain Gabriel Landeskog was actually drafted into the OHL by the Whalers. In three of the four previous playoff series these two teams have played, the winner went on to become the OHL Champion.