OHL Power Rankings March 7th - 13th
1. Owen Sound Attack (1st West, 1st Midwest)
I feel like Dick Clark on American Bandstand saying this but this is the second week for the Bayshore Boys at number one. The Attack were a perfect 3-0-0 last weekend and will get superstar Joey Hishon back this Friday to play their division rivals the Kitchener Rangers. This is Sportsnet's OHL Game of the Week, so strap yourself in for a fun one.
Last Week's Rank: 1
Key Match-up This Week: @ Kitchener Rangers (03/11/2011)
2. Mississauga Majors (1st East, 1st Central)
The Majors meandered for a couple of weeks but came back into strong form this weekend, reasserting themselves as the team to beat in the OHL East. There have been some questions raised recently about goaltender JP Anderson's play but when a team is humming along the way the Majors did this weekend, allowing only 6 shots to the London Knights, one almost forgets a goaltender is back there.
Last Week's Rank: 4
Key Match-up This Week: @ Ottawa 67s (03/13/2011)
3. Ottawa 67s (2nd Eastern Conference, 1st East Division)
The 67s, like the Majors, looked to be giants finally running out of steam until this weekend. The reason for Ottawa's turnaround is secondary scoring. Sean Monahan is turning into a serious name to watch for next year's draft and is reminding some Ottawa watchers of another former 67s star, Logan Couture.
Last Week's Rank: 6
Key Match-up This Week: vs. Mississauga Majors (03/13/2011)
4. Kitchener Rangers (3rd West, 2nd Midwest)
The Rangers went .500 on an East Division road swing last weekend that saw them play 11 periods, 10 of which were without top OHL blueliner Ryan Murphy. Anyone who doubts the 17 year-old's importance to the blueshirts need only have witnessed their aenemic showing against Belleville on Saturday night.
Last Week's Rank: 3
Key Match-Up this Week: vs. Owen Sound Attack (03/11/2011)
5. Oshawa Generals (4th Eastern Conference, 2nd East Division)
The Gennies are finally starting to cool off. But their projected first round series against Kingston could have turned into a blood feud by the time it arrives. This week marks the third time in as many weeks that the two teams will have faced off. Nicklas Jensen is coming off a huge game in a thumping of Belleville on Sunday.
Last Week's Rank: 2
Key Match-up This Week: @ Kingston Frontenacs (03/10/2011)
6. Erie Otters (6th West, 3rd Midwest)
There isn't a hotter team in the entire OHL this week. The Otters have a chance to vault into fourth place if they win out and get a little help from the schedule this weekend. Not bad for a team that was out of the playoff hunt earlier in the season. Sniper Greg McKegg is also heating up at exactly the right time.
Last Week's Rank: 9
Key Match-up This Week: vs. Plymouth Whalers (03/11/2011)
7. Saginaw Spirit (2nd Western Conference, 1st West Division)
The Spirit get a freebie weekend. With two matches against the Soo and one against Sarnia, it's a chance to inflate their point totals and do some systems work as they head into the playoffs. Of course, if the boys from Saginaw hit the skids with a thud this weekend, it could just as easily be a sign of problems going forward.
Last Week's Rank: 7
Key Match-up This Week: @ Soo Greyhounds (03/09/2011)
8. Niagara Ice Dogs (3rd East, 2nd Central)
The Dogs have established themselves at a steady, solid team just one rack below some of the elite teams in the League. Goaltender Mark Visentin is likely a shoe-in for OHL Goaltender of the Year unless something goes horribly awry in the last few weeks. If the Ice Dogs' talent meets the right opportunity, they could prove to be giant killers in the playoffs.
Last Week's Rank: 5
Key Match-up This Week: @ Ottawa 67s (03/11/2011)
9. Plymouth Whalers (4th Western Conference, 2nd West Division)
You have to hate when teams never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity. The Whalers came out of the Trade Deadline like a house on fire. The strong, punishing physical core of forwards and sparkling goaltending of Scott Wedgewood looked like a possible recipe for success. But the bloom has come off the rose in recent weeks as they've failed to capitalize on a weakened Saginaw outfit. They could slide as far as sixth this weekend.
Last Week's Rank: 8
Key Match-up This Week: @ Erie Otters (03/11/2011)
10. Windsor Spitfires (5th Western Conference, 3rd West Division)
Quo Vadis Windsor Spitfires? After dominating the league for two years, the Spits have been playing an uninspired, middling brand of hockey for the last month and a half. This is no one's world beater. Jack Campbell has drifted between uninspired and downright frustrating in his first OHL season and off-ice activities were the highlight of last week in Windsor.
Last Week's Rank: 10
Key Match-up This Week: vs. Owen Sound Attack (03/10/2011)
11. Guelph Storm (7th West, 4th Midwest)
The Storm are on an upward trend. But they'd need to win-out and get some serious schedule help to raise themselves higher than their current standing in seventh place. But I'd say that's exactly where they want to be. I can't think of a team that's more of a nightmare match-up for Saginaw than Guelph is.
Last Week's Rank: 12
Key Match-up This Week: vs. London Knights (03/11/2011)
12. Kingston Frontenacs (5th Eastern Conference, 3rd East Division)
With their late comeback against Kitchener on Friday, you almost got the sense that the Fronts were finally playing to potential. Their goaltending has found some stability around youngster Frankie Pallazese and they have two sold scoring lines capable of doing damage with one of the best blue-lines in the OHL.
Last Week's Rank: 14
Key Match-up This Week: vs. Oshawa Generals (03/11/2011)
13. Brampton Battalion (6th East, 3rd Central)
The Troops just keep plugging along, leading the rest of the also-rans in the OHL's Eastern Conference. They managed to hold off Sudbury's recent surge which endangered their sixth place position but they really haven't made any moves to scare Kingston during their recent down time. They'll be ushered to a quick, early, playoff exit.
Last Week's Rank: 15
Key Match-up This Week: @ Niagara Ice Dogs (03/10/2011)
14. Sudbury Wolves (7th East, 4th Central)
The Wolves have cooled off considerably since their hot streak but are about to do a tour through the OHL's lower seeds which might just spark them again. Really, any kind of playoff appearance for the Wolves this season is a plus. But they did get Marcus Foligno back last week, so maybe they'll unseat the Troops after all?
Last Week's Rank: 13
Key Match-up This Week: vs. Belleville Bulls (03/11/2011)
15. London Knights (8th West, 5th Midwest)
If the Trade Deadline were two weeks earlier, the Knights might not be in the playoffs right now. There's an upside to all this mediocre play and that is that it improves the likelihood that the Hunters will build one incredible team with all this high draft talent they're going to add. Next year could have some real promise for the Knights.
Last Week's Rank: 11
Key Match-up This Week: @ Guelph Storm (03/11/2011)
16. Belleville Bulls (8th Eastern Conference, 4th East Division)
The Bulls play to the level of their opponent. They've beaten both Mississauga and Kitchener in recent weeks, but dropped matches to Ottawa and Oshawa. Confusing stuff. Also confusing is Belleville's goaltending situation. The best goaltending performances they've gotten this year are by Tyson Teichmann but so are the worst. Do you go for Malcolm Subban in the effort to just stabilize your way into the playoffs?
Last Week's Rank: 16
Key Match-up This Week: @ Sudbury Wolves (03/11/2011)
17. Soo Greyhounds (9th Western Conference, 4th West Division)
The Hounds run hot and cold and can't put in a consistent effort to save their lives. This is still a better reputation than doormat, so it's nice to see them show some life at the end of a long season and come out with a weekend like last weekend. Maybe they can play spoiler going forward.
Last Week's Rank: 18
Key Match-up This Week: @ Plymouth Whalers (03/13/2011)
18. Sarnia Sting (10th Western Conference, 5th West Division)
The Sting have started to slide. Naill Yakupov did however hit 90 points over the weekend and is a lock for OHL Rookie of the Year. It's scary to think of what this team might look like next year when you add another Top Three pick to the line-up.
Last Week's Rank: 17
Key Match-up This Week: vs. Guelph Storm (03/10/2011>
19. Barrie Colts (10th East, 5th Central)
The Colts have some good young talent and could be a bad team for teams to take lightly as the season winds to a close. Top Centre Mark Scheifele should ready himself for a call from Hockey Canada for the coming Under-18 tournament.
Last Week's Rank: 20
Key Match-up This Week: vs. Belleville Bulls (03/12/2011)
20. Peterborough Petes (9th Eastern Conference, 5th East Division)
It seems like the Petes gave up on their season when Matt Puempel went down with his hip injury. They'll add another key piece to the rebuild in the Draft this year. They'll add a lot more than that if they deal Austin Watson in the offseason.
Last Week's Rank: 19
Key Match-up This Week: vs. Oshawa Generals (03/12/2011>