….in a season when they started as relative UnDeRdOgS–they finished the job? These were the words that Ryan Pyette wrote in the London Free Press recently. Ryan is a local boy and a very well rounded sports reporter. I admit that I like reading his pieces on the Knights as he tells it like it is and is not a “homer”.
Anyway, Ryan was/is right. The Soo Greyhounds heading into this weekends matchups on Saturday and Sunday can go 8-0 since the trade deadline and be labelled the hottest team in the league. We all know that Hounds management decided not to upset the chemistry and basically left the team in place except for a couple of moves.
Ryan reminds us that team management, scouting, and coaching are all integral in the development of the boys; LeGuerrier, Mackay, Carroll, and McLean were picks from the 5th to 15th rounds in the draft and the success they are having is from the above. On another note, Kyle Raftis says that “Everyone gets excited about (first and) second round picks coming in, but when you give guys the time to develop and put them into an opportunity to be successful, it can really speed up the process”
Your Soo Greyhounds have managed to not just be competitive this year, but actually a dominant force in the win/loss category. These pups are 3rd overall and a measly 3 points out of first overall. There is a very very good chance that the boys can overtake the leaders in the next few weeks.
As we have seen all year, this coaching staff is dynamite and you can see the boys really play for them.
There are few teams in the mix that have swung for the fences this year by acquiring big names at the deadline, but I remind you of something that you already know; There is no I in team. Championships are won on the ice by “committee” as John Dean recently said. Saginaw, Guelph and Niagara may have made a splash but it is just as possible that too many egos on a team do nothing more than frustrate and confuse the spectator. We’ve seen this in the recent past where we have acquired Simmonds, Raddsyh, Richie or whoever at the trade deadline and less superior teams on paper have knocked us off.
Well anyway, my friends, we head into the weekend and are starting to turn the corner on the season and I will remind you of one of my pet peeves. Again, it pis**es me off with all of these tourneys during the season that remove are players from league games. For instance, December 28th we lost 4-2 to the Saginaw Spirit which now could screw us as we were missing Barrett and Morgan on that night for the World Juniors. That loss could turn out to be a big deal if Saginaw catches us or we are a point or two shy of getting home ice advantage for the playoffs. Yep, I can’t get those things off of my mind as I see big business control the show while claiming it’s a “development league”.
I call BS and maybe when ticket sales start to drop as I know I am not the only one who is tired of the charade, maybe just then the governors/owners will start to pay attention and stop trying to sell off every kid and his future at the Cherry/Orr Prospects games, World Juniors etc. Just think about it; What does the paying customer get if Barrett or Joe Carroll gets injured?
Exactly….we get nothing but a Warm Glass Of Shut The Hell UP !! Now, let’s be honest here; I am for our boys competing in these tourneys’ but they need to be done when the rest of the league is in hiatus and they (IMO) don’t need to be done every year. I have not watched a World Junior in years because there is too much saturation. Grrrrrrr lol. Ok, I’m done.
Thanks for reading and let’s cheer these boys on to their 8-0 streak. Saturday Peterborough is our victim and Sunday Kitchener will feel the onslaught. Pucek and Pytlik will be out as per minor injury and minor suspension and I can see Ethan getting a start as he needs to play and get more minutes heading into the playoffs.
**My buddy Sal and I have a “pretend” $25 bet; I say the Hounds finish ahead of Guelph and Saginaw at the end of the year. My buddy disagrees. Who’s with me, Who’s with Sal? Oh and I want my pretend money in non pretend crisp $5 dollar bills.**
Go Hounds Go,