The Soo Greyhounds started off the season the way they wanted to, winning their home opener 4-1 over the North Bay Battalion. However, the Hounds looked very different playing the Sudbury Wolves. The Hounds clearly had some issues, losing that game 6-3. This made me wonder, what do the Hounds need to do to get back on track for tonight’s game vs. the Barrie Colts.
Stay out of the box!?!
The Greyhounds 1st game of the season the team was very disciplined. They did a great job at playing smart and staying out of the penalty box, only going short-handed once. The team’s last game vs. Sudbury was a different story. The Greyhounds were short handed 6 times! And before people say that this only turned into 1 goal, why is this stat so important?
Arguably, when playing short-handed, a team loses the flow of the game. The top players for the Hounds were sitting on the bench, while the all important penalty killers were staying on the ice, trying to keep their team in the game. If the Boys in Red and White want to win this game, they need to stay out of the box!
Goaltending needs to be stronger
Goaltending was a huge question mark going into this season and, after the Hounds 1st couple of games, it still is. Samuel Ivanov played solidly in the first game, although he only faced 18 shots. He made some key saves when the game vs. North Bay was close, helping the Hounds get a big 1st win.
In the game vs. Sudbury, Ivanov struggled early in this contest and it never really got better for him. Ivanov was having issues controlling his rebounds, and the 3rd goal was a prime example of this problem. The Richmond Hill native also seemed to have trouble tracking the puck through traffic. Having said this, the Hounds will need better goaltending from Samuel Ivanov to move forward, however, he is not solely to blame for all 6 of the Wolves goals.
The D needs to be better
The Hounds, in their season opener, played some great defence, only allowing 18 shots on net. Additionally, they did a great job at clearing traffic in front of Ivanov, which was key in keeping the Battalion to just 1 goal scored.
When the Wolves came to town it was a different story. Sudbury was able to get 33 shots on net with lots of traffic in front, effectively screening the goaltender. This led to Sudbury scoring 6 goals, which can’t all be blamed on the goaltending.
The defence needs to get back to clearing the front of the net and not letting their net-minder face so many shots. If our Boys in Red and White want to win their next game vs. the Barrie Colts, the team’s defence will need to be better.
Final thoughts going into tonight’s game
The Greyhounds still have a lot of things going for them. They have great speed, they are a hard team to play against, and they are not afraid to shoot the puck. Although I want to see way less of them, the penalty killers are very good at their job. Also long as the Hounds can clean up these three key areas we went over, they will definitely have a chance of taking down the Barrie Colts.
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