Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad

“Maybe we can talk all night, but that ain’t getting us nowhere”. I am not quite sure if singer Meatloaf wrote this song as a prophecy for your Hounds, but in any event it’s fitting.Fitting as the Hounds won two of three games during the most recent homestand.
The Soo Greyhounds missed a prime opportunity though, to vault into a playoff spot after being in the depths of hell over the past couple of months. The Erie Otters swam into town on Sunday afternoon and kiboshed those thoughts with a 5-2 win at the GFL.
The Greyhounds overall played good enough to win, but a span of 22 seconds pretty much decided the game. A sloppy pass by veteran Jacob LeGuerrier with 3 seconds left in the second and an Erie goal just 17 seconds into the 3rd took the wind out of the Dogs-Sails. Yes, Dogs-Sails….word is patent pending.
Had the Hounds won they would have moved into that 8th and final playoff spot ahead of Erie. Now, let’s be real, the Hounds have played really good hockey ever since Bailey Brkin stepped into the picture, but yes the cliche is true… you can’t win em all.
Now before I move on, staying with Sundays game against Erie, it’s hard not to feel for young Ethan Taylor. His body language during the pre game warm up said it all. The young man is dejected, and if I were in his skates, I would be also. I’m going to guess that the last time he played was in late November, and I know it must be upsetting. Ethan is a team player though ; even though I noticed the body language signs, he sits on that bench and doesn’t sulk. Ethan does what a professional does ; he sucks it up and he cheers on the rest of the boys on the bench.
There have been rumours that he has asked for a trade, but I could not substantiate anything so let’s just keep it as a rumour then. In my opinion though, if he has asked for one, it wouldn’t be surprising, as his agent would obviously want him to play. He is a second year tender and generally speaking should be getting a start on a more frequent basis. The problem is that junior hockey is a business and as much as John Dean feels for the young kid, he has to win hockey games, and Brkin has been allowing him to do just that. As I’ve said recently, until the Hounds are a good chunk of points on the North side of the 8th and final playoff position, young Taylor will be sitting. Be patient Ethan and practice hard ; you’ll get your chance somehow/somewhere.
It’s been a blurry season between the pipes for Hounds tenders this year and I’m afraid it won’t get any more clear until sometime in January. I still believe, and a source that I trust also heard that a deal was struck to keep Nick Malik in the Czech Republic until after the World Juniors which will be in the said country. Whether he does report or not, it makes sense. Right now, Nick is playing in a mens league and dominating. Going from that to playing against kids his own age, only makes him that much better on the olympic ice surface. To make more of a case for him to report ; please remember his older brother Zack played two years in the OHL and is currently here in North America playing for the Muskegon Lumberjacks of the USHL.
Moving forward, after the WJ’s, it will be just like Ethan’s situation in a way. Nick’s agent is going to want him to play… and play where he’ll get noticed on a more frequent basis in front of North American scouts to go higher in the draft.
Now, onto an interesting little nugget of information that I have been following over the past few weeks ; it appears that your Pups are the 4th most penalized team in the entire OHL with 424 pim’s. To make matters worse, the penalty killing units have claimed the number 18th spot in the 20 team league. Take away some bad calls be the refs, and you still would have them claim number 4. To be exact the Hounds have taken 48 more minutes in penalties than Kingston who comes in at number 5.
For the Hounds to be successful and to solidify a playoff spot, they have to either cut down on the penalties or work on the penalty kill. Good teams as we know, have good specialty teams.
Before going into the Christmas break, Dean is going to try and steal a few points in order to enter the break on a positive mental note, by holding a playoff spot. The Hounds play in Barrie on Thursday night, and round things out Friday against the Kitchener Rangers.
Until next week, Bark Bark, and Go Hounds Go!
Ernest Skinner

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