By Fred Wallace
Defence and team defence were identified yesterday as one of the key factors as to why there's no OHL Playoff action this year in Owen Sound.
I feel bad about yesterday's comment as they pertain to Mike McGurk who had a terrific year for Owen Sound, played hard, posted a + rating, and in a rarity, killed the entire 2 minutes of penalties more than any other defender in the OHL.
But Mike McGurk is now too old and ineligible to play again in Owen Sound.
There's a handful of other Attack defenders who also have to go based on age, inability and factors we don't have time to get into.
All of which leaves us very young and very inexperienced on the Attack blue line.
But as a means of balance, blaming the defenders entirely is not totally fair.
There were forwards with staggering minus ratings.
There were experienced forwards on the Attack who never mastered the simple art of getting the puck from the high wing over the blue line and out of trouble.
Sometimes there were 3 and four unsuccessful attempts on the same shift.
And the thought process was also dumbfounding at times amongst the forwards who apparently believed the quickest way to get the puck up and out was to go horizontal in your own end.
So to recap issues 1 & 2, if the Attack are going to progress as a team and an organization, they have to stay healthy, they have to identify, draft and develop defencemen and finally make team defence priority # 1.
There's 4 more items to get to, but we'll save them for another day.
I'm Fred Wallace