Thursday, May 5, 2011

Mind Games

For about 10 minutes it looked as if New York Ranger prospect Scott Stajcer and his Owen Sound Attack were going to give New York Islander prospect Casey Cizikas and the Mississauga St. Michaels Majors a run for their money in Game 2 of the OHL finals.

Then the 2nd period got underway and 42 seconds later that hope was gone. The Majors with 4 goals over the last 40 minutes pulled away and earned not only a 6-2 over the Attack but 3-0 series lead.

Before people pile on Scott Stajcer for giving up 5 goals on 38 shots, take a look at how the Majors won. 4 power play goals on 8 attempts was the number 1 reason why the Majors won.

Only 1 even strength goal on the game as well as an empty netter made up the other 2 goals. The Attack got 1 power play goal of their own on 5 attempts but credit the Majors as they have to be the best team at getting into your head.

The Majors are a very sound team and the best thing they do is when they have you down, they finish you off and do not give you any hope of coming back. As soon as the Majors scored like they did in the 2nd period, you could see that this game was over.

Owen Sound looked like they had shown that they could play with the Majors in game 1 and when the game is at even strength but there lies why Owen Sound just might be swept. You just can not give the Majors 8 power plays or take 19 total penalties as Owen Sound did.

Owen Sound was looking good scoring on 2 of their first 3 shots but shot number 3 came at 9:45 of the first period.  But that was all they could manage as they were stopped on their remaining 24 shots.

The one thing that nobody really talks about is how the Majors can get you to play an undisciplined game but they really do. When it comes to playing mind games the Majors are the best.

Rarely if ever do you see the Majors lose their composure but it seems that every team they have faced has. People will talk about the 11 game winning streak that the Kootenay Ice are on but the Majors are now 14-1 during the playoffs.

Owen Sound and their fans were hoping that playing at home would help give them an edge but it didn't. Game 3 is in Mississauga and this series is basically over but for the shouting.

Stajcer once again played a good game but how can he stop players who are alone in front? How about fanning on a clearing attempt only to leave your goalie all alone?

A goal that went in on a deflection, another off a rebound that a wide open Major was left with an entire net to shot at. The Majors won every puck battle that mattered and the Attack have no answer for it.

At this rate, Stajcer needs to shut out the Majors but that is not going to happen when his defense just is not there. Before this series, people were thinking that the Owen Sound defensemen could handle the Major forwards.

People (us included) were flat out wrong and now down 0-2, the Attack have to be wondering how do they fix things? Answer they can't and if this series is not over by Sunday that will be the shocker.


Could someone in the WHL please explain to us how Portland Winterhawk Sven Bartschi is not the WHL's Rookie of the Year? Seriously Matthew Dumba was better than Bartschi?
It is kind of hard to understand why as all Bartschi did was lead all rookies in scoring 34-51-85 +23 but what really stood out was that Bartschi never went more than 2 games without registering a point. Dumba a defensemen was 15-11-26 +24 for the Red Dear Rebels.

This is not a knock on Dumba as he will be a strong pick for the 2012 NHL draft but Bartschi was super consistent this year for the Winterhawks. Hard to overlook a player who's longest scoring slump was 2 games (twice) which is why the Dumba selection was very hard to accept.

(Images: Cizikas/Aaron Bell-OHL Images, Bartschi/Portland Winterhawks)

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