Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Staying Alive (barely) Day 4

London Knights 2103 OHL Champions (OHL Images)
It almost seems just totally unfair that the London Knights defeated the Barrie Colts 3-2 in game 7 of the OHL Finals to win the OHL Championship for the 2nd straight year. The Knights scored the game winner at 19:59 of the 3rd period on a goal that needed video review before the video replay officials said it was a good goal. There is something almost dirty about winning a championship via video replay. London is one of the most disliked teams in the OHL and winning like this will not improve their reputations among the fans in the OHL.

The only story to Knight fans will be that they won not that they had to come back from down 3 games to 1 against a team that by game 7 was missing it's entire first line and was decimated by injuries. The people won't remember that London tried to give this series away not once but on a couple of occasions, the Barrie Colts just didn't have anything left in the tank to finish them off. But while Tommy Hughes (NYR 2013 UFA) and his teammates head to Saskatoon to play in the 2013 Memorial Cup, the Colts have nothing to be ashamed of as they despite the odds put up one hell of a fight.

Tommy Hughes saw his game get better as the series went on, he will get to play in his 2nd straight Memorial Cup as the London defenseman may not put up the points but he really does make one think of Dan Girardi with the way he plays defense. Hughes is already playing John Tortorella defense which is going to earn him brownie points from the coach the moment he sees him play.

The last remaining New York Islander anything prospect Mitchell Theoret (2011 7th) outlasted the Islanders, the Sound Tigers and every other higher ranked prospect that the franchise has. Theoret tried his best to keep the Barrie season alive with 3 points in game 6 and a 1-1-2 effort in game 7. It was Theoret's 14th goal of the playoffs and it somehow almost got the Colts into overtime when Theoret scored at 17:07 of the 3rd period.

Despite struggling with injuries this season, Theoret was more than productive this season with career bests in goals, assists and points as he split the season between Barrie and Niagara. 25-35-60 in the regular season but Theoret's 14-7-21 in the playoffs is going to get him a contract if not from the Islanders then by someone else. The Islanders should at the very least offer him an AHL deal which can be converted down the road to an NHL deal.

Theoret is the perfect utility player for a coach as he can be used anywhere and everywhere. You need him to play on the 1st line to cover for an injury, done. A checker, no problem Theoret can do that as well and whether it is the power play or the penalty kill, Theoret can do the job.

The London Knights will head to Saskatoon to take on the host team the Saskatoon Blades Friday night to open the 2013 Memorial Cup. The "experts" are for the most part calling this year's cup a 2 team race between the Portland Winterhawks and the Halifax Mooseheads.

It won't be dull that is for sure.

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