Jaker's Dozen

Jaker’s Dozen: Playoff races, Wilde returns, and playmaking Petes

Peterborough Petes forward, and Toronto Maple Leafs prospect, Nick Robertson. (Logan Reid Photography)

Nick Robertson’s scoring streaks – This guy can score, simple as that. He started the season with goals in eight straight games, and is currently on a 14 game scoring streak. He’s been consistent this year, he’s yet to go without a goal for three straight games, and didn’t score in back-to-back games on only two occasions this year.

Playmaking Petes – With Robertson scoring all those goals, someone has to set him up, right? Akil Thomas has only scored four times since joining the Petes, but has 20 assists in 13 games. He’s not the only Peterborough forward who prefers to pass, Semyon Der-Arguchintsev has 55 assists in 47 games, finding the back of the net himself on eight occasions.

Bode Wilde returns to Saginaw – It has long been rumoured, and now it’s official, the Saginaw Spirit received a huge boost to the blue line this we after Bode Wilde was reassigned to the club. He’s been on ice practicing with the team and will make his season debut this week.

Liam Foudy makes NHL debut – Speaking of debuts, a surprise NHL debut for London Knights forward Liam Foudy this week. Faced with a rash of recent injuries, the Columbus Blue Jackets called up their first round pick from 2018. Foudy played 10:23 minutes, registering a hit and two shots on goal.

10 straight fore Flint – The Flint Firebirds are making their case for a West Division title, sitting within striking distance of the Saginaw Spirit. A 10 game win streak has them just two points back of their Michigan rival. That certainly adds a new dynamic to the I-75 rivalry since it began five years ago.

Perreault and Perfetti pot 30 again – The second year forwards reached the 30 goals mark for the second straight season, showing that their rookie season was no fluke. Perfetti has been hot as of late with six goals in his last seven games, different story for Perreault, who’s hat trick against Windsor Saturday ended a stretch of four games without a point. Both are good candiates to reach 40.

Tyson Foerster of the Barrie Colts. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images

Wait, there’s more – Some other draft eligible reached the 30 goal mark ton the weekend. Barrie Colts forward Tyson Foerester and Mississauga Steelheads forward James Hardie noithed their 30th goals of the campaign. I can’t stress this enough, this is a fantastic NHL draft for OHL talent.

1-16 playoff format – It’s something we discussed on a recent episode of Around The OHL, and it’s an argument that resurfaces every couple of years. It’s time. The OHL should move to a 1-16 playoff format. Out of the three CHL teams, OHL has the easiest travel schedule by far, and the OHL teams that are furthest apart both play in the same conference together anyways. An Erie and Sault Ste. Marie playoff match up is a very real possibility, in fact, during Erie’s stretch of four 50-win seasons, they met the Greyhounds in the playoffs on three occasions.

Why are Hamilton in the East Division still?!? – If the reasoning for not moving to the 1-16 is travel, I would point to my previous argument about Erie and Sault Ste. Marie. I would also direct your attention to the Hamilton Bulldogs, who are playing their fifth season in the East Division. Their closest opponent is Oshawa, which is a hike, and that’s not factoring in Toronto traffic. I understand why they didn’t do a division reshuffle right away, but by now we should have had some restructuring. And with the rumours of a possible move for the team, no sense in mixing things up now.

Final playoff spot in the East – For a while there it looked like the Niagara IceDogs were going to make a surprise playoff appearance. They surpassed expectations during the first half of the season, but it’s been a different story since the team parted ways with its two best players at the deadline. A current nine game losing streak has them just one point up on Kingston for the final playoff spot in the east lost 9 straight, and got outscored 28-5 over three weekend losses.

Battles at the bottom of the west – The final playoff spot in the Western Conference could also come down to the wire. Erie is currently two points up on Sault Ste. Marie going into the home stretch. Owen Sound has played themselves out of this battle, at least for now, winning seven of their last ten games, adding a bit a padding between themselves and 9th place.

Weird year for the OHL schedule – No schedule will ever be perfect, some teams will have tougher travel than others, that’s the way it goes. But this year it seems like this year there has been some back-to-backs, and travel schedules that leaves me scratching my head. I’m considering doing a deeper dive into this later, but here’s a couple examples. The London Knights host Kitchener Friday, and then travel to Kingston the very next day, and then wrap things up in Ottawa on Monday. On a weekend in late October, London had a home game on Friday and Sunday afternoon, with a Saturday night game in Erie sandsiched in between. Sunday’s contest was a matinee for good measure. Not to mention the IceDogs were in Barrie the night before they played London. These are just some examples from London land, and again, no schedule is perfect, but it seems like some of the unnecessary travel could have been avoided.

Ottawa’s goals against – The 67’s have allowed a league low 129 goals against, 47 fewer than the next closest team. It’s an impressive number, but still well off the OHL record set by the London Knights in 2004-05. A team that’s likely best known for its offensive star power, that Knights team allowed just 125 goals that season, Ottawa has already surpassed that mark, and still have 19 games to go.

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