In every league there are bad teams. There is no way around it. Some
teams just have no luck, draft horribly and thus no one wants to play for
them. Yet the 2000-2001 Mississauga IceDogs are taking “bad” to a another
level. Through 50 games the IceDogs are 3-38-7-2. The record gives them a
grand total of 15 points. The teams with the next worse records in the OHL,
the Oshawa Generals and the Sault St. Marie Greyhound both have 40 points.
There aren’t very many positives for Mississauga. Jason Spezza looked like he
would be with the IceDogs for his junior duration a few years ago. Then
Spezza got fed up with the losing and demanded a trade. He is now playing for
a hot Windsor Spitfires team. The IceDogs top scorer Patrick Jarrett has 43
points in 45 games. You know a major junior team is in big big trouble when
there leading scorer isn’t averaging a point a game. Oh by the way Jarrett
is a OHL rookie. The ‘Dogs have gone through 4 goalies this year. The 4 have
combined to give up 272 goals. While their offense has scored just 129 times.
Mississauga is outscored on the average of 5.04 to 2.58 every game. Recent
NHL draftees who spent their OHL days in the Ontario town include, Chad
Wiseman, Brett Angel and Sean McMorrow. After hearing these numbers I’m out
of ideas. Nothing seems to work for these guys. Oh yeah I do have one
question, Who in the world would ever coach this team?
It is increasingly clear that the face lifts by both former G.M. Bob Murray and current G.M. Mike Smith has done little to lift the team’s major league skin and eliminate the crow’s feet of post season elimination.
Granted there have been some bright spots, the biggest being the added offensive production of l’il Steve Sullivan, at almost a point a game pace since his wavier pick up from the Toronto house cleaning in order that they might be able to add the enigmatic Dmitri Khristich.
Tampa Bay decided Michael Nylander would never play defense and was only effective when in control of the puck, and a risk when he didn’t have it. There were absolutely correct but when placed at centre with Sullivan they are able to be dominant players on the attacking end of the rink,albeit a liability without it. Regardless,without their presence the Hawk offense would be far limited without them.
Besides Amonte and an occasionally on night from the gentle giant Eric Daze, the Hawks have had to fill the rest of the roster with players who would never be considered more than “pieces” elsewhere.
They did cushion their rosters with 32 yr. old rookie Steve Poapst, who has had hard times catching the NHL speed guys,Chris McAlpine, 29 yr. old, an undersized hard hitter who is at best a #5 guy. As is Kevin Dean whose off ice hardships with his premature son have compounded his poor play.
Other plugging has come at times from the still not so ready for prime time Nolan Baumgartner and everyone’s prospect to be, Steve McCarthy.
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