By Fred Wallace
Hi, this is Fred Wallace with " Off the Wire ".
The Owen Sound Attack start a sequence of 3 Ontario Hockey League games in 2 & 1/2 days when they visit the Kitchener Rangers tonight.
These two should be fairly familiar with each other since a quirk in the scheduling process lined them up 3 times head to head, all at Kitchener, before Halloween.
There's no disputing the game is meaningful for early season.
The Rangers lead the Midwest Division and hold the # 2 seed in the Western Conference.
The Attack are 1 point back with 2 less games played.
Having said that, there are much bigger issues for the Owen Sound squad these days than simply the pursuit of 1st place in the division in October.
Pick almost any aspect of the Owen Sound game and it needs to be upgraded, as exemplified by the doubleheader loss last weekend at Erie.
Make no mistake, Erie earned the victories, never once trailing in the two games, but from an Owen Sound standpoint......
- there were poor starts.
- there were needless penalties taken 200 feet away from the Owen Sound net.
- there were bad goals surrendered
- defenders were split too frequently
- Erie 4th liners dangled Owen Sound frontline defenders for markers.
- consistency was lacking; the line that was good on Saturday night, wasn't on Sunday and vice versa.
- Plus........well, you get the picture.
It's not a mess, and it certainly can be rectified.
But suddenly the OHL quarter pole is on the near horizon and the Attack, considered a contender this year, have seldom performed to expectations.
Hopefully, a significant game tonight at Kitchener against the Rangers will spark an upswing for Owen Sound for the weekend and well beyond.
I'm Fred Wallace