By the numbers:
Peterborough remains atop the Eastern Conference but lost their spot as the best in the O this week with their loss to London on Thursday. They have been ranked in the top-10 CHL teams for 20 weeks this year, occupying top spot for 5 weeks earlier in the season. They are now ranked 4th overall ahead of Calgary and London but expect that to change this upcoming week.
They don’t have any really outstanding scorers on their team, in fact their top scorer, Daniel Ryder with 72 points, is ranked 28th in the league, behind our Christ Hulit who has 76 points and just ahead of Julian Talbot who has 71 points. But their team’s 5 top scorers range from 72 – 62 points. For our team, the top five scorers range from 76 – 44 points. But one of the really telling stats for me are the +/- numbers. The Petes have 6 players who are over +10 while Ottawa has only 2. Further, the Petes have only have 3 players who are in the minus column. Ottawa on the other hand has a whopping 14 players with minus stats; 4 in the double digits.
On the penalty front, the Petes are 7th in the league with 1459 minutes versus Ottawa being 18th in the league with 1192. Overall on the PK, the Petes are ranked 5th having allowed 79 goals in 487 shots during the kill while Ottawa is 10th having allowed 81 goals in 438 attempts by the opposition. On the PP, overall during the 541 times this year that they have had the advantage, Peterborough scored 117 goals. Ottawa has had fewer PP opportunities (481) and has scored only 80 goals. As for having a number of bad boys, the Petes have 5 players with more than 100 PIMS, Craig Cescon leading the pack with 217 minutes. If nothing else, the 67s seem to be more polite (?) with the top (?) PIM range running between 85 and 110. In the last 5 games Ottawa has scored just two times in 30 PP advantages while their opponents have scored 11 PP goals in 41 advantages.
In net, Danny has seen more ice time (2804 vs 2666) and taken more rubber (1634 vs 1491) than David Schantz but has also unfortunately let in a lot more goals (156 vs 130). Shantz also has the edge on all the rest of the goalie measures.
So, what does this mean you might ask. To me, and as you know I’m no expert on this stuff, this tells me that Peterborough may not be flashy but they are steady and have some depth. It looks like everyone is contributing, taking penalties is not a problem as they know how to deal with them and their PP, especially on the road, is dangerous. They are coming in on a two-game losing streak having lost in a shoot-out in Sudbury yesterday (Pete’s started their back-up goalie Trevor Cann). They will be hungry for a win. Also, they are always up for a game with Ottawa with the painful memories of last year’s playoff sweep and knowing that we have beat them twice at the Civic Centre this year including a 5-0 shutout. Coach Dick Todd will not be behind the bench today as he sits out the second of his two-game suspension handed down after the brouhaha in the London game on Thursday.
First Period: The Crazy-8s started with Sean Ryan and Elgin Reid on defense. The Petes came out all elbows and attitude from the get-go. Referee Joe Parc seemed to forget that he was actually officiating and not just enjoying a rather close perspective as a spectator. The boys weren’t intimidated and seemed pumped for the pace and tone. Peterborough got the first 5 shots on goal and Danny kept them in the game, especially with a spectacular save in the early going. The 67s finally found their game and started taking the play to the Petes. The only goal of the period came at 7:04 when Pat Lahey made a sharp angle pass across the crease to Couture who scored the first goal of the game and his 21st of the season. Crazy line mate Jamie McGinn also got an assist on the goal. While Peterborough’s Kyle Raftis was in the penalty box for tripping, Ottawa worked really hard on the PP. They kept the pressure up but were not able to covert. We had a scary moment when Chris went down in the Peterborough zone behind the play. He looked like he was in pain. After some time on the ice with the trainer pulling him into a sitting position by the front of his jersey (as it appeared that Chris was not able to sit up on his own), Chris was finally able to get up and skate off on his own. Looked like he might have taken a hit in the diaphragm that knocked the wind out of him. That’s happened a couple of times to me and it can be really debilitating. He was OK and made it back on the ice for his next shift.
At the end of the first 20 minutes, Ottawa had the only goal of the game and led shots on goal: 16 – 10 as posted on the clock in the arena; 16 – 11 according to the score sheet.
Second Period: Peterborough scored early in the first period when Liam Reddox banged it in from a funny deflection. Danny didn’t stand a chance. Daniel Ryder and Steve Downie got the assists. Ottawa got themselves into a bit of penalty trouble in the middle of the frame when Tibor Raduly was called for slashing behind the Pete's net and then with about 40 seconds left in that penalty Joe Grimaldi was called for delay of game when his shot from the defensive zone went into the net (which the ref considered to be the same as putting it over the glass). The Petes had the two man advantage for about 40 seconds and the man advantage for about 18 seconds until the Radulay penalty expired. Jamie Tardiff took a penalty 10 seconds later to make it even play. The 67s had a great PK – by my reckoning the Petes didn’t even get a shot on goal the whole time much less get anywhere close to scoring. Great work with the pressure and working hard in front of Danny. During their brief PP during the remainder of the Tardiff penalty, Ottawa generated good pressure but was unable to score on the two shots that they got on Shantz. The wheels fell off for the 67s when Peterborough scored two quick goals 30 seconds apart in the last minute and a half of the period. Justin Caruana scored when Ottawa could not clear the puck. Kaletta made a nice pass from behind the net to Justin standing in the slot who got it nicely past Danny. Hendrix also got an assist on the goal. The third Peterborough goal, 30 seconds later, came when Danny tried to clear the puck by bouncing it off the glass towards the Peterborough bench. Daniel Ryder intercepted it at the point and passed it to Steve Downie who snuck a slow backhand past Danny. Sorry Danny – you gotta wear that one and should actually get the minus on it.
The period ended 1 – 3 for Ottawa with total SOG 22 – 24 for the Petes with Peterborough out-shooting Ottawa 14 – 6.
Third Period: Peterborough went into defensive mode to protect their lead. The Ottawa players worked hard trying to get the goal that would spark the rest of the come-back but they got into penalty trouble which limited their chances. First, Chris Hulit was called for high sticking when his stick inadvertently went into the face of a Pete as Chris was trying to skate around him. Again, the 67s were really strong on the kill and came out unscathed except for the loss of time. Then, at 6:18 of the period, Grimaldi made a great play standing Greg Stewart up hard at the Ottawa blue line. Stewart went down and Jamie Tardiff came in to defend his honour. Grimaldi accepted the invitation and dropped the gloves. Tardiff may have slightly won the boxing match but Joe won the wrestling match bringing Tardiff to the ice on his back. The hit on Stewart looked fair to everyone around us but Joe got a roughing call plus 5 minutes for fighting. Again, the team did a really good job of killing the penalty. The final bit of trouble came with just over 6 minutes left to play. The alleged offense was early in the shift – apparently Pat Lahey got his stick into the face of one of the Petes (didn’t see who). After the play was whistled dead, many many seconds later, one of the linsemen spoke with the ref and since blood was drawn, Lahey got 4 minutes. Happy with the 4 minutes of advantage, the Petes didn’t work too terribly hard on the PP, and in fact their sloppy play led to more than a few turnovers, some of which could have been disastrous. The Petes didn’t score and Ottawa couldn’t come back at even strength in the last 2 and a half minute although they really tried hard.
Final score: 1 – 3 for the Petes with shots on goal 32 – 28 for Ottawa.
Thoughts: Opinion is divided in this household on whether it was a good game or not. I actually enjoyed it even though Ottawa lost. I liked the fast physical play, I thought our defense played much better than I have seen in a while, everyone worked hard and apart from the one major brain-cramp, Danny played well. There were a lot of chances; Shantz had to work for the win unlike Steve Mason on Friday. This game could have been won. Both Grimaldi and Voyta are playing much better in my opinion. They are getting into better position, causing turnovers, and working hard on their own boards. And Voyta didn’t get any penalties today! As usual, the Crazy-8s played really strong for such a young line. Interestingly, two of the Peterborough goals were scored against our line of vets but as I said before, I think Danny should get the minus on the third goal. All four lines saw ice time even once we were down the two goals. Killer must be giving them some experience with the Petes as this will be the round one match. Realistically, Ottawa will not probably win many of their remaining games and they will not change their standing. So getting everyone quality ice time against strong teams will be good preparation.
But now the 67s have had 36 PP opportunities and have only scored two goals – way back against Erie and Brampton. On the plus side, Peterborough was held 0/7 today.
The other opinion in this household is that Peterborough played dirty and that the 67s were very outplayed. Made for a lively discussion during the ride home.
We both agreed that Parc is crappy ref. Pity the poor teams if ever Beer and Parc were both scheduled for the same game. That would be brutal and grounds for complaint.
Three Stars of the Game:
First Star: Daniel Ryder (2 assists)
Second Star: Steve Downie (goal, assist and no suspensionable behaviour!!)
Third Star: Logan Couture (goal and, as usual, lots of hard work)
Hardest Working 67: Jamie McGinn