October 28, 2014

67's Perfect Weekend Marred By Konecny Injury

A 5-3 win over the Plymouth Whalers was overshadowed by a vicious cheapshot on captain Travis Konecny Sunday afternoon.  Despite a convincing win over a Plymouth team diluted with injuries and, soon, suspensions, the focus shifts to how this team can piece it together if their star is out for an extended period of time.

Salituro, McDonald already picking up the slack

Even before the injury, Dante Salituro was Ottawa's top performer down the middle of the ice.

Another hattrick for the third-year pivot up front should be a sign that their offence isn't in trouble just yet.  He has ten goals in his last five games.

If Salituro doesn't solidify the center position enough, Dylan McDonald is able to pick up some of the slack.

Albeit a bit of a fluke, catching the opposing goaltender deep in his net, McDonald's first career OHL goal was the game winner against the Whalers.

67's can't worry about Curcuruto

There's no denying what took place on Sunday was horrible; Gianluca Curcuruto's flying headshot of such a blindsided nature that even Konecny, arguably the league's most evasive player, didn't even see it coming.

It's unfortunate that Konecny was injured.  It's unfortunate that to stand up for his teammate under new rules, Erik Bradford had to sit in the penalty box for 17 minutes and is now one-tenth of the way to a suspension.

The 67's can't worry about the disciplinary action from here on out.  The imminent suspension to a player in another conference doesn't help the 67's, and this will barely be a blip in Curcuruto's career.

Two years ago in another rough Ottawa-Plymouth affair, Sean Monahan was suspended ten games for a check from behind.  His career didn't miss a beat.

Max Domi and Josh Ho-Sang haven't slowed down after the OHL gave them huge suspensions.

Ten game suspensions in the OHL are not a deterrent and they never will be.

The Barberpoles will feel a sense of justice when the suspension is handed down, but it should be the least of their concerns, merely a footnote.

There are no 67's left from the 2011 team that was visibly shaken by Tim Billingsley's headshot on Shane Prince that year, and hopefully there's a full culture change with this team, that they won't let this sort of hit rattle an entire season the way they did four seasons ago.

Ottawa has to worry about their upcoming six-game road stretch, including a tough 3-in-3 in the West next weekend.

EDIT:  Curcuruto was suspended 12 games.

Roster moves

Although not confirmed by the team, it's believed that Andrew Abou-Assaly has been released.

This comes on the heels of the team acquiring penalty killing specialist Trent Mallette from the Soo Greyhounds.

Mallette takes Salituro's old number and Brett Gustavsen's old role as a smaller, pesky forechecker.

Mallette made his debut Sunday on a line with Sam Studnicka and Connor Graham, who added two assists to his season's total.

Graham and Abou-Assaly were jockeying for position on the third line, and it appears Graham's early offensive output is keeping him in the Nation's Capital.

Some photos from the game courtesy of Robert Lefebvre from IceLevel.com

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