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Tuesday, January 17, 2017

What Lies Ahead Head to Head

Owen Sound | by Fred Wallace  

Remaining Key Matches For OHL Western Conference Top 6

 

Head To Head

Because the Owen Sound Attack play just twice in the next 11 days, I attempted a project that I hoped would clarify who would finish where in the Ontario Hockey League's Western Conference.

Overlooking games-in-hand, only 5 points separate the top 5 teams in the Conference.

My personal belief is that after the OHL Trade Deadline a margin of 7 points in the standings is a difficult gap to bridge; usually too difficult to bridge.

However, since Kitchener may have deserved a better outcome ( from all reports ) at Windsor Thursday, and then followed with a home ice wins over Barrie then Erie on the weekend, I'll reluctantly alter my belief for the moment and include the Rangers in the conversation.

Yes, there will be upsets and outside factors, but for the moment, here's the landscape.....


OHL Western Conference Top 6
as of Jan 16/17

SSM    43    31    10    2    0    64
LDN    41    28    7    3    3    62
ER    42    29    10    2    1    61
WSR    41    27    8    5    1    60
OS    43    29    13    1    0    59
KIT    42    24    14    2    2    52


Key Head to Head Games remaining


Sault Ste Marie Greyhounds

Jan 27 vs Windsor
Feb 17 vs Kitchener
Mar 2 @ Windsor
Mar 5 @ Kitchener
Mar 10 vs Kitchener
Mar 19 vs London

Remaining games head to head with Western Conference Top 6 = 6



London Knights

Jan 27 vs Erie
Jan 28 @ Owen Sound
Feb 1 vs Kitchener
Feb 3 vs Owen Sound
Feb 10 @ Kitchener
Feb 15 @ Erie
Feb 17 vs Owen Sound
Feb 24 vs Windsor
Feb 25 @ Owen Sound
Mar 3 @ Kitchener
Mar 4 @ Windsor
Mar 10 vs Erie
Mar 14 @ Erie
Mar 19 @ Sault Ste Marie

Remaining games head to head with Western Conference Top 6 = 14


Erie Otters

Jan 27 @ London
Feb 12 vs Windsor
Feb 15 vs London
Feb 26 @ Owen Sound
Mar 9 @ Windsor
Mar 10 @ London
Mar 14 vs London
Mar 17 @ Kitchener

Remaining games head to head with Western Conference Top 6 = 8


Windsor Spitfires

Jan 17 @ Kitchener
Jan 27 @ Sault Ste Marie
Feb 3 @ Kitchener
Feb 4 @ Owen Sound
Feb 12 @ Erie
Feb 24 @ London
Mar 2 vs Sault Ste Marie
Mar 4 vs London
Mar 9 vs Erie
Mar 16 vs Owen Sound

Remaining games head to head with Western Conference Top 6 = 10


Owen Sound Attack

Jan 28 vs London
Jan 29 vs Kitchener
Feb 3 @ London
Feb 4 vs Windsor
Feb 17 @ London
Feb 23 @ Kitchener
Feb 25 vs London
Feb 26 vs Erie
Mar 16 @ Windsor
Mar 18 vs Kitchener

Remaining games head to head with Western Conference Top 6 = 10


Kitchener Rangers

Jan 17 vs Windsor
Jan 29 @ Owen Sound
Feb 1 @ London
Feb 3 vs Windsor
Feb 10 vs London
Feb 17 @ Sault Ste Marie
Feb 23 vs Owen Sound
Mar 3 vs London
Mar 5 vs Sault Ste Marie
Mar 10 @ Sault Ste Marie
Mar 17 vs Erie
Mar 18 @ Owen Sound

Remaining games head to head with Western Conference Top 6 = 12


I think it's fair to say, the Greyhounds have the lightest schedule of the Top 6 Western Conference teams, facing # 2 London once, # 4 Windsor twice and # 6 Kitchener 3 times.

I think it's also fair to say that London's 14 head to head with the Top 6 represents the heaviest schedule on the horizon. Most notably, London and Erie meet 4 times which represents half of Erie's remaining Top 6 contests.

Interesting that both Windsor and Owen Sound, projected by almost everyone to be first round playoff opponents, each have 10 games remaining in the Top 6 category, which includes a head to head home game and road game.

And if Kitchener is to rise above the # 6 seed, they will do so at the expense of those in front of them as 12 of their remaining 26 games are Top 6 head to heads.


Therefore, my projected finish in the Western Conference is:

1st Sault Ste Marie

2nd Erie ( unless London sweeps all 4 head to heads )

3rd London

4th ?

5th ?

6th Kitchener

 

 

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