Saturday, December 06, 2008

Fronts: The Mystic Knights of the Blame Game -- Springer, Mav and Dougie!

Doug Gilmour has not had much success winning games as the Kingston Frontenacs rookie coach, 1-6-0-1 after an 8-3 loss at home last night to a so-so Peterborough team that played its backup goalie.

Gilmour is already blaming players at a Larry Mavety level, however (and The Royal Mavesty has a doctorate in deflecting blame).
"If Parksie (Mavric Parks) can't do it or if (backup goalie Anthony) Peters can't, then we need to get someone in who can. It's just the way it is. They've got to stop the puck."
Kingston had a 48-27 edge in shots on goal. Of course, citing the shots is facts-plus-fiction, since it doesn't take Scotty Bowman to know it's quality of the shots, not the quantity. The Springer Frontenacs' offerings last night, when they had no triggerman since Josh Brittain has been traded (and Ethan Werek was sitting out a suspension), were shots from 30-40 feet out that a bantam goaltender could have stopped, no problem.

Meantime, the shift disturbers over at Save Our Kingston Frontenacs were quick to rally to the goalies' defence, something that team as a whole has had trouble doing this season. This is odd, since D-men Taylor Doherty and Erik Gudbranson are both on NHL scouts' radar screeens).

Parks has been in goal for all six of Kingston's wins. In those games, he's stopped 214-of-229 shots, which works out 38 shots per game, a 2.48 goals-against average and .934 save percentage.

His save percentage has been below .900 in only one of those games. In that game, the Frontenacs were playing John Tavares and the Oshawa Generals. Oshawa's goalie that night, by the way, was a former high draft pick of Mavety's who has since left the Ontario Hockey League to play Junior B. Parks has also recorded wins in games where the opposing goalies were Mike Murphy of Belleville and Jeremy Smith of Plymouth, two of the best in the league.

Anthony Peters, Kingston's No. 2 goalie, meantime, should get cut some slack. He broke his ankle after being struck by a car at a cross-walk just more than a year ago, and has hardly played ever since. He has been in the OHL off and on for three seasons, and has still has a big donut in the win column, which raises questions about whether the Frontenacs should have found another goaltender back at the start of the season.

It takes some gall for Gilmour -- whom the Save Our Kingston Frontenacs guys are calling the MC, as in the Manchurian Coach -- to carry on like it was all the goalies' fault. The Frontenacs are half a hockey team, and all of that is due to Mavety's mismanagement and owner Doug Springer's quarter-assed operation.

It's also fair comment to say that without Pete Stevens' pugilistic prowess -- actually, he got the game-winning goal for Barrie in its win over the Soixante-Septs last night, so the Fronts could use his scoring prowess -- teams are taking liberties with Kingston's players. Check out the cheap shot by Peterborough's Tony Romano on George Lovatsis at the 35-second mark of the chip.

The rule with these Frontenacs posts is to not poke fun at the players, who are after all, just young men, 16 to 20 years old. Let's just say that two Fronts who dropped the gloves last night, first Doherty and then Matthew Kang, didn't put the fear of God into anyone.

Both of those tussles would have got an easy gong from Bill Bixby if they had been acts on The Gong Show, instead of part of a gong show.

Meantime, just to add to the karma, Stevens' game-winner for Barrie last night was assisted by Brittain and it was a power-play goal. The Frontenacs, 0-for-7 with the odd-man disadvantage last night, are now at 9.5% on the PP this season, on pace for the second-worst finish in the OHL since 2000.

Don't worry, though, they're working on a way to blame that on the goaltending, or on Stephane Dion, or somebody other than themselves.

(Post-script: This is mildly amusing. This site had never, not once, used the word dreary, until Wednesday: "Meantime, that cheery Doug Gilmour story from a couple weeks ago is fast becoming a dreary Doug Springer story, which anyone with a head could have expected."

The lede today in the Kingston daily -- total coincidence -- "The dreary times continued last night for the Kingston Frontenacs, who can't even find a way to win at the K-Rock Centre."

Anyways, total coincidence ... besides, it's OK. TSN talent has been known to give voice to our memes, as Jock Climie did on the Queen's Gaels issue, or as James Duthie did by fleshing out an Avery-and-Emery joke into a blog post this morning.

Anything to help, eh.


Anonymous said...

Jesus, Nate, you bitter much just because you got fired from the last 2 papers you worked for and The Whig-Standard turned you down how many times is it now?

kinger said...

Well Doug Graham obviously reads this blog.