Saturday, February 14, 2009

Fronts: Don't make this hate on Nate week

No one's trying to pick on Nathan Moon. He has had seven points in the past two games, both of which the Kingston Frontenacs won to fashion, wait for it, their first winning streak all season.

Then again, the clip of Moon slashing Oshawa's James DeLory, who retaliated with extreme prejudice and got a 12-game suspension, has been all over the Internet. There was Moon, after all that, whacking Brampton's Sergei Grachev last night, and the colour commentator saying, initially, "I don't know why they would call Moon on this."

It only took 54 games and some surpassingly subpar goaltending from the Ottawa 67's Adam Courchaine and Brampton's Thomas McCollum, but the Frontenacs have won two in a row. It's great for the players, who have endured a lot of losing this season, but any excitement is tempered when you look at what some of the other OHL's former drop cases have done this season.

The Erie Otters, whom the Fronts coincidentally play tonight, are running sixth in the stacked Western Conference after being dismal for two seasons (33 points in 2006-07, 40 in '07-08). The other non-playoff team, the Owen Sound Attack, playing in the league's smallest market, are hanging on to the final playoff spot in the West.

The Soo Greyhounds, Kingston's competition in the Crater for Catenacci, Hunt for Harrington or Swoon For Sefton, have also gone younger than Kingston. Ten Greyhounds are 1991 or or '92 birthdate players, compared to just eight of the Frontenacs.

It is important to keep in mind how it works in the world of Fronts owner Doug Springer and GM-for-life Larry Mavety. The bar can be set as low as they like. Twenty-three wins in 68 games last season was enough for Springer to hang the Mission Accomplished banner. This edition of Limestone City Light Brigade has 12 wins with 14 games remaining; if they get to 17-18, they'll the season a success. You better agree, or Nathan Moon might take out one of your ankles.

Just kidding, Mooner. Great game last night; you have to cheer for anyone named Nathan with a birthday on Jan. 4.


Sam said...

The craziest part about that slash - Moon got a 2 minute penalty for it... called for holding WTF? Anyways Moon's first goal was brilliant. Their powerplay continues to amaze me, I just don't understand how it is physically possible to have such a bad powerplay, but their penalty killers actually put in a decent shift. Its actually the even strength situations that seem to provide a bigger problem for Kingston than the penalty kills.

sager said...

Twelve per cent on the PP, last in the league. Granted, if you still had Josh Brittain as your triggerman.

The PK is also last (74.1%), but considering they were below 70 at one point, yes, it is improved under Gilmour. I'm not a big fan of the way power play and PK stats are kept. If a team gets a 4-minute advantage and scores with :01 left, it's treated the same as if they scored right off the faceoff.

Big V said...

Went to the game last night...
There are so many things wrong with the frontenacs, so here is a few..

1. The players all look lazy as hell. In the first period it was as if all players were going through the motions before they were about to lose. No one was chasing hard after loose pucks... not second efforts on passes jsut ahead of them.
2. Everytime kingston got a goal, brampton would score or get a really good chance to score right after. Its like the fronts dont know what its like to be winnning. It's as if the players believe that once you score you can shut er down.
3. PP is brutal...
4. Kingston players are lazy... have a mentioned that yet? If i knew that I was going to see a game where all the players were going to work their asses off all the time... then hell maybe i'd buy season tickets.

I feel like if the fronts dont make major changes to either ownership or just the GM position, nothing is going to change. Anyone who gets drafted there immediately reconsider their hockey career and the drive to succseed is personal not team oriented, hence the lazyness on the ice.
Why try hard when no matter what we do the GM is going to screw the team so we still suck.

sager said...

It seems to be the only players who can get out of Kingston are the ones who are very self-motivated, i.e., Werek, Gudbranson and maybe Doherty. They'll probably get Brittained next season or in 2010-11, traded away once the team gets the cash for having a player taken in the NHL draft.

Moon might be an exception to the rule; he's been Mavety's pet and despite his better play since New Year's, a leopard doesn't always change its spots.

Sam said...

I also want to give a shout out to Lovatsis, who put in a good effort, and made some very important steals.

kinger said...

Big V, it's illegal to say the Fronts are lazy. By law, you must say that Gilmour has magically inserted tremendous work ethic into the Frontenacs that will lead to playoff contention within a year, regardless of upper management changes.

Sure, it doesn't make sense, but it's Doug Gilmour, so it has to be true!

Big V said...

Oh yeah... my bad...