The Frontenacs performance in their first two preseason can best be described by the wise words of Kanye (or Daft Punk, whatever floats your boat) the team looks "harder, better, faster and stronger" than last year. A 5-2 win over the Ottawa 67's followed up by a 4-2 win over the Bellville Bulls are both encouraging signs.
Remember this is a team that was winless in eight preseason games last season, on the road to a disastrous season. Early on for the Frontenacs things are looking much better. It is a very different team than took to the ice last summer not only has the work rate seemed to have improved but also the technical skill level.
Doug Gilmour has a team of players who get the system and are seemingly intelligent players which was certainly missing last season. As the Detroit Lions have proved preseason results can be very misleading and the Frontenacs success may just be fueling the false hope but something feels different this season.
- Offseason acquisition Tyler Beskorowany seems to be the man for the job between the posts. Mavric Parks looked very under confident against Bellville and had several mistakes that went unpunished. We've yet to see John Cullen this preseason, who was solid but unremarkable last year with the Frontenacs. Beskorowany was commanding against Ottawa and looked up for the number one role.
- Colt Kennedy has always been a hardworking effective player, but tonight against Bellville he was the best player on the ice for Kingston. He scored the winner, was forcing turnovers inside the Bellville blue line, and creating chances in the absence of the big name forwards.
- Draft pick Alan Quine hasn't been hugely influential in the two preseason games, but he is certainly not out of his depth in the OHL. He has been forechecking well and working hard, he may not be a great goal scorer, but he will certainly carve out a fair amount of chances for Kingston this year.
- Although the Frontenacs undoubtedly have some very talented players on the team it has never been a problem of them not being able to produce it is the guys below them not chipping in which has hurt the Fronts. Against Bellville the Fronts proved that they can score even with out Ethan Werek, Nathan Moon, Brian Lashoff and Taylor Doherty in the lineup.
- The Frontenac powerplay in both games looked like a powerplay. The Frontenacs were maintaining possession of the puck for most of the time that they had a man advantage, they were passing it around inside the opposition blue line and creating chances. With several lines getting a shot on the powerplay, all of them looked exponentially better than last season.
- Frontenac giveways inside their own zone are as inevitable as Larry Mavety staying on with the Frontenacs for another year, but the number of mindless giveaways does seem to have decreased.
- The Frontenacs seem to be getting into good positions much more often than last season. This may be down to having more fast skaters on the team who can beat their man or just playing against weakened opposition. Either way it is another encouraging sign.
Is all of this praise an overreaction to two meaningless exhibition games? Probably, but lets enjoy it while we can.