Prospect Preview: Generals Hold Down Top Spot

Thursday, 10.25.2012 / 3:01 PM
By Rob Mixer - BlueJackets.com / CBJ Today

When you're leading the division and adversity strikes, suddenly, every game's importance hits another level.

The Oshawa Generals got to the summit of the Ontario Hockey League's East Division using a balanced attack, some stellar play by their captain, and quality goaltending from a netminder who needed a strong season. Loaded for bear with several top young players, the Generals looked to be in solid position to remain in contention all season.

They got their first bump in the road over the weekend.

In a game against the Ottawa 67's, Oshawa forward Scott Laughton (a first-round pick of the Philadelphia Flyers) delivered a dangerous hit to the head of Ottawa forward Daniel Walsh, who had his back to the play and never saw it coming.

Laughton was handed a five-minute major penalty and a game misconduct -- meaning he will likely face disciplinary action from the OHL, which has really started to crack down on hits to the head in recent years. Not only is Laughton a significant contributor for the Generals, he's one of those guys that can get the bench ignited with his play.

In this case, though, he may have cost him team dearly. A lengthy suspension could force Oshawa to play without two key forwards, as Lucas Lessio left the game on Saturday due to tendon damage due to a skate blade cut.

TSN's Bob McKenzie also said Lessio could be out up to three months, all but removing him from consideration for Team Canada's World Junior team and leaving the Generals without an important part of their attack.

Boone Jenner has been their star all season long, and he's going to be counted on to step up in the absence of his teammates. Jenner is one point behind Vincent Trocheck (Saginaw) and Mark Scheifele (Barrie) for the OHL's scoring lead, and his 19 points have had a tendency to come at very opportunistic moments in hockey games.

Along with line mates Tyler Biggs and Michael Dal Colle, the Jenner unit figures to be the go-to trio for Oshawa, at least for the time being. How will they respond to be being checked as the top unit, and can the Generals' secondary lines generate enough chances to warrant some attention?

These are questions that will weigh heavily on the mind of head coach D.J. Smith, who has gotten a lot of mileage from his top players thus far.

With home games this weekend against Saginaw (Friday) and Peterborough (Sunday afternoon), there's no time to sit back and sulk -- the Generals are just four points ahead of the Belleville Bulls, who have played much better of late.

Belleville is also getting excellent goaltending from Malcolm Subban after some rough outings to start the year.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 y - PIT 82 51 24 7 249 207 109
3 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
4 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
5 x - NYR 82 45 31 6 218 193 96
6 x - PHI 82 42 30 10 236 235 94
7 x - CBJ 82 43 32 7 231 216 93
8 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
9 WSH 82 38 30 14 235 240 90
10 NJD 82 35 29 18 197 208 88
11 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
12 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
13 CAR 82 36 35 11 207 230 83
14 NYI 82 34 37 11 225 267 79
15 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
16 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 PLAYOFFS
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Johnson 1 1 1 0 2
D. MacKenzie 1 1 0 0 1
M. Letestu 1 1 0 1 1
B. Dubinsky 1 0 1 1 1
B. Jenner 1 0 1 -1 1
F. Tyutin 1 0 0 -1 0
J. Wisniewski 1 0 0 0 0
B. Comeau 1 0 0 -1 0
N. Nikitin 1 0 0 0 0
J. Skille 1 0 0 -1 0
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
S. Bobrovsky 0 1 0 .875 4.07
 
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