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Monday, April 2, 2012


You can be of two minds with the Ice Dogs six game elimination of the Oshawa Generals, depending on whether or not you view your cup as half-full or half-empty.  The glass half-full theory will say that it is good that the Ice Dogs got their mettle tested in the first round as it will steel them for the rest of what hopefully is a lengthy play-off run.  They will also point to a decided shots on goal advantage forged by the Dogs in order to demonstrate Niagara's obvious superiority.  The glass half-empty fan will stew over the fact that the Ice Dogs could have and should have dispatched the Generals in four straight, particularly after dominant performances in Game 1 and Game 2. 

Make no mistake about it, the Ice Dogs are supremely deep, confident and skilled team.  They can run four lines that each bring something special to the table.  In fact in each of the six games in the Oshawa series the Dogs had a player get at least two goals.  Alex Friesen had a hat-trick in Game 1, Steven Shipley got two goals in Games 2 and 4.  Ryan Strome got two goals in Games 3 and 5, while David Pacan scored a pair in Game 6.  That is some serious offensive depth!  They have three potential number one D men in Dougie Hamilton,  Jamie Oleksiak and Brock Beukeboom and they have rock-solid goaltending,  helmed by Mark Visentin.  That said, the Ice Dogs, like all teams have a few flaws and the Generals were able to expose some of them and achieve success.  Oshawa's ability to go East -West on the Ice Dogs through the skating of Lucas Lessio or when they made quick passes in the Ice Dogs zone netted them some goals.  Going North-South against the Ice Dogs proved to be futile.  The Ice Dogs controlled the neutral zone for the most part and counter attack and transition effortlessly.  

The next round is expected to begin in Niagara on Friday evening with three potential opponents in play in the Belleville Bulls, Mississauga St-Michaels Majors or the Brampton Battalion. 





Definitely a thumbs in the middle show for me,stolen by Undertaker's match vs HHH in Hell in a Cell.  The low point was a pointless :18 squash by Seamus over Daniel Bryan that put a bad taste in my mouth at the beginning of the PPV, and never fully left.   The problem with the Hell in a Cell match is that it had everything, and because it happened in the middle of the show left all the other matches lacking in the fierce drama HHH/Undertaker provided.  Rock and Cena worked hard, but at 31 minutes was too long and attempts to build drama and suspense actually came across as a bit boring at times.   Jericho/Punk delivered a great match, but on the hells of the Hell in the Cell seemed to suffer a bit by comparison.   Cody Rhodes/Big Show and Kane/Randy Orton were matches we could have seen on Monday Night Raw any week of the year and the less said about Team Johnny vs Team Teddy and the Diva's match the better.   Dreadful  moments of the show were Brodus Clay's appearance and a sinful shilling of The Deadliest Catch that wasted Mick Foley's talents.  Foley is running the risk of being a comedic punchline and a sell out if he keeps doing this silly stuff.   There seemed to be some buzz in Miami about surprise appearances by Brock Lesner and/or Batista.  Neither of those materialized.   One positive is that the 78 000 + in attendance carried their end of the bargain and showed a great amount of emotion which is sometimes hard to sense in an open air stadium. 

Steve Clark

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