There is a good measure of talent on the major midget Soo Greyhounds. But as they are on break from the Great North Midget Hockey League slate, the Greyhound midgets are not in a position of strength.
A record of 9-16-4 has the Greyhounds in fourth place among the six teams in the major midget division of the Great North. The Soo trails the North Bay Trappers, Sudbury Nickel Capital Wolves and Kapuskasing Flyers by healthy margins in the standings and is looking over its shoulder at the fifth-place Timmins Majors.
Too much time in the penalty box and too many goals allowed are statistics that stand out when perusing the numbers as they pertain to the Soo major midgets.
Through their 29 league games to date, the Greyhounds have spent 613 minutes in the penalty box, which includes two players who have racked up more than 90 minutes apiece in the sin bin. By comparison, first place North Bay has been tagged with 415 penalty minutes in 26 games.
In the goals against department, the Greyhounds have the worst average among major midget teams. The Soo has a goals against average of just over 5.00 per outing, which is even higher than the last place New Liskeard Cubs.
Ergo, to say that a lack of discipline and a lack of attention to team defense has played a role in the Greyhounds 9-16-4 record to date might rank as an understatement, if not a fact.
And while the players have to accept some responsibility for their record through 29 games, the coaching staff needs to take accountability for an overall lack of discipline and a conditioning level that does not appear to be in line with other teams in the Great North.
To be sure, there are a number of capable players on the Greyhounds who have shown that they have the skill and potential to advance to the next level of the game — let us say for example, in the foreseeable future, the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League.
Midget veterans such as Avery Rebek, Caleb Wood and Parker Morgan are hard working, better-than-average forwards and leaders in the goal scoring department with double digit totals of 17, 13 and 10, respectively.
Rookie forwards Nick Jameus and Nick Niro have shown a lot of promise as the two minor midget aged — as in 2002 birth date — players on the Soo major midget squad.
And on the blue line, as one example, 2001 birth year rookie Jordan Ritchie has progressed well enough to recently suit up for a pair of games as an affiliate player for the French River Rapids of the aforementioned NOJHL.
An underachieving record of 9-16-4 has led to concerns from both players and parents.
Players held a players-only meeting earlier in the season. And just last night, a group of parents held a meeting of their own.
This is a 2017-2018 season that has not gone well for the Soo major midgets, who for a long period of time were an annual power house in the Great North loop with the reputable likes of Mike Hall and then Jim Capy at the helm as head coach.
Can the 2017-2018 season be salvaged, at least in terms of respect and player development?
That starts with the coaching staff, specifically the head coach.
Upcoming, the Greyhound midgets have three games on the slate for December 29, 30 and 31 — two road matches against last place New Liskeard and a third away game versus the minor midget North Bay Trappers.
The clock is ticking on this season for the Greyhound major midgets. And the restless hands of time are threatening to pass them by.
Yes, there has been much negative that has surrounded the Greyhound major midgets over the course of the season to date.
But negativity spawns from within.
And it should be up to those who have created the negativity to try to turn the situation into a positive.
PHOTO: Soo Greyhounds forward Caleb Wood, in Great North Midget Hockey League action against the Timmins Majors. (Photo by Postmedia.)