Fired up for a win

Randy Russon
October 9, 2018

It has been only six of what is a 68-game, regular-season schedule. But as the Flint Firebirds are the only team without a victory in the early stages of the 2018-2019 Ontario Hockey League season, the elusive win is becoming much-needed.

To be sure, a record of 0-6-0 to begin this OHL season cannot be sitting well with anyone who has any sort of association with the Firebirds.

After missing the Western Conference playoffs in 2017-2018 with a record of 20-43-5, much more was expected of Flint in 2018-2019.

But not only do the Firebirds have a record of 0-6-0, they have been out-scored by a 38-10 margin.

The lack of production and the inability to shut down the opposition stands out.

Four high-end, veteran forwards — Ty Dellandrea, Hunter Holmes, Connor Roberts and C.J. Clarke — who seemed poised for big things this season, have combined for only two goals thus far.

And overage goalie Emanuel Vella, acquired in an off season trade with the Mississauga Steelheads, has a record of 0-4-0 to go with a 6.45 goals against average and .824 save percentage.

Doing what he can, Flint general manager Barclay Branch has made three trades — all with the talent-rich London Knights — since the start of the season but the Firebirds have been unable to get it going thus far.

Next up for the Firebirds is a road match on Wednesday against the 3-3-1 Soo Greyhounds. Of note, the Firebirds have managed to pick up more than a few wins in the Soo over the past couple of years.

With a glance at what is a decent roster, it is but a matter of time before Flint wins a game. But the longer that takes, the more the pressure increases and the less the odds will be at turning the season around.

Personally, I am one who called for Flint to make the playoffs this season. And 0-6-0 record aside, I do believe that the Firebirds have a lineup to get there.

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