Can the Soo Greyhounds be beat come playoff time? Being that they are not perfect, then yes, they can and will be beat. But I don’t know if there is a team in the Ontario Hockey League that can beat the Soo four times in a seven-game series.
With 98 points from a record of 47-6-4, the Greyhounds are first overall as regular-season play heads into the final four weeks of the schedule before the playoffs begin.
There are good teams out there capable of competing with the Greyhounds. There are the Sarnia Sting, Kitchener Rangers and Owen Sound Attack — watch out for the suddenly-formidable Attack — in the Western Conference and the Hamilton Bulldogs and Kingston Frontenacs from the Eastern Conference, to name five serious challengers.
But do the above-mentioned five teams have what it takes to beat the Soo four times to win a series?
Ask the same question to 100 folks who follow the OHL closely and who are not partisan to a particular contending team and I am guessing that 95 per cent will answer “no.”
The Greyhounds are very good. Exceptionally good, perhaps.
They are fast, they are furious, they are skilled, they are deep, they are seasoned, they are dangerous and they are well-coached.
They also have a swagger to them that is borderline cocky.
Do they rub some folks the wrong way? Yes they do.
Do they run up the score to prove a point? Let’s just say that the 10-0 and 7-1 weekend drubbings of Hamilton and Sarnia contained a degree of one-up-man-ship on the part of the Soo crew.
Personally, I took exception with the way the Greyhounds added on to what was an 8-0 lead over Hamilton with two late, third-period power play goals that the Soo scored with its no. 1 unit on the ice. Was it really necessary for Greyhounds head coach Drew Bannister to rub it in the face of Bulldogs bench boss John Gruden?
Imagine the outcry among Sault Ste. Marie fans if some team did that to the Greyhounds?
At any rate, the Greyhounds are where they are because general manager Kyle Raftis has assembled a team built to win an OHL championship this season. Simply put, this is a scary-good Greyhound team.
Can they be beat come playoff time?
Chances are, nope.