To be sure, there has been much to cheer about through the early going of the 2014-2015 Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League regular season.
For example, in Sudbury, the new-look Nickel Barons have the best record in the nine-team NOJHL at 6-1-0 while in Elliot Lake, the expansion Wildcats are off to a 3-1-0 start and have averaged 578 fans at their three home games.
But on the flip side, the Mattawa Blackhawks and Blind River Beavers are both off to disastrous starts.
In Mattawa, the Blackhawks have lost seven straight games to start the season and have been out-scored 54-18.
In Blind River, the Beavers have lost four straight games to start the season and have been out-scored 36-7.
While it should be pointed out that Mattawa has yet to play at home this season, the fact is this is a team with eight 20-year olds and eight 19-year olds on its roster that has lost games by overwhelming scores of 10-0, 8-2 and 13-4.
As for Blind River, the Beavers might even be worse than the Blackhawks. In its four losses thus far, Blind River has been defeated by resounding scores of 12-1, 6-3, 8-1 and 10-2.
Yes, it is early in the season.
But it is clear that all is not well in Mattawa and Blind River — and already there is league-wide chatter and concern about the immediate future of both teams.