Spitfires are sputtering

November 14, 2023

Windsor Spitfires are in a nosedive that requires imminent attention. Since scoring a big victory over the Western Conference-leading Kitchener Rangers, the Spitfires have dropped five straight games and are now in last place among the 20 teams of the Ontario Hockey League with a record of 4-13-1.

Which is quite a descent in flight for the Spitfires, who have finished atop the standings of the 10-team Western Conference in each of the past two OHL seasons. While a rebuild was in order for the 2023-2024 edition of the Spitfires, the sputtering start to this season was not expected to be as bad as the 4-13-1 record is.

The Spitfires have a good number of offensive weapons and have shown they can score. But what has been disheartening for followers of the Spitfires is the 98 goals that Windsor has allowed in the 18 games played to date.

Equally troubling is, that over the past five straight losses, the Spitfires lost two games in which they scored plenty but fell to the London Knights and Saginaw Spirit by scores of 10-7 and 6-5.

Having said that, the Spitfires deserved to come away with at least a couple of points over the five game losing streak. The 6-5 loss to Saginaw came on a Spirit goal in in the final seconds of play. And a similar last second gut-punch goal happened in a road loss to the Soo Greyhounds.

Still, something has to give.

First year head coach Jerrod Smith needs to find a way to reverse the trend of deflating defeats. And veteran general manager Billy Bowler, who is the architect of the recent successes in Windsor, will have to soon decide whether this season is salvageable or if he should start the process of moving out veteran assets for younger players and/or future draft picks.

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