Running on empty

March 26, 2014

A team that has as much veteran talent as any in the Eastern Conference is on the verge of bowing out in the first round of the Ontario Hockey League playoffs.

Sudbury Wolves, who were challenging Oshawa Generals for first place but instead finished a disappointing fifth in the Eastern Conference, regular-season standings, have taken their losing ways into the playoffs.

And unless Sudbury pulls a playoff miracle and rebounds from a three games to none deficit in its first-round series with Barrie Colts, Wolves rookie coach Paul Fixter is going to have a lot of explaining to do.

To be sure, Wolves general manager Blaine Smith put together a team capable of winning the Eastern Conference and making it to the OHL finals this 2013-2014 season.

With proven, high-end OHL veterans such as goalie Franky Palazzese, defencemen Trevor Carrick, Jeff Corbett, Craig Duininck and Kevin Raine, forwards Mathew Campagna, Connor Crisp, Radek Faksa and Nathan Pancel, Smith handed Fixter a team that many figure is on par with — if not better than — top-seeded Oshawa.

But first came that mysterious topple from the top of the Eastern Conference.

And now the Wolves are facing elimination in the first round of the playoffs.

How did this happen?

Fixter is going to have to answer for this if the Wolves don’t rebound with four straight wins to defeat Barrie.

As GM, Smith can’t be happy with the way the Wolves have faltered under Fixter.

And imagine how Wolves owner Mark Burgess is feeling about Fixter?

I am not even going to get into what the reaction of Wolves fans will be should the season end in the first round of the playoffs.

Personally, I am a fan of Smith and the work he has done over this, his fourth season, as Wolves GM.

He went to bat for Fixter and brought the longtime Kitchener Rangers assistant coach to Sudbury.

Smith put an Eastern Conference championship contender on the table for Fixter.

But the coach has faltered and the Wolves are facing elimination.

How did this happen?

What you think about “Running on empty”

  1. Just a disgusting effort by the Wolves last night, terribly disappointing from a fans perspective. I was sure Mr Smith had put together a good club this year, but it all fell apart after the Jan 10-14 trade deadline. My father will stop attending home games next season after 17 years of being a loyal fan, and as for me well I wont decide on a season pass till late in the summer. well I always have the Barons right lol

  2. Bye Bye Woofers Brutal loss, Colts 7-0 Win yikes what a grand way to send your opposition Golfing in style to funny, Hate to say it but Congrats to the Barrie Colts good luck in round # 2 Boys !

  3. cannot believe that the Wolves are done! They should be going to the Conference Finals without any question!!!!!

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