Despite a pair of dog bites over the weekend, I want to ease the minds of any shaken Oshawa Generals fans.
There isn’t much to worry about, they were barely flesh wounds.
Plain and simple Gens Army, it’s just too early, and the roster is still too thin to start pointing fingers for the team’s pair of losses to the Sudbury Wolves and Soo Greyhounds in their opening, northern Ontario road trip.
With the absence of not only team captain and the connective glue of Anthony Cirelli, but also starting goaltender Jeremy Brodeur (both still off at the respective NHL training camps), it’s no wonder the team struggled.
It was also the first initiation into realtime OHL hockey for Serron Noel, Renars Krastenbergs and Danil Antropov.
Yet, the offence was there. The boys managed eight goals in the two games. However, their game was missing the strong, back and forth style, of players like Cirelli, not to mention Oshawa’s special teams, which were practically at a loss without Mitch Vande Sompel. The club’s blue line was missing Riley Stillman as well.
With the exception of a few (expected) missteps, the Generals’ young players are doing exactly what they are expected to do.
Import draft pick Krastenbergs showed his talents over the weekend, scoring against Sudbury (he also had a pair in pre-season). Domenic Commisso and Jack Studnicka and Robbie Burt also showed promise.
The standout for this reporter though is the play of Eric Henderson.
Acquired last year in the Jacob Graves trade, the young winger opened the scoring for Oshawa against Sudbury and added a couple of helpers over the weekend.
The kid’s speed and skill with the puck are going to prove to be an asset for this team moving forward, and I’ll be looking for him as one of the club’s leading point-getters this season.
Looking ahead, I think Oshawa fans are going to be a little happier after this weekend as their strong veteran core start to arrive back at the GM Centre.
Hopefully they can shake off their NHL-training camp hangovers quicker than Michael Dal Colle did last season.
No question, it’s a big weekend for the team, but regardless of the outcome, I think Gens fans will just be happy to see their boys on the ice again (not to mention on the new jumbotron.
A couple of wins would be nice though.
Puck drops at 7:35 p.m. on Friday.