By Chris Jones/The Oshawa Express
The Gens have an 8-5-1 record after 14 games in the 2018-19 season. But they’re stats say they should be better. So what’s going on?
In those 14 games, the Gens have a total of 57 goals for, and 42 against. That means that they’ve scored 15 more goals than they’re opponents. This early into the season, that’s a pretty big goal differential.
It’s not like they haven’t had standout players either. Serron Noel has scored 11 goals in 14 games so far to go along with four assists. That’s 15 points in 14 games, which is more than a point per game.
Noel isn’t the only one who’s performing strongly either, as Eric Henderson has scored an uncharacteristically high number of goals with seven so far and two multi-goal games, one of which was a hat trick. To go with his seven goals, he has eight assists, giving him 15 points in 14 games.
Captain Jack Studnicka is also playing impressively with 18 points in 13 games. There are also five other players with at least seven points so far.
So, with so many players adding to the score sheet, it must be defense, right?
Well, of the Gens defenseman, none of them have a plus-minus rating below zero, and Giovanni Vallati is the closest having a plus-minus of zero, but he’s also scored nine points so far, while Mitchell Brewer is plus-six with four points. So it’s not defense that’s the problem.
So, if it’s not defense, maybe it’s goaltending?
Well, Kyle Keyser is having a very strong start to his season so far with a 2.36 GAA and .926 save percentage in nine games. If he keeps these numbers up, it’ll be his best year by far.
So that begs the question, if it’s not offense, defense or goaltending, then what is it? Is it penalties?
No, they have the second fewest penalty minutes in the Eastern Conference with 157. Only the Mississauga Steelheads have fewer with 131.
Well, one possible theory is that it’s just dumb luck and it’ll turn itself around. But it could also be that when the Gens win, they win by a large margin. But when they lose, it’s almost always a close game.
In games that the Generals have won, they have scored 43 goals in eight games compared to their opponents 17 goals scored. That means they are allowing just over two goals per win.
In three of their wins, they have scored seven goals. This means that 21 of their first 57 goals came from those three games.
In their losses, the Gens have scored nine goals compared to a total of 19 of their goals against. They also have an overtime loss where they scored five and allowed six goals.
Of those six total losses, including the overtime loss, the Gens have finished the game only one goal back three times, and they’ve lost one by two once. The Gens have never lost by more than three this season, while they have beaten their opponents by six once, and by five once as well. They have scored seven goals in three of their wins, but have only scored twice in four losses.
Essentially, when the Gens win, they win big. But when they lose, the offense is kept at bay.
The Generals need to learn to win without scoring more than three goals, as they have scored four goals or more in all of their wins, and have scored more than two in only one loss, and that was in the game against Hamilton when they went to overtime.
When it comes time for the playoffs, if the Gens make it, they will be playing games where they will have to grind to win, and that has not been their style so far this season.