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G60: Peterborough at Hamilton

G60: Peterborough at Hamilton

Hockey fans in the city of Hamilton have been denied the sight of Bulldogs playoff hockey for the past five years. Within the Montreal system, the Bulldogs had been mediocre and often fell flat of expectations. In their first year in the OHL, the Bulldogs’ playoff hopes were squashed on the road during the final weekend. Finally, hockey fans in this city will be able to cheer on their team into the spring.

  • Bulldogs in September 2015: 1-1-0
  • Bulldogs in September 2016: 3-1-0
  • Bulldogs in October 2015: 5-6-0
  • Bulldogs in October 2016: 5-4-1
  • Bulldogs in November 2015: 3-8-1
  • Bulldogs in November 2016: 5-5-2
  • Bulldogs in December 2015: 5-2-2
  • Bulldogs in December 2016: 3-4-0-2
  • Bulldogs in January 2016: 4-8-1
  • Bulldogs in January 2017: 6-5-0
  • Bulldogs in February 2016: 4-5-4
  • Bulldogs in February 2017: 7-3-1
  • Bulldogs after 59 in 2015-16: 22-31-8, 52 points (-52 goal differential)
  • Bulldogs after 59 in 2016-17: 29-24-4-2, 64 points (15 goal differential)
  • Bulldogs PDO after 59: 100.2

It’s not hard to see the difference in results this team has developed over the last 12 months. The biggest difference is the quality of experienced defenders Hamilton has iced on the blueline this year. Considering that 2015/16’s roster consisted only of defenders who were 18 and younger, it’s no shock there was a -52 goal differential.

Hamilton Bulldogs’ captain Justin Lemcke battles Peterborough Petes’ Pavel Gogolev for the puck against at the Memorial Centre in Peterborough, Ont. (Photo: Clifford Skarstedt / Peterborough Examiner)

  • Segment 1: 4-1-0 PDO: 110.3
  • Segment 2: 3-2-0 PDO: 102.0
  • Segment 3: 2-2-1 PDO: 96.9
  • Segment 4: 2-1-2 PDO: 78.0
  • Segment 5: 2-3-0 PDO: 98.9
  • Segment 6: 0-3-2 PDO: 92.2
  • Segment 7: 3-2-0 PDO: 99.3
  • Segment 8: 3-2-0 PDO: 104.6
  • Segment 9: 0-3-2 PDO: 105.0
  • Segment 10: 1-4-0 PDO: 95.4
  • Segment 11: 4-1-0 PDO: 102.1

Hamilton wraps up Segment 12 tonight verses the Petes. They’ve managed a very average PDO of 100.8 over the last four games, Hamilton comes into the game behind the Petes by 8 wins despite mirror reflections when analyzing the team’s goals for and goals against records. Hamilton has found a way to score in bunches when they are winning this season, scoring four or more goals in 27 games. What they need to find a way to do is start fending off teams in tight one goal games.

Counting down the days

There is every indication that we’re going to be watching a Hamilton vs Kingston matchup in the first round later this month. If last Sunday was the preview then the Bulldogs are going to be force fed tight checking defensive hockey. Bulldogs captain Justin Lemcke is bit reluctant to look to far forward to the playoffs with 9 games remaining on the schedule, but acknowledges that it’s likely Kingston who the team will face-off against. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter too much who their opponents are:

“I think we can beat any team in a seven game series, on this side especially. So looking ahead all of the inter-conference games are going to be big going into the end of the year.” – Justin Lemcke

Over the next few weeks, we’ll try to check out the numbers and see just how well Hamilton matches up against all of their potential opponents in the playoffs. Confidence from the Captain is to be expected, but with 9 games against Eastern opponents, there are still plenty of lessons to be learned before the post season begins.

About The Author

Krist Hayes

Krist is fan of the game of hockey that has been moonlighting as a blogger recently writing about the OHL's Hamilton Bulldogs. Reckless since his days as a crease-crasher. Tweet him @kristhayes

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Reckless Restraint

A blog for fans of the Hamilton Bulldogs of the Ontario Hockey League. Updates, reports & musings on the team, players, and prospects.

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