2015/16 OHL Eastern Conference Playoff Preview

The 2015-16 OHL playoffs are about to begin. The eastern conference’s top ranked team the Kingston Frontenacs will face the 8th place Oshawa Generals, the 2nd place Barrie Colts will match up with the 7th place Mississauga Steelheads, the 3rd ranked North Bay Battalion will play the 6th place Peterborough Petes, and the 4th place Niagara IceDogs battle the 5th place Ottawa 67’s.

Kingston Frontenacs (1) vs Oshawa Generals (8)

League Rankings

 

Points Goals For Goals Against Goal Differential Past 10

(W-L-OTL-SL)

Power Play Penalty Killing
Kingston

97

(3rd)

252

(6th)

189

(2nd)

+63

(4th)

7-2-1-0 21.5%

(6th)

83.5%

(3rd)

Oshawa 62

(15th)

197

(14th)

235

(14th)

-38

(14th)

6-3-1-0 19.9%

(7th)

76.6%

(17th)

 Head to Head

       Oct 7         Oshawa 2 at Kingston 3 (OT)

       Oct 18       Kingston 1 at Oshawa 0 (OT)

Nov 1         Kingston 3 at Oshawa 6

Dec 30       Kingston 4 at Oshawa 1

Jan 8         Oshawa 2 at Kingston 5

Feb 5         Oshawa 4 at Kingston 5

Mar 9      Kingston 5 at Oshawa 1

Mar 18     Oshawa 0 at Kingston 7

 

Kingston

Oshawa

Wins

7

1

Losses

1

7

Overtime Losses

0

2

Shootout Losses

0

0

Goals For

33 (4.13)

18 (2.25)

Goals Against

18 (2.25)

33 (4.13)

Goal Differential +15 (+1.88)

-15 (-1.88)

Penalty Minutes

137 (17.1min/gp)

115 (14.4min/gp)

Power Play 5/25 (20%)

5/37 (13.5%)

Penalty Killing

32/37 (86.5%)

20/25 (80%)

Shots For

234 (14.1%)

246 (7.3%)

Shots Against

246 (92.7%)

234 (85.9%)

Shot Differential

-12 (-1.5/gp)

+12 (+1.5/gp)

Quick Hits

Roland McKeown and Stephen Desrocher head a well-rounded Kingston defense with Jeremy Helvig and Lucas Peressini providing the team with a pair of solid goaltenders. The acquisition of Micheal Del Colle (30gp – 27g – 28a -55pts with Kingston) has helped the Frontenacs ice two offensive lines that could make life difficult for the Generals. Kingston had the league’s third best home record (24-7-3-0-.750) while the Generals struggled on the road (11-19-2-2-.382) so it is imperative that veteran Oshawa goaltender Justin Nicholls is stellar between the pipes to give his team any hope of winning in Kingston. If Nicholls can keep his team close then anything can happen and the Generals may be capable of winning a couple of games at best. The Frontenacs dominated the season series and appear to be just too strong offensively, defensively and in special teams for the Generals to mount a serious challenge and to have any hopes for an upset.

Prediction: Kingston in five games  

 

Barrie Colts (2) vs Mississauga Steelheads (7)

 League Rankings

 

 

Points Goals For Goals Against Goal Differential Past 10

(W-L-OTL-SL)

Power Play Penalty Killing

Barrie

89

(6th)

295

(2nd)

207

(8th)

+88

(2nd)

7-2-0-1

21.7%

(5th)

83.4%

(4th)

Mississauga 71

(14th)

215

(11th)

229

(12th)

-14

(12th)

4-5-1-0 19.2%

(12th)

79.4%

(14th)

 

Head to Head

Nov 1         Barrie 6 at Mississauga 0

Dec 6         Barrie 3 at Mississauga 6

Jan 7         Mississauga 4 at Barrie 7

Jan 24       Barrie 4 at Mississauga 2

Feb 6         Mississauga 3 at Barrie 6

Feb 27       Mississauga 0 at Barrie 8

 

Barrie

Mississauga

Wins

5

1

Losses

1

5

Overtime Losses

0 0
Shootout Losses 0

0

Goals For

34 (5.7) 15 (2.5)

Goals Against

15 (2.5)

34 (5.7)

Goal Differential +19 (+3.2)

-19 (-3.2)

Penalty Minutes

86 (14.3)

91 (15.2)

Power Play

8/31 (25.8%)

7/27 (30%)

Penalty Killing

21/27 (70%) 23/32 (74.2%)
Shots For 193 (17.6%)

162 (10.8%)

Shots Against

162 (89.2%) 193 (82.4%)
Shot Differential +31 (5.2)

-31 (-5.2)

Quick Hits

     While the Colts are certainly skilled offensively with the likes of OHL scoring leader Kevin Labanc, 51-goal scorer Andrew Mangiapane and six other players who scored at least 19 goals don’t underestimate their defensive abilities as the team ranked a respectable 8th in goals against. In their head to head battles the Colts and Steelheads both excelled on the power-play so if either team can maintain its regular season power-play efficiency against the other while being more effective on its own penalty kill that could swing the series in one team’s favour. While the Steelheads are an intriguing team to watch with some high end talent like Alexander Nylander and Micheal McLeod the Colts have a more balanced and experienced group of forwards. It will be interesting to see how Mississauga defender Sean Day performs and can towering Steelhead’s goalie Jack Finn keep pace with the Colts highly regarded keeper Mackenzie Blackwood.

The Colts dominated the season series and ranked 2nd in the entire league in both goals for and goals differential. Barrie handily won the last four head to head match-ups outscoring the Steelheads 25 to 9 in the process. The numbers and recent results between the two teams suggest a quick and decisive Barrie victory. The Steelheads who are likely to be legitimate title contenders next year are the clear underdogs against Barrie. However, I just have a feeling that the Mississauga could make things interesting in this series.

 Prediction: Barrie Colts in six games

 

North Bay Battalion (3) vs Peterborough Petes (6)

 League Rankings

 

Points

Goals For Goals Against Goal Differential Past 10

(W-L-OTL-SL)

Power Play

Penalty Killing

North Bay

80

(8th)

240

(9th)

227

(11th)

+13

(9th)

5-4-1-0

18.8%

(14th)

81.5%

(8th)

Peterborough

73

(13th)

240

(9th)

259

(15th)

-19

(13th)

5-4-0-1

14.8%

(19th)

75.3%

(20th)

 Head to Head

Sept 25     Peterborough 4 at North Bay 1

Nov 5         North Bay 5 at Peterborough 3

Feb 21       Peterborough 3 at North Bay 9

Mar 10     North Bay 3 at Peterborough 4

 

North Bay

Peterborough

Wins

2 2

Losses

2

2

Overtime Losses 0

0

Shootout Losses

0 0
Goals For 18 (4.50)

14 (3.50)

Goals Against

14 (3.50) 18 (5.50)

Goal Differential

+4 (+1.0)

-4 (-1.0)

Penalty Minutes 57 (14.3)

60 (15.0)

Power Play

5/21 (23.8%) 3/19 (15.8%)

Penalty Killing

16/19 (84.2%)

16/21 (76.2%)

Shots For 132 (7.3%)

112 (8.0%)

Shots Against

112 (92.0%) 132 (92.7%)
Shot Differential +20 (+5.0)

-20 (-5.0)

 Quick Hits

Will the Petes experience and size prove to be an advantage against a younger team? While both teams scored exactly 240 goals during the regular season the Petes appear to be the more balanced scoring team. Peterborough had six-20 goal scorers while the Battalion had three-20 goal marksmen although one of those players was Mike Amadio who rifled home 50.

The season series suggests this match-up could be a toss-up. One key area where the Battalion have an advantage is in special teams. The Petes were the league’s worst penalty killing team and ranked 19th in power-play efficiency. In their four meetings, North Bay won the special teams match-up as well. The key for the Petes will be containing Amadio and Mathew Santos while performing better on special teams. At the backend, North Bay’s Jake Smith is an experienced playoff performer while on defense the Petes enjoy the edge in experience. This is a difficult series to predict as both teams appear to be evenly matched.

 Prediction: Peterborough Petes in seven games

 

Niagara Ice Dogs (4) vs Ottawa 67’s (5)

 League Rankings

 

Points

Goals For Goals Against Goal Differential Past 10

(W-L-OTL-SL)

Power Play

Penalty Killing

Niagara

77

(9th)

213

(12th)

198

(6th)

+15

(8th)

6-3-1-0

19.1%

(13th)

84.2%

(2nd)

Ottawa

75

(10th)

234

(10th)

219

(9th)

+15

(8th)

7-3-0-0

19.6%

(8th)

79.7%

(12th)

 Head to Head

Nov 13       Ottawa 6 at Niagara 3

Jan 2         Ottawa 3 at Niagara 4

Jan 15       Niagara 4 at Ottawa 1

Feb 22       Niagara 4 at Ottawa 1

 

Niagara

Ottawa

Wins

3

1

Losses 1

3

Overtime Losses

0 0
Shootout Losses 0

0

Goals For

15 (3.75) 11 (2.75)
Goals Against 11 (2.75)

15 (3.75)

Goal Differential

+4 (+1.0) -4 (-1.0)
Penalty Minutes 67 (16.8)

60 (15.0)

Power Play

2/17 (11.8%) 3/21 (14.3%)
Penalty Killing 18/21 (85.7%)

15/17 (88.2%)

Shots For

134 (8.9%) 113 (10.3%)
Shots Against 113 (89.7%)

134 (91.1%)

Shot Differential

+21 (+5.3)

-21 (-5.3)

 Quick Hits

Both teams finished the season strongly so they have to be feeling good about their chances in the opening round. Simply put the Ice-Dogs are a wildly inconsistent team that can at times look like they are capable of playing with the elite teams of the league while at other times look disinterested and would struggle to beat clubs inferior in talent. On the positive side Niagara is generally a solid defensive team with depth on the blue-line, they possess an elite goaltender in Alex Nedeljkovic and excel on the penalty kill. The Ice-Dogs have mortgaged much of their future for post-season success this year and anything less than an appearance in the OHL final would have to be deemed a disappointment given the expectations expressed by ownership, management, players and the fans.

The 67’s are also a tough team to get a handle on. After trading Travis Konecny and Sam Studnicka to Sarnia earlier in the year one might have thought Ottawa would nose dive in the standings but to their credit they have played well and managed to finish in 5th spot just two points behind a much more talented Niagara team.

On paper the Ice-Dogs are the better team and maybe the post-season will see the team play at a higher level on a more consistent basis. However, given their track record this year I suspect more of the ups and downs. I could see the Ice Dogs winning in four straight and I could see them losing a six or seven game series. In the end home ice proves to be an advantage for Niagara.

 Prediction: Niagara Ice Dogs in seven games

This article has 1 Comment

  1. I think the seasons turning point was the feb 4 th game against London. Just 2 Days after ground hog day . I think the players began to stand up and accept the constructive and pointed criticism that was popping up.

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