The Saint John Sea Dogs have been a pleasant surprise this season.
The goaltending has been solid. The young and improving defense core has been getting the job done. Sure there have been some bumps along the way, but a 9-3-0-3 record in the final week of October is much better than most predicted.
But, by far the most surprising part of this team has been the offense. This team is scoring goals - a lot of goals.
Their 62 markers is the second most in the Maritimes Division and fifth overall in the QMJHL. Their 4.04 goals per game average is the second highest in the league.
Despite these solid offenisive numbers, not a single Sea Dog sits among the top 20 scorers in the league. This team is getting it done with depth and chemistry.
Not surprisingly, Nathan Noel is leading the way with 16 points. But after Noel sits Adam Marsh, Thomas Chabot, Justice Dundas and Mitchell Dempsey – not guys many had predicted to be offensive leaders in the early goings.
I don’t know if the Sea Dogs can keep this pace going all year; but, at least they’ve proven they have the ability to score.
Some other random thoughts…
- The Sea Dogs/Drakkar rivalry is just weird. Pretty much every game between the two over the past few seasons has been ugly.
- Nice to see Juraj Siska score a pair – and a shootout goal – on Sunday. Hopefully that gets him going.
- Sunday’s loss dropped Saint John to 1-3 in shootouts this season. They’ve scored four goals on 13 attempts and allowed six on 14.
- Matthew Highmore is off to a slow start, registering just three assists in 10 games this season. At this point last season, Highmore had only three goals and six assists in 17 games... so I don’t think it’s anything to be concerned about yet.
- It’s pretty fantastic to finally see some free agents come in and find success. The past couple seasons have been rough in that department. Darrell Young has produced as advertised.
- Watched both Rogers TV broadcasts this weekend and they’re doing a solid job. The commentary is knowledgeable, the camera work is good and the production is well done. So nice to have these broadcasts back (they also act as the league webcast for games that are broadcasted).
- Speaking of the webcasts, what’s going on there? Another free month on the horizon? I know some markets are still having problems with audio hook up. Curious to see what the pricing is.
- Sebastien Auger has more points (two assists) this season than Lukas Walter had all of last season. So there’s that.
- Cape Breton and Charlottetown are certainly off to underwhelming starts.
- The Sea Dogs play a weird Thursday-Saturday home-and-home against the Screaming Eagles this week.
Photo: Marc Henwood/Station Nation