Monday, February 6, 2017

Monday Notes: We're in for a good finish

The Saint John Sea Dogs have been hot of late.

The team has won seven straight games and its offence has been on fire, averaging nearly six goals per game over their past five matches - and that includes 14 combined goals in their last two contests. Saint John now has a 33-12-3-1 record, giving them a league best winning percentage of .714.

Saint John has been excellent lately, no doubt. The only issue is that a lot of other teams have been very good of late as well.

The Sea Dogs currently sit first overall in the QMJHL standings with 70 points - but the second-place Shawinigan Cataractes and third-place Rouyn-Noranda Huskies also have 70. Saint John has one game in-hand on Shawinigan and two games on Rouyn-Noranda.
While the overall standings are tight at the top, so is the Maritimes Division. The Charlottetown Islanders are just one point back of the Sea Dogs - but have played two fewer games.

In short, the race for first-place is going to be a lot of fun. Stressful, perhaps, but enjoyable. There's a good chance every game remaining will have an impact on the standings.

Saint John will host Shawinigan in a huge game on Saturday night at Harbour Station. Meanwhile, the Sea Dogs and Islanders have three meetings remaining: Feb. 14 in Charlottetown, March 10 in Saint John and March 17 in Charlottetown.

In other news...
  • Following a four-point night on Saturday in Sydney, Julien Gauthier now has four goals and seven assists in nine games with Saint John.
  • Gauthier now has 99 goals and 99 assists in his QMJHL career.
  • Simon Bourque has also performed well offensively since joining the Dogs, registering three goals and nine assists in 13 games.
  • How does Saint John's .714 winning percentage stack up across the CHL? Regina (.810), Erie (.770), London (.765) and Sault Ste. Marie (.716) all currently have better percentages. The three OHL teams all play in the same conference. Have fun with that. 
  • Saint John's next game is Wednesday in Bathurst, a team they have really struggled with this season. The Sea Dogs are 2-4 against the Titan this year, which is the only team they've lost to more than twice.
  • RDS has a nice story en francais on former Sea Dogs defenceman Yann Sauve. The 26-year-old's KHL season came to an end when it was discovered he had testicular cancer, which he has since had surgery for.
  • The poor Moncton Wildcats have now lost 17 straight games. On the bright side, they will no doubt be ridiculously good in a few years. #TheProcess
  • In this John Moore video, Hockey Canada's Ryan Jankowski talks about Joe Veleno and Alex D'Orio.

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