Monday, February 13, 2017

Sea Dogs' top guns have gone quiet

The Saint John Sea Dogs' top guns find themselves in an offensive slump.

While it's easy to point out Saint John's offensive struggles following a 3-0 loss to the Shawinigan Cataractes on Saturday, this is something that's been going on for a few games - even in some contests where the Sea Dogs won big.

Take a look at some of these numbers:

Nathan Noel: Pointless in past five games. Last goal was on Jan. 29. Last assist on Jan. 28.

Julien Gauthier: Has not scored in his past three games and has just one goal in his past nine games. He does have six assists over his past nine, though.

Matthew Highmore: Has not scored in his past six games. He does have four helpers during that span, though.

Mathieu Joseph: Has not scored in his past three games. He did a decent point streak come to an end on Saturday.

Bokondji Imama: Has not scored his past four games, which is one of the longest stretches his gone without scoring this year.

The Sea Dogs' offence was on fire recently (they scored five or more goals in five straight games between Jan. 21 and Feb. 4), but has looked a little off over the past three games. Saint John was outshot 36-32 on Wednesday in Bathurst (the Dogs have only been outshot seven times this year) and fired just 25 shots on net in Saturday's loss, far lower than their season average of 35.37.

Theses slumps won't last, of course, and it's, perhaps, good to get them out of the way now. Saint John's offence has no doubt been affected by all of them slumping at the same time. 

On a much more positive note, it's been great to see some of Saint John's depth players find the scoresheet of late. Cole Reginato and David Comeau have been pleasant surprises offensively and Jakub Zboril and Simon Bourque have been good on the backend. Captain Spencer Smallman and Joe Veleno have also been producing well offensively.

Saint John will need all hands on deck tomorrow night when they travel to Charlottetown to face the Islanders. The Isles, who have played one more game than the Sea Dogs, are just one point back of Saint John and have won six straight. 

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