Sunday, December 27, 2009
Sunday Top 10 - New Years Resolutions
In the spirit of last week's Top 10, I intend to play Mrs. Cleo and use my tarot cards (lame analogy for those of you who remember the Mrs. Cleo fad) to determine the New Years Resolutions of 10 players in the Ontario Hockey League. Since this is the last Sunday Top 10 of the year, I figured why not make it holiday themed yet again.
Obviously a disclaimer, (which means I've heard or gotten complaints about similar things before...as ludicrous as it sounds), these are not the actual New Years Resolutions of these players! They are fabricated by me in relation to what I see and hear around the league. In essence, they are meant to be a fun, although perhaps truthful, read.
Here are 10 I've picked out...in no particular order.
"To have my groin become healthy so that I may provide that last piece of the puzzle to the Barrie Colts and their offense. They gave up a lot to get me and I think my leadership, two way play, and goal scoring ability really rounds out their line up and gives them that third line winger they've been looking for. Hopefully I can finish out the second half of the season by playing in 75% of the remaining games, by scoring goals in half the games I play in, and by leading the Barrie Colts to the OHL finals."
"There has been a lot of talk about me getting traded by the rebuilding Bulls. And there has been a lot of talk about me rejecting trades because I don't want to leave Belleville. So my resolution is to be open to a new environment. Not only would it be great for my development to play on another top caliber OHL team, but it would be great for the Bulls to get a huge return for me since I'm one of the better defenseman in the league. Whether it be the rumored Barrie Colts, or another team that needs my services as a powerplay QB, my resolution is to be open to a trade for the second half of the season."
"I've taken a lot of heat recently because I have only 3 goals and 2 assists in my last 14 games, and as a late 1991 draft prospect, a lot of people expected much more from me this year. Many fans are claiming that I've become selfish in my play and that I've gotten away from the things that have made me successful...like crashing the net and slot for loose pucks. So my resolution is to go back to making things simple. I know I've got the puck skills to make a nice move here and there, but I need to become more involved in the team game and go back to making myself a crease crashing power forward. I'd like to end up finishing the year with at least 30 goals, and a spot in the top 60 of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft."
"My team has struggled a lot this season after giving up a ton to get me this offseason. I started strongly but my play has tailed as of late. I'm not taking the body and staying with my man as much as I can in the defensive end. Offensively, I haven't scored a goal in 19 games, despite having one of the hardest shots in the league. The problem is I can't hit the net with it. My resolution is to start improving my shot accuracy and to do a better job at getting the puck through to the net on the powerplay. Originally it looked like I was going to score 20 goals this year, so I'd be happy to finish the year with 15."
"After playing so well last season in the AHL and AHL playoffs, a lot of people expected me to breakout offensively this season in Kingston. The team had high expectations for improvement, and I as captain, was placed right in the middle of those. But perhaps I've been trying to do too much this season, especially with the puck. I need to return to playing the safe and effective two way style I excel with. My surprise inclusion on the United States World Junior team should help me realize what I need to do to be successful in this league. Kingston needs my leadership and steady influence on the blueline and I hope we can return to the playoffs and possibly even make a run at the wide open East Division."
"Part of my problem was the insane expectations placed on me by Toronto Maple Leafs management when they sent me down to dominate and score 100 points in the OHL. Perhaps this had led to my constant overplaying of the puck, and my often times selfish on ice attitude. London fans are all over me now that I've gone to play in the WJC's and the powerplay and team is finally clicking. I've got all the talent in the world, but sometimes I just need to remember the KISS principle. Keep It Simple Stupid. My resolution is to play within my limitations without sacrificing the offensive creativity I bring to the table. I'd like to end up finishing in the Top 10 of OHL scoring by seasons end, and I'd like to help the Knights win the Division over Kitchener."
"It's been a bit of a rough year for me. I'm coming back from a serious knee injury. My team is struggling. And on top of it, as a former first rounder in his 19 year old season, I had high expectations placed on me that I'm having trouble living up to. That being said, my defensive game has been coming around lately. I'm nearly back to playing that strong shut down defender role that I once held. But my offensive game is still struggling. I know I have the talent to put up points, but I just need a confidence boost. My resolution is to increase my offensive production without sacrificing the gains I've made defensively. I'd like to hope that if I can increase my production, especially on the powerplay, the 67's should be able to easily win the East Division."
"I wanted out of Windsor so that I could get more ice time and become a number one defender for someone. I got my wish, but thus far, I've underwhelmed in Owen Sound. I have all the talent in the world, but I really need to start putting it together. The first step will be to pick my spots in rushing the puck better. I need to realize that sometimes a quick pass out of the zone works just as efficiently as a rush...sometimes more efficiently. I also need to pay closer attention to the defensive end. As much as I want to be a top defenseman in this league, I need to learn that I don't have to do it all myself. With Owen Sound likely improving in the second half, I need to play a smart offensive game to help my team win hockey games."
"Despite being a high NHL draft pick and a guy seeing some time alongside Tyler Seguin, I'm on pace for my worst offensive season since my 16 year old season. I fell out of favor in Barrie where my undisciplined play didn't fit in with Coach Williamson's game plan, but I've still got a chance to make a new name for myself in Plymouth. That is...if I can cut out the undisciplined penalties, especially in the offensive zone. While it's important to play my power game, I have to do it while under control. I've got 83 penalty minutes on the season, however only 15 of those are from fights. I really need to show Plymouth and the Anaheim Ducks that I can play a controlled power game and become a more consistent offensive producer."
"I've been playing with nothing to lose all season. I came into Windsor on a tryout and ended up winning a spot. I was originally the back up to Josh Unice, but I'm now starting. Now, all I hear are rumours that I'm going to be replaced by a better starting netminder so that the Windsor Spitfires can make a run at a second consecutive Memorial Cup. My Resolution is to remain calm and remember that I'm just blessed to be in the situation that I am. If I can continue to play as well as I can for Windsor and keep my head held high, I will be happy to be a part of a team who can make a run at a Championship. Just knowing that I've had a part in that is great and I need to remember that when I hit the ice every game."
Once again, Happy Holidays everyone, and a Happy New Year in advance! If you've got any New Years Resolutions you'd like to share, feel free!