By Fred Wallace
Hi, this is Fred Wallace with " Off the Wire. "
The year 2018 concludes tonight at midnight and in a second we'll make the transition to the New Year, 2019.
The Owen Sound Attack of the Ontario Hockey League will close out 2018 tonight trying to snap a 2 game post-Christmas losing streak when the travel to Barrie to face the Colts who have lost 5 in a row.
And then it's on to 2019.
Without trying to sound like Carol Matthews, I think it's fair to say we've all seen the future as it pertains to the Attack Hockey club.
Using the 2 games since Christmas as our example, Owen Sound has been battered 7-3 at Sarnia & then 6-2 at home to Kitchener, losing twice to teams currently below them in the standings.
You can use the absence of significant Owen Sounders from the lineup as factors, but to be fair, Sarnia was without a top player, and Kitchener was without their best player and both the Sting & Rangers won and won decisively.
Without Markus Phillips and without Nick Suzuki the Attack performances & results were poor. And that might be understating on my part.
Yes, with the return of Phillips & Suzuki plus what would appear to be a favorable schedule in the months ahead, Owen Sound could legitimately contend for a top 3 finish in the Western Conference. I believe that.
But..... step back, revisit what's happened over the weekend without 2 top players, and then look ahead to the Fall of 2019 & subtract ( alphabetically ) Trent Bourque, Sean Durzi & Kevin Hancock plus a few others who may not be overagers in Owen Sound come next season.
I'm sure I've seen seen the future, certainly based on the last 2 games, and I shudder to think what next season will look like unless Owen Sound makes significant alterations to upgrade the roster for September of 2019.
Happy New Year
I'm Fred Wallace