The first weekend of OHL play is in the books, and the London Knights lead all teams in two major categories: Goals for and penalty minutes.
Not only that, London’s Seth Griffith was named player of the week after scoring five goals and one assist in two games.
However, the hometown squad was not alone in achieving success, as nearly a third of the league boasts a perfect record.
This, above all, shows how early it is in the OHL season.
With that being said, here is some food for thought as Week 2 gets rolling.
Fighting rule deterring players from scrapping?
In a total of 20 games, there have been 15 fighting majors handed out to 14 players. At the same mark last season, there was almost double the amount of fights (28).
Though a few days worth of action is a mighty small sample size, don’t be surprised if the numbers are relatively similar at season’s end.
A new rule states a player is automatically suspended two games, per fight, following his 11th of the season. Additional penalties, such as a $1,000 team fine, are piled on after the 16th fight.
This means Knights rookie Nikita Zadorov — the only OHLer to have amassed two fights so far — will have to pick his spots moving forward.
Kitchener’s puckstopper looks scary-good
One of the least surprising tidbits of information you might come across while skimming through weekend boxscores is that John Gibson, Kitchener Rangers netminder, provided the first shutout of 2012-13.
Gibson, an Anaheim Ducks second-rounder who posted a .928 save percentage last year, has looked razor sharp in the early stages of his sophomore campaign.
On top of a 3-0 victory over the Mississauga Steelheads, Gibson and Co. took out the Sarnia Sting, 3-2. In a three-round shootout, only Montreal Canadiens prospect Alex Galchenyuk could solve the 19-year-old from Pittsburgh.
67’s yet to get off the ground
In many season previews, Ottawa’s OHL team was labeled a squad that may take a step back this year, mainly because they’ve lost about 100 goals in the graduation of forwards Shane Prince and Tyler Toffoli.
The 67’s are still a highly skilled club with quality coaching, though, so it’s safe to say most didn’t see them starting at 0-2.
In front of more than 10,000 home fans on Wednesday, the defending East Division champs let the Barrie Colts ruin the fun by allowing a last-minute game-winner. Then, despite outshooting the Peterborough Petes, 42-27, the Chris Bryne-coached club walked away with nothing, losing 4-3.
Better starts are needed if Ottawa wants to take flight, as their opponents have two and three goals in a row off the hop.
*This post also appears in Metro London’s Sept. 25 print edition