When it comes to the draft, the Ottawa 67's are #1 with a bullet. Just not a bullet that will hit the net.
With two losses in three games, including an embarrassing setback on home ice on Tuesday night, the 67’s have officially clinched the first overall pick in the OHL’s upcoming draft.
Now, the Barberpoles only have a week left in their disastrous 2012-13 season, before the focus turns fully to scouting and away from the on-ice product, although even now, scouting is taking a front seat at times.
Head coach and general manager Chris Byrne wasn’t behind the bench on Tuesday, taking in the OHL Cup in Mississauga instead of his team’s rough performance.
Ottawa didn’t have a single shot on net until the 24:03 mark of the game. Brampton already had 22 shots and a goal, and had it not been for the performance from netminder Clint Windsor, this game would have been well out of hand early.
Brampton walked out with a 3-0 win that ensured Ottawa would get the first pick in the upcoming draft.
Following a 3-1 upset win over the Belleville Bulls; another spectacular performance from Windsor and a two-goal one-assist performance from Sean Monahan, Byrne described the final stretch of the season as “a five-game playoff series”.
This came after Byrne had a “ten-game plan”, where he wanted his mathematically eliminated team to finish the season with as many blocked shots and finished hits as possible.
Unfortunately for his squad, their five-game plan wasn’t met. The Peterborough Petes stomped all over the 67’s and Jacob Blair en route to a 7-2 win two days before the 3-0 game.
Perhaps the worst victim of this team’s struggles is Blair, who has been shelled of late and unfairly bashed by fans and Peterborough’s play-by-play announcers for his inflated goals against average.
Meanwhile, the biggest piece on the 67’s, Monahan continues driving up his draft stock. With only three games remaining, he’s one of the few bright spots for the end of the season.