Hey, remember when Dale Hunter left the London Knights to take a one year deal coaching Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals, it didn’t go great, and he went back to the OHL? That was weird wasn’t it?

What was with the one year deal? Why did he think the best way to win was to keep Great 8′s minutes so low? Why did he head back to London? Most coaches would kill for one of those 30 bench boss spots.

The answer to most of my questions is that it doesn’t matter. He’s got a good gig going, and man, does he have the London Knights humming.

They’ve won 18 straight games, and find themselves with the best record in the OHL, with 26 wins and only five losses. They’ve scored the most goals in the league, and count themselves as one of four teams who’ve yet to give up 80 goals. Someone get this man an NHL gig, stat! (Don’t actually, you guys, he doesn’t want it.)

Here’s the latest on the talent the team has that’s making this happen, from NHL.com:

Maxi Domi and Seth Griffith each had three-point games to help the London Knights tie a franchise record with their 18th consecutive victory Sunday in a 5-2 win against Mississauga.

For those of you who didn’t know, yes, Tie Domi’s son is a goal-scorer.

Domi, the No. 4-ranked skater in the OHL for the 2013 NHL Draft by NHL Central Scouting in its preliminary rankings, also had a goal and two assists to give him 18 tallies and 44 points for the season. Both Domi and Griffith assisted on a goal by Bo Horvat, who is the No. 5-rated skater by Central Scouting for the 2013 draft.

Griffith, a fifth-round pick in the 2012 NHL Draft by the Boston Bruins, scored his team-leading 21st goal and his 54 points are second in the Ontario Hockey League behind Ryan Strome, the New York Islanders’ top prospect, of Niagra.

So yeah, they’ve got some skills. I should note as well, the current OHL record for a win streak is 25 by the Kitchener Rangers.

With the NHL locked out, and as well as his team is doing, I’m guessing Dale Hunter feels like a pretty smart man these days.

Comments (4)

  1. Just like some players are meant for greatness at a level below the NHL without ever going higher, some coaches are the same.

    I can’t imagine him getting another NHL gig for a while. But, I’ve been wrong before.

  2. 30 wins and 23 losses with a loss in the 2nd round isn’t actually bad for a Caps coach. Guess we have to keep catering to Ovechkin regardless of his performance. Hasn’t worked yet, but I’m sure it’s a recipe for success….

    • You may not like Ovi but at least get your facts correct. Ovi has always performed well in the playoffs, including in the two low-scoring playoff series under Hunter in which his ice time was limited to when Hunter wanted the team to go on the offensive: in 51 games over five playoffs seasons he went 30-29-59.

      And the regular season under Hunter was a real struggle for the entire team–hovering around .500, something the team experienced for the first time in several seasons. (They enjoyed great regular season success under Boudreau). The team was not built for Hunter’s system which emphasized defense often at the expense of puck possession. And which curiously doesn’t seem to correspond with his system for his Junior team.

      I appreciate what Hunter did for this team in the playoffs. He gave them a real sense of what it took to succeed when faced with tough situations–that Rangers series turned on a few key moments–the bad luck stuff that makes playoffs so exciting. But I’m fine with Hunter’s decision to return to his Junior team.

  3. Hunter already holds the CHL record for consecutive games without a loss, going 29-0-2 with the Knights in 04-05, where they also set the record for the best regular season record in OHL history (59-7-2), breaking his own record from the year before. He’s a pretty solid junior coach.

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