Oshawa Generals vs Kingston Frontenacs: OHL Playoff Preview

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Published April 22, 2022 at 8:42 am

Ty Tullio #71 of the Oshawa Generals, Shane Wright #51 of the Kingston Frontenacs (Kalvin Taylor/Goodall Media Inc)

After suffering through six straight losses to Kingston during the middle part of the season, it wouldn’t have been a shock to have the Oshawa Generals desire someone other than the Frontenacs in the first round of the playoffs.

But besides that miserable mid-season stretch (where the Gens weren’t beating too many teams, losing 13 of 16 games – including seven in a row) Oshawa actually played Kingston tough over the course of the season, winning five of 12 games and, most importantly, the last two matches.

Consensus #1 draft pick Shane Wright certainly had Oshawa’s number this year, scoring 20 points in the first nine encounters, but Oshawa has shown that when they slow down Wright they can slow down the Frontenacs team.

Of course, the offensively gifted Frontenacs are more than just Wright. Lucas Edmonds led the way offensively with 113 points and Wright, Jordan Frasca, Martin Chromiak, and Francesco Arcuri were all point-a-game players. Kingston, who finished 20 points ahead of Oshawa in the standings, play a fast-paced, run-and-gun style that will make this series highly entertaining for fans to watch.

On the other hand, the Generals had only one player who finished the season over a point-per-game, and that was captain and Edmonton Oilers’ prospect Ty Tullio, who had 86 points in 65 games. Behind him might not be a whole slew of point-per-game players, but there is a heavy amount of depth that makes everyone in the top nine dangerous offensively.

Rookie Calum Ritchie and overager Ryan Stepien are tremendously talented with the puck, while mid-season additions Stuart Rolofs and Cameron Butler bring lots of size and speed. If Oskar Olausson is healthy and can play in this series, he possesses one of the best shots in the league and will be a threat to score every time he touches the puck. There is a lot to like about how well-rounded the Generals offence is, even if it’s not as top-heavy as the Frontenacs.

Defensively, the Frontenacs continue the theme of being an offensively minded team, with four blueliners having 20 or more points. Their defence is excellent in transitioning the puck up to their talented forwards, and they are all highly gifted in the offensive zone. The Generals, meanwhile, might have the best offensive defenceman in the series in Lleyton Moore, who had 49 assists in 67 games this season. He is one of the league’s most dangerous defencemen and has been the team’s power play quarterback all season long. Behind Moore, David Jesus has been a steady presence as a physical, two-way defenceman.

Oshawa’s primary key on defence might be their shutdown pairing in Nikita Parfenyuk and overage defenseman Mathew Hill. Together, those two have formed a pairing the Generals coaching staff can trust in any situation. Both are big-strong defenders who can skate well and aren’t afraid to throw the body and block shots. They will battle for every inch of ice when they are out there and defensively will be tasked with slowing down Edmonds, Wright, and the rest of Kingston’s elite forwards.

Lastly, in net, the Generals clearly look to have the advantage. Patrick Leaver has emerged as one of the OHL’s best goaltenders, stepping up when Zachary Paputsakis went down with an injury early in this season. The best news is that both Leaver and Paputsakis look healthy and ready to go.

Leevi Meriläinen played in 53 games during the regular season for Kingston and will likely get most of the starts in this series. He finished the season with a 0.891 save percentage and a 3.29 goals-against average. He allowed three or more goals in four of his last five starts in the regular season, so he might not be entering the playoffs riding a wave of confidence. Goaltending is always a huge factor in any series, and Oshawa looks to have the upper hand going into this matchup.

Even though this will be the first OHL playoffs in three years, this marks the 11th straight season the Generals have made the post-season.

Game 1 is tonight in Kingston.

Ian Goodall/Goodall Media

Head-to-head matchup this season:

  • Game 1 in Kingston; November 12, 2021: 6-4 Oshawa
  • Game 2 in Oshawa; November 21, 2021: 4-3 Oshawa
  • Game 3 in Kingston; December 3, 2021: 5-0 Kingston
  • Game 4 in Oshawa; January 18, 2022: 4-2 Oshawa
  • Game 5 in Oshawa; January 23, 2022: 2-0 Kingston
  • Game 6 in Kinston; January 28, 2022: 4-3 Kingston
  • Game 7 in Kingston; February 25, 2022: 6-2 Kingston
  • Game 8 in Oshawa; February 27, 2022: 3-1 Kingston
  • Game 9 in Kingston; March 11, 2022: 7-2 Kingston
  • Game 10 in Oshawa; March 20, 2022: 5-4 Kingston
  • Game 11 in Kingston; April 1, 2022: 4-3 Oshawa
  • Game 12 in Oshawa; April 3, 2022: 3-2 Oshawa

 

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