Despite having only one loss in November, the London Knights seem to have found their Kryptonite in the form of the Owen Sound Attack. The upstart Owen Sound squad has had the Knights number all season. The Attack a defensive minded team have defeated the Knights 3 times this season and provided the best competition for the Knights who are the number one ranked team in the OHL. The main reason is the Attack are successful against the Knights is the play of their goaltender Michael McNiven, the WJC Team Canada invitee and Montreal Canadien along with his counterpart Tyler Parsons of the London Knights and Team USA have been far and away the top 2 goaltenders in the OHL this season.
London struggles at times when they play against a big and heavy team that is defensively responsible, the teams that come to mind are the Attack and Windsor Spitfires. The Spitfires still are coming together as a team with the influx of new players on the Memorial Cup hosts and because they are still finding their identity as a team they have struggled with the lead against London.
With the hand injury to Max Jones appearing to keep him out of the lineup for a few weeks rookie Alex Formenton has taken his spot on the top line and with his speed combined with that of Cliff Pu it has been a great fit. London has the uncanny ability to have players step into roles all season long and the team rarely misses a beat. From top to the bottom of the roster this team is nowhere near as talented as last years Memorial Cup winning team. But they are more of a complete team. With the focus on team speed and defensive coverage London should remain at or near the top of the Western Conference.
It remains to be seen if the Knights will stand pat with the current roster that they have now or add to the team. Most pressing is what they will do at the backup goaltender position. Tyler Parsons will no doubt play 50 plus games this season, but the concern is if he wears down through the long OHL season, will he be able to carry this team through the playoffs.