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The clock is ticking as the Guelph Storm attempts to find some chemistry

Since the big trade, the Storm has a 10-7 won/loss record and that's not good enough for a team of this calibre

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that there is something amiss with the Guelph Storm right now.

This is about more than injuries. It’s about chemistry and it’s about accountability.

Since making the big deal with Owen Sound on Jan. 9 the Storm has gone 10-7, with three of those losses coming in overtime.

But a loss is a loss and 10-7 really doesn’t cut it for a team that sold the farm to make a run for it this year.

This organization didn’t guarantee itself two years of fighting to make the playoffs in order to be a team this year that doesn’t look like it could get out of its conference, never mind make it to the Memorial Cup.

With 12 games left in the regular season, and barring a hot streak by Guelph and a collapse by the Saginaw Spirit, the Storm appears to be pretty much cemented in fourth place in the Western Conference.

The fourth place isn’t the concern. But playing slightly above average hockey is.

Guelph didn’t airlift in three 19-year-old members of Team Canada and 20-year-old Sean Durzi to go on a roller-coaster ride that includes bottoming out with a pair of brutal losses to Sarnia and Kitchener before big Friday night crowds at the Sleeman Centre.

There has been some fine moments - a win in Niagara, a doubling of Ottawa - but this team needs a winning streak, not a flash of brilliance.

Chemistry is a funny thing in sports.

Talent, experience and potential mean diddly-squat if you can’t take those ingredients and make something great out of them.

And right now that’s what the Guelph Storm is: a bunch of great ingredients, when what it needs to be is something bigger and better than than the sum of its parts.

The players know something is missing.

“The more important thing is we need to be like one family,” Dmitri Samorukov said with typical Russian stoicness last week.

But how do you build chemistry? Is that the coach’s job? Or is chemistry sometimes finding a common rallying point that might actually be that coach?

And how do you convince experienced, proven, talented hockey players to look in a mirror and maybe start asking questions of themselves?

“We’ve got to find something inside us so we can play better,” Samorukov added, noting that some of the answers to the current inconsistencies lie within themselves.

“We know everyone’s got better,” Nick Suzuki said.

“Every team’s got to battle adversity at some point, and it’s just right now for us.”

George Burnett gets raked over the coals a fair bit by fans, at times justifiably so, but players also have to accept some of the responsibility.

“Should be,” “could be,” “potential to be” and “will be” are all fine and dandy phrases to be used around this team and they’re ones that keep getting repeated by those outside the team.

The clock is ticking on a team that has a chance to create pretty special memories for themselves and the fans.

Sure, there's still time to fix things, but unless it gets its act together, the only thing memorable about this team is how disappointing it was.


Tony Saxon

About the Author: Tony Saxon

Tony Saxon has had a rich and varied 20 year career as a journalist, an award winning correspondent, columnist, reporter, feature writer and photographer.
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