67's are London's worst Knight-mare

CHRIS STEVENSON -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 8:41 AM ET

Sorry, good people of London, but the Ottawa 67's are going to be more than a speed bump on the parade route you've had picked out since October.

They are going to be a detour.

Don't feel bad.

Ask the folks in Barrie, Sudbury and Peterborough. I'm sure they've all gotten over seeing their favoured teams upset by the 67's this spring.

It's not the end of the world.

Maybe you can all get together and have a self-help group, maybe sign up Dr. Phil to help you reconcile your feelings after losing to a bunch of castoffs, unknowns and 16-year-olds.

These 67's aren't the same team the Knights handled so easily earlier this season.

They've added character (defenceman Brad Staubitz, and forwards Brad Bonello and Jamie VanderVeeken) and skill (centre Chris Hulit) over the course of the season, and have the hottest goalie in the OHL playoffs in Danny Battochio. They've come together to become a team in every sense of the word.

But their biggest advantage is that ultimate overager, 70-year-old Brian Kilrea, the coach and general manager who was coaching in the league when Knights coach Dale Hunter broke into the OHL as a player.

Kilrea's a living legend who has the rare gift of being able to squeeze the maximum out of his group, and after that is pretty fair at juggling a can of Ex and a cigar, too.

CROWDED RAFTERS

They wanted me to take a couple of shots at London in the process of telling you why the 67's will win another OHL title (yeesh, the rafters in their building are getting crowded, a problem with which you aren't familiar).

But how do you take a run at a town about which so little is known?

Really. London, Ont., just never comes in to conversation unless you're talking about how the Knights better win this year because they're going to lose just about their whole team next year and they will be back where we're used to seeing them.

I went around the Sun's newsroom and asked folks for some fodder.

"It's an insurance town, isn't?" offered one co-worker.

Hey, nothing says excitement like liability, huh?

"All I know is it's on the Thames," said another colleague.

So, they had a city and a river and had to rip off both names from the real London and Thames? Pretty weak.

Anyway, here's hoping the pub situation is as good as their namesakes' across the pond.

I can understand the good folks of London getting so excited about their Knights, given they haven't won an OHL title in how long?

Oh, yeah, since ... never.

Kilrea, meanwhile, is taking the 67's to their fifth OHL championship final in nine years.

Two words for the Knights: PAY ATTENTION. Learn how it's done. Maybe what you learn here will help you in the Memorial Cup -- to finish second.

By the way, I saw on the City of London's website tomorrow is Value Compost Day. You can get 30 litres of "compost" for $2.

Big deal.

Sounds like what we get off Parliament Hill every day. For free.


Videos

Photos