Knights' keys to success

RYAN PYETTE -- London Free Press

, Last Updated: 9:45 AM ET

FIVE KEYS FOR THE LONDON KNIGHTS TO GET BACK TO THE OHL FINAL

1. Goalie Steve Mason stands on his head. London is gambling its new No. 1 netminder will play like he did in limited action late last season. If he gets injured, look out.

2. One hundred and forty-six. That's the number of goals London has to replace in departed top scorers Rob Schremp (57), David Bolland (57) and Dylan Hunter (32). No OHL team has to make up for more lost offence.

3. Mr. Clutch. London won 49 games and three playoff rounds last year thanks to an uncanny knack for scoring big goals in crunch time. Who will be the Knights' third-period, overtime and shootout heroes this season?

4. Coaching. Five-forward power plays. Extra ice for stars. Forwards on defence. There's more to Dale Hunter than a tan jacket. But will his new sidekicks -- Dave Gagner and Todd Bidner -- measure up to Jacques Beaulieu and Jeff Perry?

5. Special teams. For three years, London has punished opposing teams for taking penalties. If the Knights' power play dips well below 30 per cent, they're in trouble.


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