In the end, the Hamilton Bulldogs defense was just too much for Sean Day and his Kingston Frontenacs. Hamilton edged Kingston 2-1 in game five to eliminate the Frontenacs four games to one and win the OHL’s Eastern Conference Final.
It was a frustrating ending for the Frontenacs but credit Hamilton for playing excellent defense to win this series. Sean Day was held scoreless and did not even register a single shot on goal for this one.
It was almost a miracle that Kingston even scored as they were outshot in the first period 9-3. 38-18 for the game. Kingston led 1-0 after the first period but that really was it for them.
Not going to hang this on Sean Day as he was not the only Kingston player who could not find any offense. If anything the Rangers should use the outcome of this game as a teaching moment for him.
For Day, this should be the end of his junior career having played five full seasons in the OHL. While Day is eligible to come back and play an overage season, it is doubtful that he would gain anything from it. Yes, one can make a case that Day still needs work on his defense among a couple of other areas. But if Day returns as an overager then the expectation on him would be to look offense first to help his team win.
No at this point Sean Day needs to learn what he has to do in order to reach the NHL and the AHL is the best place to learn for him. In the juniors, he is an exceptional player but as a pro, there are going to be some serious learning curves for him. Day won’t automatically be the first pair and for the first time in a long time will have to really earn his place.
Sean Day is going to find out that if he does not work hard all the time then he won’t play. He is also going to also discover that the ladder will go up with good play but down with bad.
I honestly believe that the Rangers should bring in Brian Leetch to work with Day (and the other young defensemen). Day has had to live up to the “exceptional player” status that led to him playing in the OHL at 15.
The hindsight says that Day was not mature enough to handle those expectations which is why it would help Day to have a mentor. Sean Day is a good player who if developed right can be a solid contributor.
For the season Day finished with a 5-42-47 which were career bests in assists and points. In the playoffs, Day was 4-10-14 in 16 games. The one area Day needs to be encouraged is to shoot more as his shot is lethal and needs to be encouraged.
Tim Gettinger and his Soo Greyhounds look to regain control in game five on Friday. With the series tied at 2-2, the Greyhounds need to control home ice or risk facing elimination.