The Flint Firebirds finish off their second season in The Vehicle City with a trip to the OHL Playoffs; their first since moving from Plymouth.
Overall the Western Conference is stacked and Flint lucked out with drawing the Greyhounds. However, that does not mean that this is going to be an easy round for the Firebirds.
The Soo stayed atop the West Division for most of the season and ended the year with a 48-16-3-1 record. They finished 4th in overall goals scored in the league and have had success with rookie goaltender Matthew Villalta in net.
Flint has found most of their success at home this season with a 19-11-2-2 record at the Dort Federal Event Center. The team plays with grit but comes into the playoffs with the worst record of last ten games of any playoff team this season (3-4-2-1). Their power play ranks 19th in the league at 14.5 percent. The penalty kill is a bit better with the Firebirds ranking 10th overall in the league.
When both teams faced each other this season, The Soo walked away with a record of 3-1-1-1, and Flint having a 3-3-0-0 record.
What’s going to hurt Flint this year is a lack of playoff experience. Nine players on the roster have been in the OHL Playoffs, but only 6 of them have been in the past two seasons and none of the players mentioned are goaltenders.
On paper, this series goes to the Greyhounds. I can see Flint winning a game or two this series, but that being said, anything can happen in the playoffs and this matchup I believe gives us the best chance for an upset in the West.