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KNIGHTS’ DVORAK CLOSING IN ON CENTURY MARK

Taken from the London Free Press

Christian Dvorak is one of three people with a realistic shot at winning the OHL scoring title this spring. 

Excited? Jacked up? Ready for the challenge?

 

Nah, that’s not his style.

 

“It doesn’t really mean much to me,” the Frankfort, Ill., native said before Tuesday night’s pedestrian 4-2 loss before 6,859 at the Memorial Auditorium. “I’m not really trying to pay any attention to that. I’m just trying to keep playing my game and do whatever I can to help the team win.”

 

He’s a humble man.

 

Almost by default, he will almost certainly become the first Knight to hit 100 points in a regular season since John Tavares did it as a mid-season rental in 2009, perhaps this weekend.

 

Mitch Marner, who has 93 points, is still out of the lineup after being blasted into the end glass in Oshawa and he is likely to miss the next three games.

 

The last Knights to play a full season in London and crash the century mark were linemates Pat Kane, Sam Gagner and Sergei Kostitsyn in 2007.

 

That could happen this season, too, though Max Domi has to score at a pretty high rate, which isn’t out of the realm of possibility.

 

Domi, who passed the 300-point mark as a Knight, is on Rob Schremp’s heels for 12th on the team’s all-time list.  It’s hard to believe he hasn’t had a 100-point season yet.

 

But he is starting to find some of the chemistry fellow Coyotes pick Dvorak and Marner have enjoyed pretty much since last year.

 

“Max and Mitch are both elite play-makers,” Dvorak said.  “You try to find open space when they have the puck. When I’m out there, I know they’ll find me and my job is to put the puck in the net.”

 

Dvorak can find space like few in junior hockey. That’s been a big part of his success this year.

 

“I always try to use my speed to create that space for myself and my linemates,” he said. “We have some good chemistry out there and find the lanes, and that helps the team.”

 

He and Domi have former NHLer Steve Sullivan to bounce ideas off of throughout the season. The ex-Soo Greyhound is Arizona’s development coach.

 

“He’s at a lot of our games and after the games, he’ll talk to us and tell us the things to keep working on – and also the things we do well,” Dvorak said. He’s definitely a big help to keep us improving.”

 

Has Dvorak, who missed much of the second half of his rookie season with a knee injury, surprised himself with his offensive output this season?

 

“I don’t think about,” he said. “I don’t give myself expectations or goals like that. Whatever happens, happens.”

 

Ryan Pyette
London Free Press
ryan.pyette@sunmedia.ca
Twitter.com/RyanatLFPress​​

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