In the past 20 OHL regular seasons, the London Knights have reached 40 wins a total of 14 times.
When you jumble those numbers together in a single sentence, it’s hard for them to have the kind of impact that they should.
They have an Anchorman ring to them. “Sixty per cent of the time, it works every time.”
But take a minute to break them down and compare them to what every other Ontario Hockey League team has been able to accomplish over the same span and everything changes. The numbers stand out.
The first thing to note is that there are 68 games in every regular season. To get to 40 wins, you have to win nearly 60 per cent of the time.
The OHL is a very cyclical league. A player will usually play three or four years. Consistency is a challenge, yet consistency has been a trademark of the Knights since Mark and Dale Hunter took over ownership in 2000.
They have won four league championships and two Memorial Cups and find themselves very much in the mix in 2019-2020.
Here are the number of 40-win seasons by each OHL team and franchise since 2000:
14: London Knights
8: Kitchener Rangers, Barrie Colts
7: Erie Otters
6: Ottawa 67s (including this year), Soo Greyhounds, Flint/Plymouth
5: Windsor Spitfires, Oshawa Generals, Guelph Storm, Niagara/Mississauga IceDogs
3: Owen Sound Attack, Sarnia Sting, North Bay/Brampton, Saginaw/North Bay
2: Mississauga/St. Mike’s, Peterborough Petes
1: Kingston Frontenacs, Sudbury Wolves
Eleven teams have hit 40 wins or more in at least five seasons. Nine of those eleven have won an OHL championship in the past 20 years.
The other two, Niagara and Sault Ste. Marie, were beaten in an OHL final. The IceDogs have made the finals twice.
Only the 2000-01 Ottawa 67s have managed to win fewer than 40 games and still win the J. Ross Robertson Cup.