What’s up Canucks fans, Farmies hitting you up with the second REWIND edition while we wait for this weekends triple header! I thought that given the trade of Tanner MacMaster and the call-up of Guillaume Brisebois in the wake of Alex Edlers brutal injury, meant it’d be a good time to revisit some of the Comets earlier games again to look for any noticeable improvements in our prospects games, or see some area’s that maybe they have still yet to figure out.
Also given that I’m pretty apprehensive about “Brisebois being better than Pouliot,” a comment or remark I’ve read several times across twitter and other mediums, I thought since I kind of come across really negative or down on Breeze, that it would be fair for me to continue my attempt at revisiting ALL the Comets games of this season so that my impression and opinion, criticisms or praises of him AND others in the Comets lineup be fair and valid so as I dont sound like a massive homer, or sound like I’m just picking favorites.
Firstly though, to lay it out there, I get what the Canucks are doing, they want to see what they got in their 2015 3rd rounder…I get it, and it makes sense….I just genuinely believe that if the Canucks are calling up a D-man with a high probability of them being required to play a game or two while Edler’s out, then Evan McEneny would be THAT guy due to how strong he’s been playing the last two months since their other #1 D-man, Ashton Sautner went down with injury…
Based on all that I’ve watched, I just want everyones expectations to be put in check, because I think Brisebois could be a third pairing Troy Stecher type of player, but he’s just a few years from that point…he’s fast yes, he can step up into the play, and attempts to be physical, but defensively he still has a lot of brain farts while holding the puck and can have very Gudbranson/Pouliot like passing gaffes…so anyone expecting someone infinitely better than 5 or 44 to step into the lineup, they need to check themselves a bit, because the egg-timer hasn’t gone off yet, at least for me…he could completely prove me wrong and just find another gear and pops off in the NHL but I just needed to put a realistic take out there cause I’ve been reading some head-scratchers
And RE: my take on McEneny, clearly his skating is the biggest detriment to his game…I think anyone who goes through a brutal knee repair surgery wont be the quickest guy ever, but his positioning and awareness on the ice makes up for his lack of skating as he rarely puts himself in a position to be caught too far up or in a position that leaves his D partner to cover for him. In fact he is the one doing the coverage for his partner, whether it was Sautner, Blujus, Garham or Sifers. I understand that a lot of Utica fans complain that for a bigger D-man he doesn’t put his body into his checks, which is a criticism I totally get, I also get not wanting to blow out your knee on your last contract before becoming a UFA….just give the guy a chance…he’s fucking 5th on the team in points! He’s got 23 points as a d-man and the next highest is fucking Olli Juolevi who’s been out since November 17th, that means SINCE THEN not a single D-man has even been able to pass Juolevi’s totals… he’s quite literally the ONLY d-man generating offense for this team lol…. for the record, Brisebois sits 19th on the team in points, with 9 points, tied with offensive dyanmo’s Jaime Sifers and Carter Bancks
Annnnnyways lets get into this Rewind and see how our prospects looked in the early stages of their AHL games to see if we can highlight any nuggets of gold, or coal!
Kind of funny looking at this game 3 of the season’s lineup and comparing to where we’re at now.
RE: INJURY REPORT
Streamable Clarity Improvement Notice
Continuing with last issues theme, going to be Players full name (jersey number) – place in streamable (if not outright obvious) then every sub sequential play featuring that player it’ll be last name(jersey number) – place in streamable (if not outright obvious) I’m also going to reduce the amount of hyperlink in the GOAL streamables, since that’s what I think MOST people are here for and don’t want some gaudy blue taking up the screen.
Comets in White
- Video quality is like when you used to have to adjust the tracking on your VCR to get it “just right”….am I aging myself with that one?
- Lind(#13) with a shot on goal and nice through-the-legs pass to Bancks(#34) for another chance on goal that Lind also picks up the rebound for
- Juolevi(#48) picks up a Checkers pass on the blue line and wires one on net that MacEwen(#15) attempts to tip-in
- I have to say, in Juolevi’s absence I can honestly say none of the current Comets defenseman possess the same kind of offense he does, its only 3-4 minutes into the game and he’s had 3 shots on goal from the blue line
- GOAL – UTICA – 1-0 Comets: Kero(#10) wins the draw in the offensive zone, Brisebois(#55) with a nice backhand to keep it in the zone and MacMaster(#19) manages to steal the puck from behind the Checkers net and his shot on goal rebounds out to Boucher(#24) who gets an easy goal to open the scoring for the Comets
- MacEwen(#15) tries to sauce a pass to Gadjovich(#22) as he drives to the net, then non-chalantly puts a Checker on his ass, then Brisebois(#55) wires a shot on goal from the blue line while Darcy(#11) gets crosschecked from behind by Jake Bean to put the Comets on their first powerplay of the night
- First unit PP: Dahlen, Kero, Archibald, Juolevi, Boucher
- Juolevi(#48) with a smooth but quick one timer pass to Boucher(#24) on the powerplay
- 2nd unit pp: Gaudeete, McEneny, MacMaster, Lind, Archibald
- GOAL – UTICA – 2-0 Comets: Lind(#13) with a smooth pass along the boards to Gaudette(#17) where he gets off a slick toe-drag to wire it through traffic above the stick side of Alex Nedeljkovic, great passing and set up on the powerplayto set that goal up
- Juolevi(#48) caught cheating a bit too close to center, leads to a huge breakaway chance for Charlotte but the shot goes wide
- MacEwen(#15) with a nice long ice pass to a speedy MacMaste(#19) who then gets a slick backhand pass to a trailing Boucher(#24) who’s one timer gets blocked; I remember this MacMaster…I’m genuinely curious what happened to him, because he looked slow, and genuinely out of it every time he found himself in the lineup in the last couple weeks
- Lind(#13) with a nice one-timer fake, and then comes to the defense of his Captain after he takes a late bump from a Checker Comets pick up a 2nd straight powerplay off a holding minor against Nicholas Roy
- 1st unit powerplay this time: Dahlen, MacEwen, Kero, Juolevi, Boucher
- GOAL – CHARLOTTE – 2-1 Comets: Comets give up their 3rd shorthanded goal of the season (this is the 3rd game of the season by the way haha) off a REALLLLLLY bad backcheck from Juolevi(#48) after a pass from Kero(#10) gets picked off. Juolevi skates towards the puck holder leaving his original check wide open on Bachman’s left side
- lol Archibald and Ranouf have a lil pre-arranged tilly and the refs have absolutely none of it, instantly pull them apart before they can even engage and give them both unsportsmanlike conduct penalties
- GOAL – CHARLOTTE – 2-2 Tie: Darcy(#11) deflects a cross ice pass that goes right to the stick of Dennis Robertson behind him and he puts one in to even the score at 2. A big oof on that one
- Boucher picks up a slashing minor to put the comets on the penalty kill
- Gadjovich being given penalty kill time is legitimately crazy to me….never thought I’d see a rookie on a Cull penalty kill shift
- Kero takes a slash on the next offensive zone draw and the Comets wind up on the powerplay; bit more of the usual PP unit that we’re used to seeing, Kero, Boucher, Dahlen, MacEwen but Juolevi instead of McEneny
Score at the end of the first period: 2-2 Tie
Pretty typical Comets period, come out swinging early, score a couple early, regress a bit and struggle in the neutral zone leading to a lot of breakout opportunities for the opposing team. Comets out shot the Checkers 16 to 10 in that one….now this second period is usually where they completely turtle and get lit up, wonder if things were different earlier this season!
- First 4 minutes are literally the Comets struggling to clear their own zone with a controlled exit
- First controlled exit to clear the Comets zone is naturally handled by Kole Lind
- Boucher(#24) gets a takeaway and tries to hit the brakes to go to the net but hits the ice hard, moments later Gaudette(#17) gets dinged for tripping
- Comets on the penalty kill: 1st unit – Sautner, Archibald, Bancks, Sifers
- First off is Bancks, and Gadjovich is sent in to replace him and seconds after joining them he clears the puck down the end to allow for a wholesale change
- audios gone thank Christ because it was getting unbearably bad
- GOAL – CHARLOTTE – 3-2 Checkers: Chatfield(#5) caught too far forward leaving Juolevi(#48) to defend the 2-on-1 rush where he misses a poke and the pass leading to a goal for the Checkers, giving them their first lead of the game
- MacEwen(#15) skates from his own blue line to beat 2 Checkers players to negate the icing
- McEneny(#2) interrupts the breakaway feed, and feeds ti to MacEwen(#15) who’s still on the same shift as the above backcheck play, and has a controlled zone entry leading to a scoring chance for the Comets
- Comets on their 4th powerplay of the game; Gaudette(#17) with a slick through the legs tip pass to Kero(#10) but he isn’t in position for the shot
- Gadjovich(#22 )picks up a puck along the boards and gets a great feed under pressure cross-ice to MacEwen(#15) who drives to the Checkers zone for a shot on goal
- Comets spend the last 3-4 minutes stuck in their own zone again
The Score at the end of the 2nd period: 3-2 Checkers
Well it wasn’t as bad as I thought, not a lot of chances for the Comets, but boy did they have trouble getting out of their own end, like A LOT of trouble. I actually really liked Gadjovich and MacEwen on a line together, they actually didn’t look half bad, some solid passing and breakouts from the two
- Brisebois gets called for slashing 3 minutes into the period, and then Trevor Carrick immediately gets called for interference during the Checkers delayed penalty
- on the 4-on-4 Tanner MacMaster drives to the net and cross checks Roland McKeown who in turn gives MacMaster a slash leading to coincidental minors and a prolonged 4-on-4
- GOAL – UTICA – 3-3 Tie: MacEwen( #15) with a takeaway at the Comets blue line from behind leads to a 2-on-1, MacEwen waits out the defender to use his long reach to pass around the defenders skates to Boucher(#24) who taps it in to tie the game at 3
- not sure what Woods(#21) is doing here, Lind(#13) chips a puck ahead to himself and is ready to drive to the net but an incredibly slow tag-up from Woods puts the sequence offside….hurry the fuck up dude lol
- damn been a pretty dull period so far…Comets so slow to clear their zone or even attempt to get through the neutral zone
- Literally since that last clip its been the Comets sitting in their zone, run it to center or the Checkers blue line, dump and wholesale change
- Comets incredibly get into the Checkers zone off a rush from Reid Boucher, and then he gets hooked from behind, putting the Comets on a powerplay
- wellp that was shortlived…a pass from Archibald in the Checkers end gets batted out of the air, and McEneny races to prevent another Checkers shorthanded breakaway, and despite being pinned to the boards by the opposing player on this breakaway chance, he falls and somehow gets called for holding, despite being the one pinned along the boards….suuuuper soft call that ends the powerplay and puts the game at a 4-on-4 for 32 seconds, then a minute of penalty kill time
- Comets with some sustained pressure and shots on goal for the first time in what feels like forever this game; nice pass from Dahlen(#54) to Sautner(#6) on the line
- GOAL – CHARLOTTE – 4-3 Checkers: naturally, after the Comets first bit of sustained offensesince the first period, the Checkers once again hold the Comets in their own end and rattle off three shots on Bachman from the centerpoint of the blue line, and the third try finds its way in to give the Checkers a lead late
- I’d call it a heartbreaker, but that would imply the Comets were playing well
- Utica pulls the goalie after gaining an offensive zone draw
- Gaudette(#17) and Kero(#10) lose tracking of the puck but Juolevi(#48) holds the line to prevent what would most likely be a Checkers rush and empty netter
- Checkers tendy Alex Nedeljkovic plays it high above McEneny(#2) to Patrick Brown who outraces him and completely blows a shot on an empty Comets net; time winds down anyway and the Comets lose
The Score at the end of the 3rd period: 4-3 Charlotte Checkers
Its kind of funny seeing the Comets be the exact opposite of the Canucks, start strong early and then just completely vanish late.. and it looks like they’ve been maintaining this strategy since the beginning. Another brutal 2nd and 3rd from the Comets sees them outshot 21 to 9. The scoreline would imply a tightly contested game, but man they were barely staying afloat in this one.
Final Score: 4-3 Utica Comets
|1st||Utica||Reid Boucher||Tanner MacMaster||—||5v5|
|1st||Utica||Adam Gaudette||Kole Lind||—||PPG|
|1st||Charlotte||Saku Maenalanen||Clark Bishop||—||SHG|
|1st||Charlotte||Dennis Robertson||Alndrew Poturalski||—||5v5|
|2nd||Charlotte||Morgan Geekie||Cliff Pu||Spencer Smallman||5v5|
|3rd||Utica||Reid Boucher||Zack MacEwen||—||5V5|
|3rd||Charlotte||Dennis Robertson||Julian Gauthier||Saku Maenalanen||5v5|
- Not much to say really, Gadjovich looked a lot better than I really expected him to in the early part of the season…his compete was there, he played hard along the boards, created chances…not quite sure where the “lack of compete” and “adapting to the AHL” thing came from, because he was game man, and now that we’re 45 games deep into the season, its clear the Charlotte Checkers are the best team in the AHL, and here he was tonight being effective on the penalty kill and in the offensive zone against a very game and tough opponent. Not sure why he had to slide out so we could give more ice-time to Arseneau, Woods, Bancks, Hamilton and other defensive, bottom 6 AHL’ers. …that being said Gadj is a consummate pro and said in interviews since the start of the season that adapting to the mens league would be the hardest for him…but still…the guy should have been given games after this performance…he looked good with MacEwen and benching him every second game for the rest of the month seemed like a huge mistake.
- I think the most disappointing thing for me was seeing the stark contrast in the Tanner MacMaster of December/January and the October MacMaster…he looked sharp, head up, good on the offensive, fast on his skates…the guy as of late must ‘ve had his confidence absolutely rattled after getting shafted on the bench for the better part of December and leading into January…given the comments from Palmu after returning to the Liiga, I can’t say I’m surprised that MacMaster’s ability may have dipped…hard to tolerate being benched if you don’t know when you’re going to slide back in, and even when you do, you have no idea what kind of game you’re expected to play….not every prospect/rookie has to play like Carter Bancks, Wacey Hamilton and Brendan Woods to earn their ice time, players have their own style of play, and I really hope molding Canucks rookies to be like AHL depth plugs isn’t the over-arching game plan for the development squad because that shit just isn’t going to work for some of these kids styles of play
- Defensive gaffes and compete/energy level aside, I cant help but be so dissappointed watching Olli Juolevi play…I really think he’d have come into his own in the latter half of this season, just like Gadjovich and Lind have… His passing is just so crisp and smooth… get this kid working with the same skating/explosiveness coach that Zack MacEwen worked with and this kid will prove everybody wrong and be a force in the NHL. Even based on this game alone, I can confidently say his passing and vision are head and shoulders above all other d-men. I pump McEneny’s tires a lot based on his reliable play, but he and everyone else has got nothing on Juolevi’s offensive potential. Juolevi will most likely be working on his skating regardless, post-knee injury recovery, so I can’t wait to see what he’ll look like fully healthy at next years camp.
Comets Three Stars
- Zack MacEwen
- Adam Gaudette
- Kole Lind
The Regular Farmies will return this weekend, when the Comets return for a BRUTAL triple header against the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, Rochester Americans and the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. In theory, I should’ve been resting my wrists for the weekend, but I needed to flex my writing muscles, even if there wasn’t much to write home about!
Until then, I Hope you guys enjoyed this REWIND edition of the Farmies, and as always any feedback, improvement suggestions, content or highlights you’d like me to focus/pick out during games, let me know and I’ll do my best to provide during the next Farmies!