What is up my fellow Canuckleheads; even after the Dahlen/Burrows trade, Pierre Dorion felt comfortable enough to give up a 6th rounder for marginal MORE expensive improvements to their team. I dont know how JB did it, but I appreciate it. While it’s a heartbreaker for the Utica fans to see a fan favorite go to a division rival, the posturing the Canucks have done to ensure Demko gets a fair shake as the Canucks backup is fantastic for us in favor of developing our prospects! I’m stoked for Demko tonight as he’ll look to prove to the Canucks fans that he is the real deal.
As you know the last JB trade that affected the AHL squad, I wasn’t too fond of. But I think JB hit a homerun on this one. Base on what I’ve seen, whether its here at r/canucks, on the radio, twitter, or wtv…but I feel like our fanbase doesn’t realize just how fucking good and ready Thatcher Demko is for a shot with the big club. Thatcher possible success may also lead to his former Utica roommate, Zack MacEwen getting a looksee as well with the big club, so this is going to be a great second half of the year for us development fans!
Shit, I haven’t even gotten into the fact that Gaudettes fuckin back in the Comets line up! Between Wacey Hamiltons return and Gaudette’s, its a relief to have some quality centerman for our winger prospects to work with for this next stretch of games!
Anyways, I’m excited for what tonights line up can bring against the Syracuse Crunch…the same team that absolutely trounced them in their last outing, 10-1! So let’s get into it!
Surprisingly Jesse Graham slots in for Dylan Blujus…Blujus has been really reliable in this past couple weeks, wheras Graham has really yet to show a decent defensive game aside from his quick skates and offensive instincts. I’m sure Cull looks at Blujus and Graham and wishes the two would merge their skillsets together to be more complete defensemen! But alas he is stuck in the realm of reality which is where…I too, toil in my …very, existence…
Also benched was Jonah Gadjovich which I actually found QUITE surprising…he Hamilton and Bancks had tremendous chemistry together their last game and proved to be quite the difficult line to play against for the Rochester Americans.
The Comets signed defenceman Craig Wyszomirski to a PTO to shore up their defensive depth…kind of a strange move considering they have Dylan Blujus as the 7th D tonight when he has actually been QUITE reliably solid as of late.
As already stated, Darren Archibald was shipped off the Ottawa Senators, and most likely will automatically report to the Belleville Senators.
RE: INJURY REPORT
|Out for the Season||foot||Out for the season||his fucking faceeeeeee||lower body|
With the trade of Mike McKenna to the Canucks, JB and Ryan Johnson confirmed that Richard Bachmans season with the Comets was done…and that COULD extend even to next year depending on how his recovery goes.
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 Blue
- Apparently the in-house announcer stated that Archibald was scratched for the night…guess they didn’t want to kill the crowd’s spirits TOO early
- Reid Boucher(#24) with a nice backwards pass while on his knees to Tanner Kero(#10) for the shot on goal
- Kole Lind(#13) returning to the habits that made him very ineffective throughout November…god damn stupid no look drop passes that ruin the rush
- 8 minutes in and not a lot of shots on goal or meaningful offense when Brendan Gaunce takes a hooking penalty to put the Comets on their first penalty kill of the night
- Wacey Hamilton(#36) at the end of an impressive penalty killing shift, shows no concern for the concussion that kept him out all season and drops down to block the shot and deflect it out of play
- Demko with some reflexes on his pad to deny the tap-in goal
- Adam Gaudette(#17) with a nice feed to Zack MacEwen(#15) then gets a nice takeaway in front of the net to get a good shot on goal
- Evan McEneny(#2) plays the puck off the boards to himself and then waits out the defender to get a nice shot on net
- Gaudette(#17) steps up from the Crunch blue line for a takeaway but can’t control the puck
- 2 minutes left in the second and McEneny(#2) gets called for hooking
- Demko with a nutty save on the penalty kill
- alt angle of the save
- GOAL – UTICA – 1-0 Comets: Boucher(#24) with some pressure on the OTHER Gaunce, forces the turnover of the puck to Zack MacEwen(# 15) sets up Boucher for the breakaway…he baits the goalie to make the first move and slides it under his pad to give the Comets the lead on a slick shorthanded goal
Score at the end of the first period: 1-0 Comets
I mean….it’s better than the fucking 3-zip start the LAST time these two teams met…I really wish I wash watching Gadjovich out there with Hamilton and Bancks. Don’t get me wrong, Jasek, Hamilton and Bancks absolutely CONTROL the game when they’re on a shift together, they just control the puck whenever they’ve been out there…but I dunno something about Gadjovich skating like a man possessed out there is missed in tonight’s lineup… I’d definitely prefer Gadjers much more straight forward style of play over whatever Kole Lind has been trying tonight…the kid tries to go flash in so many moves that just end up with him losing possession; plus he’s resorting to his stupid ass blind drop passes that ALSO drop possession for the Comets…overall his game tonight has been super weak.
- I took a break to watch the Canada/Finland game…that ending though…
- Lots of end to end play but nothing worth highlighting…no real quality shots
- Gaudette(#17) takes a hooking penalty to put the Comets on their 3RD penalty kill of the game
- I’m pretty sure this is blind luck, but here’s Guillaume Brisebois(#55) turning with a rink wide feed to Boucher(#24) who gets his 2ND breakaway of the night stopped by Crunch tendy Eddie Pasquale
- Oh boy…Colton Saucerman(#39) gets dinged for cross-checking and the Comets are on their 4TH straight penalty kill
- GOAL – SYRACUSE – 1-1 TIE: Alex Barre-Boulet on the powerplay catches his own rebound to get it over Demko’s left pad to tie the game at 1
- at 9 minutes 13 seconds of the 2nd period the Comets find themselves on their FIRST powerplay of the game
- Jesse Graham(#64) showing good speed to deny a Crunch shorthanded breakaway and gets away with holding the stick; this is what I mean when I say he has great speed and offensive instincts, but the defensive game is fairly risky
- MacEwen( #15)tries to chip it past center but doesn’t have enough steam on it; puck gets tipped up to Alexander Volkov who wrists one on Demko who gloves it down
- Awareness…Lind(#13) bro I get you want the nice no-look pass…but shit dude it isn’t working; not sure if this giveaway was due to being pressured, wanting the style-points, or if he has no confidence in his ability to drive to the net…but regardless…tonight has been A LOT of this
- Ben Thomas walks around Lind and McEneny but has his shot deflected wide by Vincent Arseneau’s(#18) stick
- Brendan Gaunce(#16) with a nice pass up the boards to Hamilton(#36) who gets a nice reaching pass to Graham(#64) for the one timer that gets saved
The Score at the end of the 2nd period: 1-1 Tie
Ehhh a pretty rough period for the Comets, heavily outshot, 17 to 7, and most of those shots were really solid scoring opportunities…Felt like the Comets really struggled to even get it past the neutral zone or sustain any kind of pressure in the Crunch’ end. Given that the first period wasn’t that clean either…I worry that the 3rd period might be a full collapse. Hopefully I’m wrong though and the Comets turn it onin the third
- Lol 35 seconds into the 3rd period and Comets blow their powerplay with a Reid Boucher hooking penalty. That’s 4 Comets hooking penalties out of 5 penalties in this game alone…hmmmm
- MacEwen(#15) enters the zone and sets up Gaudette(#17) for a one timer…the Gaud man has a different Gaudsplan though and taps it back to him but he isn’t ready for the play, fortunately Jonathan Dahlen(#54) is and he gets two shots on goal from up close
- Dahlen(#54) rips a slapper off a Brisebois(#55) feed and Kero(#10) tries to backhand it in net but sends it over the net
- the ensuing faceoff win; Dahlen(#54) goes for another one timer attempt but fans on the shot, but Kero(#10) is in the right place at the right time to try and re-direct it on net
- MacEwen(#15) casually winning the puck battle along the boards and then skating through the Crunch team to get a shot on net; such nice puck handling from him in close quarters to get these shots off
- See this is what Lind is TRYING to do, but Lukas Jasek(#9 )is just better at it…here Jasek(#9) shoots wide of the net, races past the Crunch player and as he gets the puck and turns to backhand pass, ACTUALLY LOOKS to make sure he has someone behind him and makes the perfect puck to tape pass; …unfortunately Gaunce(#16) sails it wide of the net but you know…in principal…a better executed “no-look” pass
- GOAL – UTICA – 2-1 Comets: Gaunce(#16) wins the faceoff draw straight to Graham(#6 4)who steps up to center and fire a laserbeam into the back of the net to regain the lead for the Comets. Wow what a shot.
- Lind(#13) gets tripped up and the Comets are put on their 2nd straight powerplay
- Baffling call here, a pass from Dahlen(#54 )to Brisebois(#55) on the powerplay leads to a breakaway for former Comet Cory Conachers; Brisebois(#55) goes to lift his stick as he can’t catch Conacher on the breakaway and gets called for hooking
- LOL annnnnd refs have a discussion after the play and rule no to the penalty shot … I guess cause Conacher ran into Demko? So we have a minute 20 of 4 on 4 before the Comets are on a brief penalty kill
- GOAL – UTICA – 3-1 Comets: Wow, McEneny(#2) just casually goes 1v3, chips the puck into the Crunch defender, picks it up and roofs it to give the Comets a two goal lead. Happy to see this guy get a goal, his play has been stellar the past several weeks.
- MacEwen(#15) with speed followed by Gaudette(#17) winning the puck battle along the boards then cutting to center to set up Saucerman(#39) for a one timer on goal; really digging these two on a line together…both have NHL level speed and compete along the boards to give their team opportunities to win
- Arseneau(#18) gets a nice feed to Cam Darcy(#11) racing down the wing but Darcy is muscled to the ice and after losing his footing off a light crosscheck goes HARD into the boards
- Comets on the powerplay; Boucher(#24) with a gorgeous slap pass to MacEwen(#15) at the front of the net who displays some slick hands as he tries to reach around Pasquale but gets robbed
- Dahlen(#54) sets up Gaudette( #17)for the one-timer blast from the circle
- Saucerman(# 39) joins the rush off a nice give and go to Kero(#10)
- Syracuse pulls the goalie with 3 minutes left in the game
- GOAL – SYRACUSE – 3-2 Comets: Syracuse with the man advantage with the goalie pulled and former Comet Cory Conacher rips an absolute laser beam of a shot past Demko….no chance on that one
- GOAL – UTICA – 4-2 Comets: lot to digest in this one…Demko plays the puck off the boards but the ensuing pass from a Crunch player goes to Demkos open side and Jamie Sifers(#26) comes up huge with the shot block. Gaunce(#16) then buries the empty netter
- Time winds down, and Demko picks up a team record 54th win in 107 appearances
Final Score: 4-2 Comets
|1st||Utica||Reid Boucher||Zack MacEwen||—|
|2nd||Syracuse||Alex Barre-Boulet||Cory Conacher||Cameron Gaunce||PPG|
|3rd||Utica||Jesse Graham||Brendan Gaunce||—||PPG|
|3rd||Utica||Evan McEneny||Tanner Kero||—||4 v4|
|3rd||Syracuse||Cory Conacher||Cameron Gaunce||Carter Verhaeghe||PPG|
|3rd||Utica||Brendan Gaunce||Reid Boucher||Thatcher Demko||EN|
- Really impressive third period from the team, heavy possession, QUALITY chances from the team and a lot of meaningful passes, not mindless passes
- With the injuries to Chatfield, Juolevi and Sautner, I wouldn’t be shocked if Evan McEneny was the one to get a Canucks call up should injuries befall the Canucks blue line. The guy has been so solid both defensively and offensively…Really solid awareness with his passing, and despite a few times being beat on a breakaway, he isn’t the type to get drawn into taking a dumb penalty off a skating issue which is great to see.
- Really liking the line combination of Dahlen, Gaudette and MacEwen, given some time, I think this line could be a wrecking ball. All three are great along the boards and have great puck handling skills and finishing ability. I think once Gaudette gets re-acquainted with playing with these guys, I think they’ll be lights out…hell they were in the third period together
- Bring back Jonah Gadjovich and slot him with Hamilton and Bancks…I want Jasek on a line with Boucher and Kero generating offense and scoring, not in a shutdown energy line that just out-possesses the shit out of their opponents. As a coach its probably fucking awesome that your 3rd line is just absolutely lights out with possession along the boards in the offensive zone…but man Jasek is just wasted on the third line, Gadjovich looked great with Hamilton and Bancks and I’d hope to see him back there again.
- Starting to really wonder what Kole Lind’s problem is with his game. The kid was having solid games in December, and really starting to spread his wings as a player so to speak…but then he gets benched once and he reverts back to the player that struggled with consistent gameplay…like tonight he was just a liability everytime he was on the ice…wheras 4 games ago the guy was lights out with takeaways and generating chances…that guy was just not there at all tonight…or in the previous game he played either. Really wondering why he’s so up and down
- Dirk/Saucerman as ECHL PTO’s are absolutely earning their icetime…stepping up to the play to generate offense at the right times…holding the zone…rarely getting beat to the puck…and if they do they use their strength to outmuscle players instead of just taking a hooking or tripping penalty to make up for their deficiencies…they’re good man…especially on a line together they look really solid…I commend Cull for playing two ECHL callups as his third pairing because that shows his trust in their abilities, and the confidence boost shows in Dirk and the Sauce’s games because they looked like AHL’ers tonight.
- Despite one or two rebound control issues, Demko played a really sound game tonight. My heart stopped when Cory Conacher ran into him because I was like, oh god…don’t tell me he’s injured… not when he finally gets his moment with the Canucks…I mean he set a team record for wins tonight…so anyone saying he still needs time in the AHL just needs to read that stat and shhhh…the kid is ready…his mistakes are no different than many NHL backups mistakes…his time is now! Lets fucking go!
Comets Three Stars
- Jonathan Dahlen, Adam Gaudette and Zack MacEwen – for giving me a glimpse of a brighter tomorrow
- Thatcher Demko – for his team record setting 54th win with the Comets…couldn’t have earned his call-up in a bigger way.
- Reid Boucher – that slap pass to MacEwen at the front of the net was so slick. Boucher is an underrated passer/playmaker, and I think that pass alone showed what he could be capable of at the NHL level if he just showed the same speed and tenacity in his defensive game
The Comets return this Saturday and Sunday when they visit the Columbus Blue Jackets farm team, the Cleveland Monsters. The Monsters are coming off a monstrous layoff, having not played since last Saturday, December 29th against the Grand Rapids Griffins where they lost in a shootout. The Monsters and the Comets are currently tied with 39 points in the North Division, but Cleveland has the edge as they have 4 games in hand. Both teams share similar records in their last 10, with Utica edging the Monsters on the season with more goals for. Should be a competitive series; their first meeting saw the Comets lose 4-3 in regulation.
As always I Hope you guys enjoyed this edition of the Farmies. I tried to keep it a bit quicker for this issue as holy fuck the Canucks had a bevvy of storylines coming out of tonight between the World Juniors, Canucks game, the Archibald/Nilsson trade…twas a big day for the future! 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!