Good Saturday mid-afternoon, early-dinner time to you all! The Comets are back at it again for a double header; this time the Comets face off tonight at home against the Tampa Bay Lightning’s farm team, the Syracuse Crunch. The Comets and Crunch play their 5th of a 12 game series against the Crunch this season (AHL schedules amirite guys!?), the series is currently tied at 2 apiece, but the Crunch edge the Comets in scoring 19 to 9
Tonight’s starting lineup should be a doozy…despite having strong performances on the 3rd pairing, Jagger Dirk was returned to the Kalamazoo Wings, while the team kept PTO Cliff Watson…contractually this is baffling as Dirk IS an AHL contract … not sure why they’d keep a PTO who has performed worse in the same role over him… As I said in the last Farmies, Watson and Saucerman have no chemistry on a line together, in fact, whereas Dirk and Sauce played physical enough to negate any kind of speed disadvantages, Watson has looked completely out of his depth in passing, skating, everything, and Saucerman isn’t good enough to compensate for his failings…so while Watson drags down that third pairings reliability…its also dragging down Saucerman’s effectiveness as well… again…to service a PTO instead of utilizing a contracted guy in Dirk….
Looking at tonights lineup, Cull has opted to drop Jasek from the lineup, despite having strong puck possession ability and playmaking skills from along the boards the past several weeks….who is slotting in that spot you ask? Why its none other than DEFENSEMAN, Jesse Graham!
Again…please do tell me why its wrong to critique or judge our Farm teams handling of rookies…Jasek is not listed as injured…so that means instead of slotting in MacMaster OR Jasek on the fourth line, he opted to slot in Graham who’s defensive liability has seen him as a healthy scratch 15 times this season as well as being a healthy scratch in LAST nights game against Bridgeport…
If he’s sending a message to Jasek…I don’t know what that message is…and this could play into the whole Palmu “lack of communication” thing…because I legit have no clue why Jasek would be a healthy scratch as of late as he has been more effective on the ice than even Dahlen as of late….oh well…we’ll see how tonight plays out so lets get into it.
MacMaster unable to crack the 4th line spot after Jasek gets pulled out…and has been scratched 7 games straight…send him down to the ECHL for Christ sakes if you’re going to slide in an ineffective defensemen into the 4th line role.
RE: INJURY REPORT
|Undisclosed||Out for the Season||foot||Out for the season||his fucking faceeeeeee||lower body|
Sautner apparently skated for the first time on January 3rd…and while he’s rejoined the team technically at practices, he’s still at least out until the end of the month. Chatfield remains as a “possibly returning end of January or February latest”
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 their green & white jerseys
- Truly wish Comets had a third jersey in this scheme…it looks fucking awesome
- Comets on an early powerplay off a Syracuse too many me penalty
- Reid Boucher(#24) gets high sticked as he moves down the wing and puts the Comets on an extended 5 on 3 powerplay
- GOAL – UTICA – 1-0 Comets: Tanner Kero(#10) sets up Zack MacEwen(#15) up front for a tap in but his shot gets deflected wide…on the second attempt Kero gives it to Dahlen(#54) who puts it on Crunch’ Tendy Eddie Pasquale’s pads, and then gives it another whack to get it under to open the scoring and give the Comets the lead
- ALT Angle on the Dahlen goal
- Dahlen(#54) picks up the puck along a board battle fought by MacEwen(#15) and races for the wraparound but has his shot go wide
- Carter Bancks(#34) gets called for hooking moments after Crunch player Carter Verhaege gets around Jaime Sifers(#26) who goes down way too early to block his route to the net
- Brendan Gaunce(#16) PK tings TM
- Kulbakov with a huge toe save on the Comets penalty kill
- Guillaume Brisebois(#55) going down lil to Breasy
- Dylan Blujus(#8) pretty lucky Crunch Captain Gabriel Dumont gets his hand out just in time or that would’ve been a brutal headfirst collision into the boards
- MacEwen(#15 )with a pretty brutal giveaway at the front of the net as he tried to pass to Blujus(#8) but fortunately he makes up for it with a good stick placement to deny the golden opportunity
- Kole Lind(#13) under pressure gets a great pass to Cam Darcy(#11), unfortunately its Cam Darcy and so he does nothing with the great feed
- Seriously, I don’t know what it is, but Darcy’s ability to take a good pass is so poor…he like doesn’t know what to do with them
- A bad read in the defensive zone from Jonah Gadjovich(#22) as he pinches a player that Brisebois(#55) is walking him out of the zone which leads to Cory Conacher moving to the net uncontested by either Gadj or Breasy which leads to a scoring opportunity
- Gaunce(#16) dumps the puck for MacEwen(#15) who sandwiches his check along the boards, Gaunce then drops back for McEneny(#2) who’s forced out of play but has some nice puckhandling under pressure to retain possession for the Comets
- See this is what I’m talking about; Cliff Watson(#29) and Colton Saucerman(#39) just don’t mix…Watson first pokes the puck too hard for Sauce to control, then when the puck is sent the other way Watson is too slow to catch it leading to a scoring chance for the Crunch
- the two have not worked well together, Dirk and Sauce worked perfectly fine and complimented eachothers skills…Watson is NOT nearly as good as Dirk…not sure what Cull and co. see in his game that is different or better than Dirks… worth noting Watson also wired a slapshot straight into Tom Pyatts chest while in the offensive zone
- Comets onto their second powerplay of the night off a Dominick Mason interference minor
- Dahlen(#54) sets up the tap-in for MacEwen(#15) but Pasquale makes the save…follow up whacks from Boucher(#24) and Mystic Mac don’t find their way into the back of the net
- McEneny(#2) on the powerplay with a nice shot on goal from the blueline through traffic
- play is blown dead on the Comets powerplay despite the Comets having the puck in front of Pasquale
- Gadjovich(# 22) with some nice work along the boards to maintain possession in the offensive zone that is until Wacey Hamilton(#36) takes a tripping penalty
- Wacey Hamilton picks up his 3rd penalty in 2 nights with that trip
- Comets with some great active sticks to deny any shooting lanes for the Crunch on the powerplay; Comets kill the penalty and Crunch only get one substantial shot on net that Kulbakov is able to stop with ease
Score at the end of the first period: 1-0 Comets
Some good sustained pressure from the Comets at times in the offensive zone…some fairly bad gaffes in the defensive though from our veterans, and the one from Gadj/Breezy but otherwise a pretty competent period from the team. They were outshot, but only by a small margin, 10 to 8. Pretty good period overall against the team that once blew them out 10-1 with the same goaltender; speaking of which, Kulbakov has looked really solid tonight and last night in spite of the 4 goals against…really solid play from the man who’s started 5 straight.
- Once again Gaunce(#16) and MacEwen(# 15) combine for some solid chances on net
- Hamilton(#36) passes to Lind(#13) who shows some nice speed and moves to enter the Crunch zone alone
- Gadjovich(#22) and Jesse Gaham(#64) combine for a good scoring chance off a Darcy(#11) one-timer
- to close out their shift, Gadjovich(#22 )gloves down the puck to enter the zone and sets up Graham(#64) for a one timer on net that leads to a scrum; some great grit/60 at the end there
- Comets again to the penalty kill, this time off a tripping penalty from Jesse Graham
- Comets on the penalty kill; MacEwen(# 15) breaks up a scoring opportunity with a well-placed stick as Taylor Raddysh found himself driving to the net alone
- Comets on to their 4th penalty off this boarding minor from Dennis Yan on Cliff Watson
- Comets can’t find any sustained pressure on the powerplay, and as soon as they do, Brisebois gets called for slashing ending the powerplay and putting the Comets on a brief 4 on 4 before they face another Crunch powerplay
- on the brief 4v4; Blujus(#8) picks up the puck and drives into the Crunch’ zone, then Gaunce(# 16) ragdolls a guy haha
- Blujus(#8) with a clutch penalty killing shift as he blocks to shots and deflects a shot on goal wide and out of play to stop play
- Holy guacamole…a standard dump-in on Kulbakov goes haywire as Kulby thinks he’s covered the puck, but as he slides it ends up loose in the open …good follow up from the Comets to prevent anything awful from happening haha
- Graham(#64 )with some aggressive forechecking along the boards leads to a scoring opportunity for Pyatt(#20) and then himself
- GOAL – UTICA – 2-0 Comets: Pyatt(#20) sets up a 2 on 1 for Kero(#10) and Boucher(#24) …. Kero sauces it to Boucher for the one timer and follows it up by crashing the net to knock it in and giving the Comets the 2 zip lead!
The Score at the end of the 2nd period: 2-0 Comets
Saucerman with a fucking hilarious between period interview. I do think back to Ryan Johnsons’ comment in one of Saucermans earlier interviews where he was like, “ask him a hockey question” because its like…we get it…he has a big beard…lets move on how bout lol
Solid second period from the team despite once again some awful discipline. 2 unneccesarry penalties puts the comets at 4 on the night and that puts them at 28 penalties in 6 games…really unhealthy numbers…their opposition has only scored 5 times in those 28 tries, which puts their PK% at 82% in January, but the exhaustion of constantly rolling out the same 6 guys over and over for the PK isn’t healthy and is probably a contributor to the exhaustion we see from the team in the third period. Once again the Comets were outshot 9 to 8 in the 2nd…so as I said hopefully that 2nd period of constant penalty killing doesn’t hamper their ability to maintain the lead
- GOAL – SYRACUSE – 2-1: fucking bizarre…Cameron Gaunce CLEARLY bats the puck from shoulder height and it goes above Kulbakov and into the back of the net…but it still counts?
- I’m surprised there’s no review or anything because dude he clearly lifts his stick shoulder height to bat the puck above Kulbakov…kinda bullshit goal that ruins Kulbakov’s great game he’s having
- Kulbakov gets in Conachers fight after he gets in hiscrease
- crowd goes fucking nuts thinking that Kulbakov and Pasquale are gonna fight. Fucking love the dude screaming GOALIE FIGHT! Pascquale apparently skated to the blueline and shook his stick a bit to try and goad Kulby into a fight hahaha my god I WISH I could bless the Farmies with a goalie fight
- Hamilton and Conacher get matching roughing penalties to put the game at 4-on-4 for 2 minutes
- Comets been kept to their own end for the bulk of the 3rd period
- Cam Darcy then draws a penalty off from Andy Andreoff for cross-checking, then grins at the Syracuse bench as he puts the Comets on their 5th powerplay of the night
- Comets have their first zone entry cleared, then their second see’s the puck mishandled by McEneny so they lose the zone…Comets generate 1 shot on net on the powerplay….brutal powerplay from the Comets on this one
- Gaunce(#16) steals the puck and gets a shot off on net
- Comets still being completely hemmed in their own end for this period…shots are close at 6 to 5 for Syracuse but boy it feels like the Comets are just completely gassed
- more sustained pressure from the Crunch and Kulbakov comes up huge
- MacEwen(#15) and Gadjovich(#22)race up the ice for a breakaway where Mystic Mac sets up Gadjer all alone but Gadj’s shot on goal gets blockered aside by Eddie Pasquale
- Damn Gadj almost had his first clutch moment as a Comet; I’m genuinely shocked first off that Cull even put Gadjovich out there while the Comets were being hemmed in their own zone for the better part of the last 15 minutes.
- Kulbakov again comes up HUGE to block a one-timer attempt
- Darcy(#11) tries to sell a high hit … pretty sure he turned his shoulder in it enough to prevent a hit to the head
- GOAL – UTICA – 3-1 Comets: Huge effort from Gaunce(#16) as he sets up Hamilton(#36) at the front of the net, then picks up Hamilton’s rebound to bat it in to put their lead up by 2 goals
- Comets finally turn up the pressure knowing they have a 2 goal lead… for once they hem the Crunch into their own end to prevent Eddie Pascquale from getting to the bench for the man-advantage
- for what its worth the Comets arena has a problem with their Zamboni door…I cant count how many times a puck bounces awkwardly off SPECIFICALLY the Zamboni door towards the net
- GOAL – SYRACUSE – 3-2 Comets: Cory Conacher drives up the right wing and wires a wrister past Kulbakov’s stick side to put the Crunch within 1 with 30 seconds remaining. Pascquale immediately goes to the bench for the ensuing faceoff draw
- Pyatt(#20) manages to hold the puck along the end boards and then dump it down the ice to guarantee the win for the Comets who, despite being completely outmatched in the third period manage to win it in the 3rd off the strength of some incredible goaltending from Ivan Kulbakov playing in his 5th game straight and his first back-to-back
- Cellying with Kulbakov
- Kulbakovs limited English but a solid 1st star speech playing to the crowd
Final Score: 3-2 Comets
|1st||Utica||Jonathan Dahlen||Tanner Kero||Zack MacEwen||PPG|
|2nd||Utica||Tanner Kero||Reid Boucher||Tom Pyatt||5v5|
|3rd||Syracuse||Andy Andreoff||Cameron Gaunce||—||5v5|
|3rd||Utica||Brendan Gaunce||Wacey Hamilton||Carter Bancks||5v5|
|3rd||Syracuse||Cory Conacher||Nolan Valleau||Cameron Gaunce||5v5|
- Despite exhaustion setting in hard on this Comets team, they looked pretty OK against a tough Syracuse Crunch team. Comets had impressive games from MacEwen, Gaunce, Dahlen and Blujus tonight.
- Fix that Zamboni door…it’s only a matter of time before it cause some wonky ricochet that costs the Comets a game, if it hasn’t happened already
- Kulbakov once again gives up his usual 1 saveable shot of the night but also gets robbed with an incredibly unlucky high-stick deflection that SOMEHOW went without a call…baffling stuff…but an impressive 28 save performance kept his team in this one. ESPECIALLY in that brutal third period where it felt like a 20 minute long powerplay.
Comets Three Stars
- Ivan Kulbakov
- Brendan Gaunce – once again, absolutely clutch tonight…1 goal, 4 shots, tonnes of time on the penalty kill and super aggressive forechecking all night… its too bad the Canucks called him up after a lengthy stay on IR…because he’s more than earned a call up with his play in the past several weeks than he had prior to the call up
- Zack MacEwen – constantly a threat whenever he’s on the ice…his 200 ft game is incredible, the speed and strides he shows are unmatched on his team, wicked shot, and playmaking ability…him and Gadjo on that breakaway by all hockey conventions SHOULD not work, but they pulled it off and almost scored off it!
Comets re-solidify themselves as 2nd in the North Division and now get a nice break before they return on Wednesday for another home game, ALSO against the Syracuse Crunch…That’s a lot of time for both teams to go over what worked and what didn’t so I expect a pretty competitive game next week. Hopefully we’ll see what the deal was with the whole Jasek benching and Graham playing as a forward thing…because while they did win tonight, I can’t say Graham was nearly as effective as a forward than Jasek.
As always I Hope you guys enjoyed this edition of the Farmies. 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!