Good evening Canucks Nation, it’s time to check in on the Farm to see how their November is going!
Well, tonight the Comets face off against familiar foe, the Binghamton Devils.
The Devils visit the Adirondack Bank Center off a 3-2 Loss to the Springfield Thunderbirds. The Comet’s last outing saw them get out to an early two-goal lead over the Rochester Americans. Unfortunately, the Comets exhausted themselves early and went on to give up four straight unanswered goals to end up losing 4-3.
In theorem, the Comets will come into tonight’s matchup well-rested and ready to take on a team whom they’ve only lost to, once, this season.
Against “Bingo” this season, the Comets have managed four wins and just one loss, while outscoring their opponent, 17 to 11, across those five games. The return of Reid Boucher should make goalscoring for this Comet’s club a bit easier tonight.
Tonight, the Comets see the return of Carter Camper, who had missed the last eight games for the Comets with an upper-body injury. Camper’s absence, as well as the call-ups of Graovac and Gaudette, meant the Comets were rolling with just one true-center. Here’s hoping he hasn’t lost a step and picks up right where he left off!
The Binghamton Devils don’t have Corey Schneider in their lineup yet. Schneider had been given extra time to pack for his move to the minors, and thus wouldn’t be in Utica for tonight’s matchup. In net, however, is the New Jersey Devils, 217 5th round draft pick, Gilles Senn. To date, the Devils have played Evan Cormier or Louis Domingue against the Comets. But with Domingue’s call-up to the Devils, Bingo has chosen to give their rookie netminder the start for tonight’s action. The Comets should hit the inexperienced rookie quick and hard if they want to blow this game open early.
THE STARTING LINEUP
|Goldobin (#77)||Hamilton (#36)||Boucher (#24)|
|Bailey (#95)||Camper (#19)||Lind (#13)|
|Perron (#27)||Jasek (#9)||Bancks (#34)|
|Arseneau (#18)||Taylor (#14)||Stevenson (#26)|
|Brisebois (#55)||Rafferty (#25)|
|Sautner (#6)||Chatfield (#5)|
|Teves (#4)||Blujus (#8)|
|Michael Di Pietro|
Well, the center situation certainly looks better, and the wings aren’t that bad either. Glad to see Josh Teves get slid back into the lineup. Teves made waves earlier this year when he led the AHL in +/-. Teves is still in the top-six of the league for that stat (yes I know it’s a pretty useless stat by today’s standards, but it’s all we’ve got…for now…)
RE: INJURY REPORT
|Jonah Gadjovich(upper-body)||Seamus Malone (arm)||Olli Juolevi (not the knee)|
|Richard Bachman||Stefan LeBlanc||Tanner Sorenson||Mitch Eliot|
Comets in their home Whites
- Jasek wins the opening drawback to Brogan Rafferty, and the Comets gain the Devil’s zone early
- GOAL – UTICA – 1-0 Comets: Alright, pretty good start! Comets gain the zone and have Carter Bancks (#34) and Francis Perron (#27) cycling the puck along the end boards. Eventually, Perron gets the puck and wheels around the left side to get the puck back to Guillaume Brisebois (#55). Brisebois sends the puck to his partner Brogan Rafferty (#25), who floats a shot in on goal. Perron peeled towards the net to gets a tip on the fluttering shot that puts the puck through the five-hole of Senn.
- Goal came just 23 seconds into the opening frame
- GOAL – BINGHAMTON – 1-1 Tie: LOL, wellp, this game could end up being a total disaster! Reid Boucher (#24) from the Devils half-wall, blindly throws the puck to center, only for it to be picked off by the Devils’ Brett Seney. Seney races through center, where Jalen Chatfield (#5) and Ashton Sautner (#6) chase him down. Chatfield hauls Seney down, attempting to break up the play, but it doesn’t matter, as Seney’s non-shot goes five-hole on Di Piero.
- Bingo and Utica just exchanged goals on the only shots on goal. Both came in the opening minute also, haha. Nutty start
- The Devil’s Chris Conner receives a rink-wide feed that puts him past Brogan Rafferty (#25) along the left wall. Conner gets past him for a shot opportunity on Di Pietro, but a sliding Guillaume Brisebois (#55) takes away the puck and allows the Comets to clear.
- Reid Boucher (#24) with another bad pass. This one into the skates of Nikolay Goldobin (#77) on the Devils blue line, where defenceman, Ben Street, is right behind him, ready. Street moves the puck quickly up ice to Joey Anderson, while the Comets d-men change. Anderson moves quick for a two-on-one with Brett Seney. Seney’s shot sails wide-left of the goal, but he recovers to center for Anderson on the doorstep. Anderson’s shot in tight goes off MDP’s pads out to Dakota Mermis who steps in for a one-timer blast into the chest of Di Pietro. MDP stands tall against a couple huge chances for Binghamton
- Wacey Hamilton (#36) attempts to clear the puck; misses, and instead of chasing the loose puck that is a mere two feet in front of him, turns to change off. The non-action allows the Devils to enter the Comets zone for an easy shot that goes off the blocker of Di Pietro.
- Kole Lind (#13) with a great shot off of a Dylan Blujus (#8) rebound
- Kole Lind (#13) with some fancy puck work in the offensive zone as he fakes a shot before opting to pass to Carter Camper (#19) behind the goal-line. Camper (#19) gets an excellent backdoor feed to a crashing Dylan Blujus (#8) who gets absolutely stoned by Senn on the one-timer
- Jalen Chatfield (#5) steps up into the offensive zone to catch an Ashton Sautner (#6) missed-shot. Chatfield plays the puck back to the blue line for Francis Perron (#27), but it’s out of his reach. Ben Street gets past Perron for a Devils two-on-one rush. Fortunately, Street’s shot is into the glove of Di Pietro
- The fourth-line battling along the Devil’s end-boards. Vinny Arseneau (#18) gets the puck out to Guillaume Brisebois (#55), who plays the puck back to Justin Taylor (#14). Taylor goes to center for Dyson Stevenson (#26), who tips the shot over to Brogan Rafferty (#25). Rafferty steps-in for the one-timer and his shot pings off the crossbar and out of play
- Good chance generate by the Comets fourth-line who originally began their shift defending
- Comets lose an offensive-zone draw, and who other than, Nikolay Goldobin (#77) is there to backcheck to the Comets end-boards to tie-up a man while his linemates clear the zone
- Kole Lind (#13) with great hustle to chase down Julian Melchiori for a loose puck in the Devils zone
- Fourth line on a very extended shift after a couple whistles in the Comets end, but they forecheck relentlessly, as Justin Taylor (#14) picks off a Devils clearing attempt for a spinning shot on goal
- Arseneau (#18) at the end of a long shift forechecks once more to lay a shoulder into Mikhail Maltsev, who, for some reason, turns into the boards (don’t do this kids). The Devils Josh Jacobs steps in for a shoulder hit on Arseneau, but Arseneau shrugs it off by putting Jacobs on his back with a shoulder check of his own
- Justin Bailey (#95) with a dangerous cross-ice pass that gets stolen by the Devils Brandon Baddock. Baddock’s shot goes off the pads of Di Pietro.
- Kole Lind (#13) gets in a scrum with the Devils Michael McLeod. Lind (#13) does a bit of turtling but takes a sucker punch from McLeod in the scrum which earns the Comets a powerplay.
- Lind is such a shit-disturber, but one of these days he’s going to get laid out hard, if his response to a scrum, is to turtle, like that
- oh well, Comets to the powerplay: 1st unit is Goldobin, Perron, Bailey, Rafferty, Boucher
- GOAL – UTICA – 2-1 Comets: Comets powerplay capitalizes early as Brogan Rafferty (#25) hands off to Nikolay Goldobin (#77) from the blue line. Goldy meanders towards the net for a shot that goes top-corner. A wicked shot from Goldy to regain the Comets lead
- Rafferty (#25) with a very smooth breakout and zone-entry from the Comets high-slot.
- Another giveaway for the Comets, this time Justin Taylor’s (#14) breakout pass gets disrupted by the stick of Chris Conner, causing the puck to float out to an all-alone Fabian Zetterlund. Zetterlund attempts a backhand pass to Conner on the doorstep, but Brogan Rafferty (#25) comes up huge with a takeaway in Di Pietro’s crease. Unfortunately, Rafferty’s breakup winds up back on the stick of Zetterlund, who rifles a point-blank shot into the glove of Di Pietro
- JFC, I actually have no idea how Lind got up after this. Lind (#13) gets caught watching a loose puck and takes an incredibly late check that sends him head-first into the ice. The way Lind appeared limp after contact made me think he was for sure, unconscious. But, amazingly, he got back up and continued with the rest of his shift.
- MDP one-timer save
- Four minutes remaining and Justin Bailey takes an interference penalty while defending
- Closing out the Bailey penalty, Reid Boucher (#24) pounces on a loose puck on the wall to give himself and Wacey Hamilton (#36) a shorthanded odd-man rush. Unfortunately, Boucher’s effort is all for naught, as the Boucher’s cross-ice feed slides under Hamilton’s stick
- Teves (#4) on the backcheck blocking a Devils passing lane with his stick. The Devils forward fans on his pass attempt, and Teves plays the puck off his skates and plays chip-and-chase off the right wall to then banks the puck off the boards up to Carter Bancks (#34). Bancks skates the puck from neutral ice into the Devils zone
- Comets with two takeaways for some late pressure in the Devils end
The Score at the end of the 1st period: 2-1 Comets
Certainly an action-filled period, but a messy one from the Comets. Way too many giveaways from the Comets for my liking to consider the lead they generated, “a healthy one.” It seems like the Comets were barely hanging onto that period, thanks to the responsible defending of Brisebois and Rafferty. Di Pietro, once again, being asked to come up huge on more than one occasion for his team as they routinely allow the Devils to set up shop in point-blank range. Last time they had a two-to-one lead after the first period, they went on to give up three unanswered over the remaining two periods…Hopefully, that isn’t the case tonight.
- Comets with an early chance off a Jasek rush but he can’t get a decent shot off
- Luc Snuggerud picks up a puck from mid-air and throws the puck out of the Devil’s end. He picks up a delay-of-game penalty, and the Comets get their second powerplay of the game
- 1st unit out Lind, Boucher, Goldobin, Bailey, Rafferty
- 1st peeper gets an early shot from Lind, and then of the following draw, they’re forced to reset after Rafferty fans on a blast from the blue line
- Brogan Rafferty (#25) with a slick between-the-legs redirect to Nikolay Goldobin (#77). Comets then cycle effectively until Rafferty rifles a shot from the blueline into the body of Senn
- Sautner (#6) breaking some ankles on the powerplay
- time winds down on the powerplay and the game returns to even-strength
- Comets with a clean shift, starting with a breakout feed from Dylan Blujus (#8). Lukas Jasek (#9) moves the puck through center up to Nikolay Goldobin (#77) on the Devils blue line. Goldobin cuts through center with some slick moves to set up Reid Boucher (#24) for a wrister from the bottom half of the circle. Play closes when Goldobin picks up Boucher’s rebound to set up Blujus (#8) for a one-time blast from the line.
- good pressure from the Comets four lines through the opening five minutes
- GOAL – BINGHAMTON – 2-2 Tie: Oh god, I jinxed it. Carter Camper (#19) plays the puck back along the Comets end-boards, and Ashton Sautner (#6) races there to pick up the puck. Sautner attempts to play the puck up to Kole Lind (#13), but it redirects off of Ben Street out to Joey Anderson, who centers it for Brett Seney. Di Pietro initially makes the stop on Seney’s first shot, but he doesn’t control the rebound, and Seney gets a touch on it to put it over the goal line.
- Nikolay Goldobin (#77) backchecks to break up a Devils pass, by poking it out to Josh Teves (#4). Teves calmly skates the puck through neutral ice and races into the offensive zone to pick up Boucher’s dump-in for a scoring chance. Teves gets tripped up on the attempt but isn’t able to draw a penalty
- GOAL – BINGHAMTON – 3-2 Devils: Wellp, Justin Bailey gives the Devils the lead, cementing my earlier jinx. After the Comets come away with the puck along their end-boards, Bailey inexplicably turns to pass the puck to Kole Lind (#13) at center. Instead, however, Bailey turns and hands it over to the Devils Chris Conner. Conner walks towards the high-slot for a blast over the shoulder of Di Pietro.
- After that many brutal turnovers, Bailey ought to get benched. Fortunately, for him, the Comets are desperate for forwards so he should be safe from any coaching wrath
- Lukas Jasek (#9) with a drive on the net of Senn, followed by a huge scoring chance for Francis Perron (#27). Senn gets a quick blocker on Perron’s shot to retain the Devils lead.
- Bailey out on a line with Taylor and Stevenson. He definitely in Cull’s doghouse now
- GOAL – UTICA – 3-3 Tie: Comets tie it up again! Play starts when Josh Teves (#4) steps up along the Devil’s left wall to push the Devils Nathan Bastian off the puck. As TEves crashes into Bastian, Bastian loses the puck, and it is picked up by Carter Camper (#19). Camper turns for a centering feed to Carter Bancks (#34), who wrists a shot on goal. Vinny Arseneau (#18), at the end of a long shift, is at the crease of Senn’s net to pick up Bancks’ rebound. Arseneau lifts the puck over the left leg of Senn for his fifth of the year to tie the game at three.
- Three Comets get caught skating into each other while attempting to clear their zone allowing the Devils to generate a scoring chance. Fortunately, the Devils don’t muster anything significant with the opportunity
- nice quick passing from Goldobin (#77), Rafferty (#25) and Brisebois (#55), culminating in a redirect attempt on goal from Reid Boucher (#24)
- A rink-wide feed gets past Josh Teves (#4), giving the Devil’s an odd-man-rush. Fortunately, Di Pietro comes up big on the backdoor feed to keep things even
- Comets first line sets up for some late pressure in the final two minutes, but Rafferty bobbles the puck on the blue line, and they’re forced to reset
- Time winds down on the third after a few chances from both teams close things out
The Score at the end of the 2nd period: 3-3Tie
Again, messy. Comets out-chanced the Devils and outshot them 16 to 11 over twenty minutes of the second period — good job by the Comets to stop the bleeding with that tying goal midway through the second. Comets are doing good to pepper the rookie goaltender, Senn with shots, but he’s been solid for the Devils tonight. Need to shore up on the giveaways if they want to break the tie in the third. MDP remains solid, despite the three goals-against. Comets defensive breakdowns have forced him to come up huge on multiple odd-man breaks for the Devils. That goal off of the Bailey giveaway is genuinely painful to watch.
- Early chance for the Comets off a centering feed from Boucher to Hamilton
- Kole Lind leads a drive down the right-wing but gets stopped up by a Devils player changing onto the ice. Devils take a too-man-men penalty, and the Comets are off to their third powerplay of the game
- 1st unit out for the Comets, but lose the zone when a centering pass goes off Goldobin’s (#77) stick and past the blue line. LUL at Goldy’s lil’ angry tap of the stick on the ice
- oof, Comets first-unit loses the zone. Then the second unit gets hemmed into their zone after MDP plays the puck into the unplayable area behind the goal-line.
- Powerplay ends with a shot into the pads of Senn by Carter Camper (#19) from the blue line
- GOAL – UTICA – 4-3 Comets: Who needs a powerplay? Off the ensuing draw, the Comets win the faceoff, and Dyson Stevenson (#26) plays the puck back to Dylan Blujus (#8) on the blue line. Blujus blast goes off the pad of Senn out to Carter Bancks (#34). The sprawling Senn can do nothing as Bancks (#34) drops back for a wrister into the top corner to regain the Comets lead.
- Rafferty (#25) with a risky pinch in the neutral zone that allows the Devils to spring ahead with another odd-man rush. Di Pietro once again comes up with a big save
- Brilliant scoring chance generated by Kole Lind off a pass down the boards from Carter Camper (#19). Lind (#13) with a great move on the left wall to get around his check into the Devils end. Lind then hits the breaks to get around another check and goes rink-wide to Dylan Blujus (#8) for a shot that goes off the goalpost and out
- Rafferty (#25) with a turnover from behind the net right onto the stick of a Devils forward who’s shot sails wide of the goal
- Ashton Sautner picks up a hooking penalty with 12 minutes left in the third
- 1st pk group: Bancks, Hamilton, Brisebois, Chatfield
- Brisebois blocks a shot that goes off his wrist and he goes to the bench holding his arm…oh god
- Carter Bancks then takes a slashing penalty on the penalty kill to give the Devils an extended 5-on-3 powerplay
- 1st trio: Hamilton, Chatfield, Blujus
- The Devils Colton White steps in for a huge blast from the blueline, but MDP makes a pad save, Blujus (#8) and Chatfield (#5) scramble to clear the zone
- Sautner’s penalty ends and he rushes out to clear the zone for the Comets. He doesn’t head to the bench and continues on the PK. Sautner clears the zone one more time as the Comets kill off the Bancks penalty as well
- MDP once again forced to come up big on a Devils one-timer. This time, no one chases the Michael Paliotta as he takes the puck behind Di Pietro’s net, and as three Comets watch from the crease of MDP, Paliotta sets up a crashing Julian Melchiori for a one-timer blast
- Comets are doing way too much puck watching tonight. Despite spurts of excellent control and shot generation in the Devils zone, their play away from the puck tonight has just been atrocious
- Francis Perron (#27) in the Comets zone, pokes the puck around off the boards to give himself a breakaway chance. Perron’s shot, however, is an easy save for Senn as it goes off Senn’s blocker side.
- GOAL – BINGHAMTON – 4-4 Tie: four-and-a-half minutes remaining and the Devils set up a cycle in the Comets zone uncontested to tie the game. Play happens as a shot from Melchiori gets steered to the half wall by Di Pietro. Ashton Sautner chases Michael McLeod into the corner, where Kole Lind (#13) steps in to help? McLeod sends a pass to an uncontested Brandon Baddock at the top of the circle who gets an easy one-timer through Di Pietro’s five-hole to tie the game at four.
- Justin Bailey on ice for the Devils last three goals-against. Probably could’ve stepped into McLeod along the wall and let Lind stay with Baddock, but alas, he didn’t, and the game is tied once again
- Joey Anderson making Ashton Sautner (#6) look foolish as he weaves around him in the Comets end for a shot wide of the goal
- A lazy breakout attempt from Brisebois (#55) to Goldobin (#77) leads to multiple scoring chances for the Devils after Goldobin attempts to cut through two Devils forwards into neutral-ice
- Continuing from the above, Di Pietro comes up with three point-blank saves, after saving a blast from the blue line from the Devils Julian Melchiori
- Late chance from Lukas Jasek (#9), after a Dylan Blujus (#8) shot from the blue line pinballs over to him on the Devils goal line
- Time Winds down on the third and miraculously the Comets have earned a point from their efforts
The Score at the end of the 3rd period: 4-4 Tie
Genuinely, an atrocious period of hockey for the Comets outside of that tiebreaking goal from Carter Bancks. Over the final 11 minutes of the game, the Devils outshot the Comets 13 to 3. Easily, 90% of those shots on goal were legit scoring chances too, not the fluttering shots from wherever that the Comets were throwing on Senn. Props to Di Pietro for keeping this 4-all; without him, I don’t think this game reaches overtime.
- Ashton Sautner and Reid Boucher caught out in overtime for over a minute and a half
- Julian Melchiori with the quick deke to get around an absolutely exhausted Boucher
- Brett Seney repeats the same as Melchiori as he dekes around the exhausted Boucher and Sautner for a backhander off the net
- Comets gain the zone finally off a rush from Justin Bailey, but they skate themselves into no-mans land and are forced to reset at neutral ice
- Francis Perron (#27) with great hustle on the backcheck
- Brogan Rafferty (#25) carries the puck for the Comets into the Devils zone, only to collide with Carter Camper (#19) who sits watching Rafferty move the puck through the Devils end with his head down, haha
- GOAL – BINGHAMTON – 5-4 Devils: A bit of déjà vu from the Canucks last overtime, just, marginally less embarrassing. With one minute remaining, Jalen Chatfield (#5) gains the Devils zone to then drop off for Goldobin (#77), who cuts towards center for a shot wide of the goal. All three Comets on the ice get caught behind the Devils circle watching the play unfold as Dakota Mermis springs Ryan Schmelzer deep for a drive on goal. Chatfield admirably backchecks to muscle Schmelzer to the ice. Still, Schmelzer turns to set up for the trailer, Egor Sharangovich, who wins it for the Devils with a shot over the glove of Di Pietro.
Final Score: 5-4 Binghamton Devils
|1st||Utica||Francis Perron||Brogan Rafferty||Guillaume Brisebois||5v5|
|1st||Utica||Nikolay Goldobin||Brogan Rafferty||—||PPG|
|2nd||Binghamton||Brett Seney||Joey Anderson||Ben Street||5v5|
|2nd||Utica||Vincent Arseneau||Carter Bancks||Carter Camper||5v5|
|3rd||Utica||Carter Bancks||Dylan Blujus||Dyson Stevenson||5v5|
|3rd||Binghamton||Brandon Baddock||Micahel McLeod||Julian Melchiori||5v5|
|OT||Binghamton||Egor Sharangovich||Ryan Schmelzer||Dakota Mermis||3v3|
- At least they scored and weren’t shut out?
- Defensively, this team was atrocious tonight. The giveaways, the blind passes right onto their opponent’s sticks, the missed passes into no-mans land, the lazy breakout attempts, just an awful look for the Comet’s defense. Physically they couldn’t even match up with the Devils. Sautner and Chatfield, the Comet’s two most physical defensemen, were ignored by the Devils every single time they were on the ice together in the Comets end. What is a coach to do if your most physical “shutdown” pairing is rendered completely ineffective by every Devils line? Sautner and Chatfield were both on ice for three goals against tonight and zero goals-for.
- Speaking of goals-for! Lukas Jasek has two goals and two assists on the season. All four of his points came in the first five games of the season when he was playing with Sven Baertschi, Nikolay Goldobin, or Reid Boucher. The move to center has undoubtedly been a struggle for the Czech forward. At what point do the Comets/Canucks management group give up on this stupid experiment and bring in an AHL center to relieve Jasek of his duties. Jasek’s move to center wasn’t born out of some “Elias Pettersson-like” belief in his talent to transition. It was born out of the need for more centers since they didn’t do enough to prep the Comets for a season without Gaudette or Graovac. That’s just completely unacceptable…they’re tanking his development by wasting his time at center. Put him back on the left-wing where he can utilize his skills effectively. He is way too small and way too old to be learning how to play center on-the-fly in the AHL. As a guy who praised Jasek’s two-way game last season, it’s painful seeing him waste his season trying to plug an organizational hole. He’s still doing great defensively. He’s tied for second on the team in +/- with +8, but the points just aren’t coming as he struggles to adapt his playmaking from the boards to center-ice.
- Justin Bailey was godawful tonight. Like legitimately, outside of the team having bad defensive games, Bailey single-handedly gave the game away with his giveaways. Right now, the only thing making him useful is he can play net-front on the powerplay, and he can skate really fast. The only problem is, he does nothing with either of those skills. He repeatedly wheels into his opponent’s zone for low percentage shots on goal, or blind passes that get picked off. For a guy with his size and his speed, you’d think he’d be able to create space like no other on the ice. There’s such a lack of communication between Bailey and the team around him that most Comets players end up watching him wheel around with no plan of action. The novelty of his blistering speed has worn off, now that it’s evident that he doesn’t quite know what to do with it.
- His save percentage and goals-against-average will not reflect it, but Michael Di Pietro did everything he could to keep the Comets in it tonight. Look at the games shot map. The Devil’s hammered Di Pietro with shots from the high-slot. The Comet’s efforts to box out Devils forwards from taking these high-danger shots in those areas was nearly non-existent. Half of the time, the Comets just let the Devils walk-in for shots from those areas too. Just rewatch that streamable from the first period where Wacey Hamilton changes off to allow the Devils to waltz in for a clean shot on goal…that was the entire game. The Comets, team-wide, need to do a better job at stifling their opponent’s zone-entries
- Was disappointed to see Kole Lind disappear after the first two periods. I have to think that monstrous hit on him shook him up or something. Through the games opening 35 minutes, Lind was ferocious on the puck and single-handedly created some of the Comet’s most dangerous chances to start the game. Didn’t like the way he went down on the ice, and I don’t like the idea that there’s no concussion spotters that would’ve pulled him after that hit for a look, because he seriously got laid the fuck out. He did have some defensive lapses that allowed the Devils to tie up the game. However, at least his mistakes came from him trying to help, and not just from standing still watching the play.
- Carter Bancks had himself a solid game, one goal, one assist and a +3 on the night. His tiebreaker goal tonight was his fourth on the season, and it ties his goal-total from last season in a quarter of the games played. Good start from the Comets Captain, who was an offensive black-hole last year. Still needs to avoid taking stupid penalties, though. That slashing penalty on the PK could’ve been the straw that broke the camels back. Fortunately, for him, Dylan Blujus was there to come up big on the 5-on-3 PK to bail out the Comets.
- Boucher had one of his worst games of the season as well. I bet he’d like to forget that opening period, where he had multiple giveaways while holding the offensive zone. Bouch managed to record four shots on goal but wasn’t his usual dangerous self tonight.
- Rafferty had himself one weird-ass game too. Two assists, three shots on goal, on-ice for two goals-for, and zero goals-against. But his defensive play was suspect AF tonight. Numerous giveaways in his end that nearly resulted in direct goals-against. Couple of failed pinches in the offensive and defensive zone that resulted in odd-man rushes. That being said, on a lot of his errors, he had great plays to backcheck and make up for it with takeaways or clearing attempts. It’s tough to evaluate him. Rafferty’s smooth ability to carry the puck and create offense under pressure in his rookie AHL year make him one of the Canucks top defensive prospects. I’ll always take a d-man with an OK defensive game if he can move and control the puck like he can. As opposed to, say, Jalen Chatfield, who can skate and play the body on a lot of his defensive efforts, but can’t create offense to save his life when he’s in the offensive zone. Tonight was somehow one of Rafferty’s worst games, but also somehow one of his more complete efforts as he showed off the full range of his skillset in both ends of the ice, for better or for worse.
Comets Three Stars
- Michael Di Pietro
- Carter Bancks
- The Comets fourth-line for all the chances they generated that kept the game as even as it was
The Comets Trajectory?
The Comets return this Friday for a weekend roadie double-header when they face off against the Laval Rocket. The Alex Burrows coached (assistant) Rocket sit 3rd in the AHL’s North Division, two points above the Comets. The Rocket has had a near inverse month of November, as they’ve gone 7-1-2-0 in their past ten, compared to the Comets 3-6-1-0. Fingers crossed the Comets can shore up on some of the defensive lapses that plagued tonight’s game against the Devils before this critical back-to-back tilt.
I’m catching up with friends Friday night, so I’ll likely have the recap out Saturday morning, or a double-digest out on Sunday.
If you want more Comets coverage from yours truly, you can now find MORE of my writing at thesinbin.net