Good Afternoon Canuck Nation, it’s time for another weekend double-header on the road. Today (and tomorrow) the Comets faceoff against North Division-leading, Toronto Marlies.
The Marlies haven’t missed a beat since losing Sheldon Keefe to call-up. Since November 20th, the Marlies have rattled off four-straight wins, on top of the existing three-game win streak they had while Keefe was behind the bench. *busts out calculator* that’s SEVEN wins straight!
This weekend marks the Marlies first of four triple-header weekends that they’ll have to endure this season. By comparison, the Comets have just one triple-header on the docket this season. Last year, the Comets had five triple-header weekends.
I semi got my wish last Wednesday when I’d hoped the Marlies would come into this Saturday’s matchup, tired from their road game against Rochester. While the Marlies won, it was still an overtime game that didn’t end until 9:36 pm last night. Maybe they hit a lil’ traffic on the way home, ensuring a late return home before today’s afternoon action!
What I’m getting at is the Comets will need every advantage they can get to come away from this weekend with any points whatsoever. This past Wednesday’s game against the Syracuse Crunch was easily the Comet’s best-composed effort to-date. The D-corps were playing responsibly, the forward groups were aggressive on pucks in the neutral zone, and they didn’t allow their opponents 50+ odd-man-rushes against during the game.
Comets will need to repeat Wednesday’s effort and will need Mikey DP to stay on top of his game.
All that preamble out of the way lets take a look at the starting lineup and see what if any changes got made to Wednesday’s winning combination.
THE STARTING LINEUP
|Baertschi (#47)||Malone (#17)||Boucher (#24)|
|Roussel (#62)||Camper (#19)||Lind (#13)|
|Gadjovich (#21)||Perron (#27)||Bailey (#95)|
|Bancks (#34)||Jasek (#9)||Stevenson (#26)|
|Sautner (#6)||Chatfield (#5)|
|Brisebois (#55)||Rafferty (#25)|
|Blujus (#8)||Eliot (#52)|
|Michael Di Pietro|
It looks like the only change to Saturday’s lineup is the substitution of Lukas Jasek back into the lineup after missing Wednesday’s action due to injury. Tanner Sorenson was good, but in previous instances, Bancks and Jasek have been a formidable offense-denial line; tonight could be a good defensive effort from the Comets bottom-six.
Also surprising is Michael Di Pietro getting the first start on the weekend. Thought maybe Cull would put his star goaltender in the closer position, as he’s shined for this team in those weekend closing efforts.
In three games as the closer for weekend double-headers this season, Di Pietro is undefeated with one win, one OT win, and one SO win. During those three closing games, MDP has an incredible 107 saves on 112 shots against, good for a 0.955 save %, and a 1.60 goals-against-average. Fingers crossed, he has a solid showing against a tough Marlies lineup while they’re marginally fresher.
RE: INJURY REPORT
|Olli Juolevi (not the knee)||Vincent Arseneau||Wacey Hamilton|
|Richard Bachman||Stefan LeBlanc||Josh Teves||Justin Taylor||Tanner Sorenson|
Comets in Blue
- Commentary not working for the away broadcast, so, unfortunately, have to listen to the Marlies take on things
- Seamus Malone (#17) clears the zone for the Comets, and Sven Baertschi (#47) chases the dump-in, looks to let up on his check along the boards or outright elects to not go for it
- Comets third-line out but spending most of their time chasing the puck as they struggle to control the puck along the end boards. Marlies quickly clear and race the other way for a weak shot on MDP
- Antoine Roussel (#62) throws the puck onto a Marlies stick, but Jalen Chatfield (#5) recovers on the play with a nice toe-drag to lead the Comets break-out
- Pretty sure audio is like 4-5 seconds delayed. Might be a radio-delay being played alongside a real-time video feed so sorry if the timing feels off. It’s not my streamables, it’s the AHL!
- From the Marlies blue line, Kole Lind (#13) whips a beauty rink wide pass to Brogan Rafferty (#25) who toe-drags around a defender for a backhander off the stick of Joseph Woll
- The Marlies pressuring in the Comets end, as Seamus Malone (#17) spins in the bottom of the left circle to clear, but whiffs on it. Marlies forward, Nic Baptiste, picks up the puck and has a glorious chance in the high-slot, but he completely whiffs on his shot
- at this point, I realized the audio was so unusable that I fudged around with the AHL site only to realize that the AHL had the audio feeds flipped. Utica’s broadcasts were on the home feed and Marlies on the away. Switched it up, so we get some competent and usable play-by-play from the man in charge, Joe Roberts!
- Off a defensive zone draw, Jonah Gadjovich (#21) hustles to catch a cleared puck in the neutral zone and backhands a perfect tape-to-tape pass to a streaming Francis Perron (#27). Perron, in behind the defense, misses wide of the goal with his shot.
- Seriously Canucks Nation, I think people are sleeping on the improvement and strides that Gadj has taken with his game
- After that blitzing play, the Marlies clear but Gadjovich (#21) charges in to forecheck on a loose puck on the end boards, and attempts a centering backhand pass, but the puck is picked off by a Marlies player
- MDP makes a one-timer stop on Rich Clune, who I didn’t realize was still playing hockey
- oh no, the audio flips back to the Marlies audio feed,
- Ashton Sutner (#6) takes an elbow to the face and spends the rest of his shift adjusting his helmet and touching his face.
- poor guy, dude has clearly got nerves when it comes to taking any bumps around his face
- Marlies try to wring a pass around the end-boards to clear, but it goes off a broken stick. The puck redirects towards Kole Lind (#13), who kicks it out to Antoine Roussel (#62), Roussel zips a quick centering pass to Carter Camper (#19), but several Marlies around Camper prevent him from getting a shot off
- Lind and Roussel with some great forechecking to start this period
- Tracking this game is going to be a nightmare. At 11:24 on the Away broadcast, the video casually jumps ahead two minutes and begins with the Marlies audio feed again. So I move over to the Marlies home feed for the same timestamp, and it appears that events happening at 11:24 on the Away broadcast were happening around 11:10 on the home broadcast. Truly a clusterfuck
- Then another ten-second jump on the Marlies home feed… Getting quite tilted at how unwatchable this VOD has been to start
- Seamus Malone (#17) with a rink-wide feed to Reid Boucher (#24), but it’s just out of his reach. Boucher getting pinned against the end-boards still manages a centering pass that goes through the legs of a Marlies defender, and out to Malone, who rips a shot off the pads of Woll
- Roussel (#62) leads a zone-entry, then drops off for Jalen Chatfield (#5). Chatfield hands off to Carter Camper (#19), who’s one-timer blast rips wide of the goal
- GOAL – TORONTO – 1-0 Marlies: Because of course, a former Comet would be the one to open the games scoring! Play happens immediately after the Camper miss, wide of the goal. Play gets driven to the other end by Egor Korshkov, who goes rink-wide for a bank-pass off the half-wall to Pontus Aberg. The angle is perfect as Aberg whips a pass to the crease where Tanner MacMaster is there for a tip-in over the pads of Michael Di Pietro.
- MacMaster, if you recall, was traded by the Comets to the Marlies last season for defender, Stefan LeBlanc, after the Comets were in desperate need for defensemen. LeBlanc has one goal in two appearances this season, while MacMaster has six goals and seven assists in 18 games with the Marlies this season.
- After one goal and eight assists through the first 18 games of last season, MacMaster had a three-game injury stint before struggling to earn ice-time. Over his final 27 games with the Comets, MacMaster saw himself benched through 15 and starting the other 12 on the Comets fourth line. So, yes, he needed a change of scenery, but certainly would rather have a guy like him producing in the bottom of the lineup, than a guy riding the bench
- MDP makes a huge split save on Kenny Agostino after he races past Lukas Jasek (#9) for a tap-in attempt in the crease
- Marlies looking for an exact repeat of the games opening-goal, but MDP was wise to it with that crucial stop. Great work from the rookie to keep the Marlies lead to one
- Comets first-line getting hemmed in their zone. Eventually, Guillaume Brisebois (#55) flips a puck to center that’s gloved down at the Comets blue line by Timothy Liljegren. Seamus Malone (#17) tries to steal, but accidentally chips the puck into the body of Darren Archibald, who muscles past Baertschi and Brisebois for a scoring chance. Brisebois takes a hooking penalty on the play
- 1st PK Group: Jasek, Bancks, Chatfield, Sautner
- Carter Bancks (#34), playing with a full jaw protector, clears a loose puck from the crease of Di Pietro, then falls to the ice while protecting the puck along the boards. Fantastic grit/60 from Bancks
- 2nd group out after the stoppage in play: Sautner, Blujus, Bailey, Boucher
- Reid Boucher (#24) with a fantastic play on the PK, as he slaps a shot on Woll from the Marlies blueline, then chases after Woll’s rebound for a second attempt only to get chopped to the ice. Ref’s don’t blow the whistle on the play, but the speedy Justin Bailey (#95) races back to prevent the Marlies from getting a clean zone-entry after the trip
- Lukas Jasek (#9) on the penalty-kill picks off a Tanner MacMaster pass off some aggressive forechecking. Jasek drives towards the net, but he loses control of the puck as he turns for a better shot-angle
- MDP makes a clean glove stop on Tanner MacMaster while down on the ice, and a scrum ensues afterward. Egor Korshkov the only one to take a penalty after the scrum after he starts throwing fists on the Comets after taking a shove
- closer angle showing the heated play from Korshkov
- Comets and Marlies get seven seconds of 4-on-4 before a 1:56 powerplay opportunity
- Lind, Bailey, Boucher, Rafferty out to start in the offensive draw – Brise rushes to the bench after leaving, and Baertschi jumps onto the ice
- GOAL – UTICA – 1-1 Tie: Comets with a beauty powerplay tally, seconds after Baertschi steps on the ice. Play begins with Reid Boucher (#24) leading a zone-entry, where two Marlies penalty-killers pinch on him. Boucher whips a pass over to the left-wing for Kole Lind (#13) as Darren Archibald runs into him. Lind spots Sven Baertschi(#47) in way behind the defense and provides the TAC to Bae’s TOE as he wrists one over the glove side of Woll, knotting things at one apiece.
- Kole Lind (#13) with a sneaky feed to Carter Camper (#19) on the doorstep from the high-slot
- Reid Boucher (#24) with a filthy rink-wide saucer pass to Seamus Malone (#17) who drives on Woll for a shot. Sven Baertschi (#47) literally dives on the rebound, but Woll stands tall (I’m sorry)
- Former Comets wreaking havoc on the Comets so far, as Tanner MacMaster receives a pass in the high-slot for a scoring chance only to see a backchecking Sven Baertschi (#47) give him a slash for his troubles.
- Comets back to the PK
- GOAL – TORONTO – 2-1 Marlies: Comets lead evaporates quickly as the Marlies powerplay gets to work quickly. Kenny Agostino left to do whatever he wants in the crease of MDP, as Jalen Chatfield (#5) gets caught watching the Marlies cycling. Jeremy Bracco sees Chatfield doing nothing to get Agostino out of the crease, and sets him up for the easy tap-in goal. Hopefully, the coaching staff address this lack of physicality from one of their (usually) most physical defenders
- Tim Liljegren casually going end-to-end for the Marlies, clowning Jalen Chatfield (#5) in the process, who looks like a deer in the headlights on the rush
The score at the end of the 1st period: 2-1 Marlies
Not the worst period I’ve seen from the Comets, they certainly had their chances throughout the first, but let the Marlies set up passing plays way too often in their end. Marlies outshot the Comets thirteen to eight over the opening twenty. Boucher, Lind, Roussel, and Camper are looking dynamic whenever they’re on the ice. I think Boucher might be one of the few Comets players who nearly manages a positive CORSI while on the penalty kill.
- Tripping penalty assessed to Kenny Agostino and MDP rushes to the bench for the extra-attacker
- mostly wanted that streamable to show MDP racing to the bench, and the audio of the refs shouting at them to wait until they say they can get the extra guy out
- 1st peeper Unit: Lind, Boucher, Baertschi, Rafferty, Bailey
- 1st unit loses the zone early and are forced to reset in the neutral zone.
- Just realized audio feeds switched again. Back to the other one, that’s hopefully, in-sync
- Boucher (#24) rips another rink-wide saucer pass, this time to Kole Lind (#13), who’s in behind the Marlies defense. Unfortunately, Lind sails his breakaway shot wide of the goal
- 2nd Unit comes out after the Marlies clear. Camper, Perron, Roussel, Gadjovich, Eliot, out for the final minute of the powerplay
- 2nd unit gets nothing, and the game returns to 5-on-5
- Seamus Malone (#17) picks off an errant Marlies pass in the Comets zone and races end-to-end with Reid Boucher (#24) who closes the sequence with a cheeky bank-shot-attempt on Woll from behind the goal-line
- Comets facing pressure from the Marlies in their end, and Guillaume Brisebois (#55) goofs, with a giveaway right onto the stick of Hudson Elynuik. Fortunately, Francis Perron (#27) is there during the scramble and manages to take down Elenyuik without taking a penalty as Elnyuik tries for a point-blank chance
- Marlies pressure continues, as MDP comes up with two huge saves on Kristians Rubins and Mac Hollowell on back-to-back shot-attempts
- Kole Lind (#13) picks off an errant pass in the Comets end and rips a rink-wide feed to Sven Baertschi (#47) for a breakaway try. Marlies tendy, Joseph Woll, just gets a piece of the glove on Bae’s shot
- Marlies return with a rink-wide breakaway feed of their own, as Darren Archibald has his shot get deflected up into the netting by MDP
- Solid shift from Mitch Eliot (#52) as he shows how to battle at the front of the net to prevent easy tap-in goals. Eliot drops to a knee to block a shooting lane, then quickly spins to deflect a centering pass up and towards the half-wall. Eliot engaging the entire play with Tyler Gaudet, before clearing with a saucer pass to Reid Boucher (#24) on the Marlies blue line
- Fourth-line is forechecking aggressively, as Dyson Stevenson (#26) forces the Marlies into giving up the puck along the end boards, allowing Lukas Jasek (#9) to steal for a centering feed to Carter Bancks (#34). Pass, unfortunately, goes into the skates of Bancks
- Jonah Gadjovich (#21) breaks up a pass in the Comets zone and attempts to spring Justin Bailey (#95) ahead for a breakaway, but Bailey gets interfered with as he tries to get around a Marlies defender. Referee’s don’t see it, however, and play resumes
- Off of an offensive zone draw, Kole Lind (#13) picks up the loose puck and wheels around the right circle for a centering feed to Antoine Roussel (#62). Roussel attempts a tap-in from the crease but misses, and if you listen closely you can hear his displeasure come through the broadcast, haha
- Kole Lind (#13) steals another puck, this time at the Marlies blue line and attempts to set-up Carter Camper (#19) for a breakaway drive, but Camper doesn’t expect the pass and sadly misses a golden opportunity. Fortunately, on the play, Camper gets knocked to the ice by Scott Pooley, putting the Comets on their third powerplay of the night
- 1st Unit: Baertschi, Perron, Bailey, Boucher, Rafferty
- GOAL – UTICA – 2-2 Tie: The Comets powerplay goes 2/3 on the night after a beautiful pass from Sven Baertschi. Baertschi (#47) displaying perfect vision as he finds the perfect opening to wire a tape-to-tape pass to Bailey (#95) on Woll’s doorstep. Bailey gets his fifth goal of the year with the easy tap-in goal.
- Reid Boucher (#24) attempts to clear the zone but pushes the puck onto the stick of Kenny Agostino, who hands the puck off to Adam Brooks. Brooks shot gets blocked and deflected out to Mac Hollowell, who fires one into the chest of Di Pietro. The chaos doesn’t stop as Sven Baertschi (#47) picks up a loose puck along the left wall and spins for a rink-wide feed to Boucher, who’s in all alone on a breakaway. Boucher’s shot goes off the right pad of Woll
- Baertschi (#47) and Boucher (#24) combine for the TIC-TAC, but Boucher’s pass to a speeding Malone (#17) cannot complete the TOE, as the pass from Boucher redirects off the inside of Malones stick and wide of the goal
- Antoine Roussel takes a tripping penalty and he gives the ref and earful on his way to the box. Cannot wait for this guy to rejoin the Canucks
- Big shift for the Comets first PK group with the Marlies pinning the Comets into their zone for over a minute straight trying as the Comets penalty-killers struggle to catch the Marlies cycling
- Bizarre play as the Comets finally get a touch on the puck off a deflected shot on goal. Dylan Blujus (#8) attempts to beat out Korshkov to the puck along the endboards while freeing his tied-up stick. Korshkov releases his stick, and Blujus one-hands the stick into the jaw of Darren Archibald. Archibald goes down in a heap on the play, and for whatever effing reason, the refs don’t blow a whistle
- Archie heads down the tunnel holding his mouth, possibly lost a few chiclets on the play
- After the puck gets knocked out of play. The Refs then decide to confer in the neutral zone over the high-sticking play.
- Wow, never seen that before, Blujus gets called from the bench and sent to the penalty box after almost the entire Roussel penalty is killed off
- Comets to a two-second 5-on-3 before Roussel leaves the box for a four-minute 5-on-4
- MDP shoulders a missed shot above the protective netting, and the Comets penalty-killers get a change
- Lukas Jasek (#9) paces a pass ahead for Reid Boucher (#24), but it’s just out of his reach. Boucher regains possession along the right wall and plays a cheeky rink-wide pass game with Brogan Rafferty (#25) to chew time off the clock
- Also, I think this might be one of the few instances where Brogan Rafferty has been out on the penalty-kill this season.
- Lukas Jasek (#9) misses a huge open-ice-hit opportunity on Tanner MacMaster but instead plays the puck like a nerd
- A close call for the Comets in the final minute of the double-minor penalty-kill. Brogan Rafferty (#25) leaves his check, Egor Korshkov, in Di Pietro’s crease in favor of blocking a Scott Pooley one-timer. Unfortunately, he misses the block, and MDP redirects the shot out to Guillaume Brisebois (#55). Brisebois’ weak clearing attempt goes right onto the stick of Nic Baptiste, who passes through the open seam to Korshkov on the doorstep for the tap-in goal. Not sure if Rafferty forgot about Korshkov, or though Brisebois clear, but that lethargy on getting back to his post could’ve cost the Comets huge
- Marlies get another tap-in chance to close out their powerplay, but Justin Bailey clears just as the Marlies powerplay ends. Great kill for the Comets
- Comets pressure late as some well-rested players close out the final few minutes attempting to cycle in the Marlies zone, led by Carter Camper and Kole Lind
The Score at the end of the 2nd period: 2-2 Tie
A gutsy effort in the second period from the boys in blue, as they close out the second period having killed off six straight minutes of shorthanded time. Amazingly, despite the extended powerplay time for the Marlies, the Comets held them to just five shots total, according to the AHL game-center. That shot-total might change when I do my tracking comb-through later. Nonetheless, impressive period from the Comets penalty-killers on that one, even if there were a couple, “yikes moments” sprinkled throughout the PK. Before that, Kole Lind and his linemates were looking sharp in creating offense. Defense is regressing to those earlier tendencies that were giving their opponents multiple shorthanded opportunities. Fortunately, the Marlies passing has not been sharp tonight.
- MDP with an early sprawling save on Jeremy Bracco
- LOL, I somehow just realized the AHLtv is playing the game with their scoreboard laid overtop of the Marlies broadcast scoreboard
- Mitch Eliot (#52) sends a cross-ice feed to Reid Boucher (#24) who enters the Marlies zone for a ripper of a shot that grazed Woll’s dome
- Justin Bailey (#95) sends a rink-wide feed to Jonah Gadjovich (#21), who quickly turns along the left wall for a centering pass to Francis Perron (#27). The pass deflects off a defenders stick as they skate towards the net, eventually Perron fishes out the puck to settle it in the crease of Woll’s net. Gadjovich crashes for a rebound attempt, but can’t get it past Woll. Bailey follows up on Gadj’s rebound for a chance of his own, but sends it wide of the goal
- Seamus Malone (#17) capitalizes on a brutal Marlies break-out pass, and hands off to Reid Boucher (#24) for a stepping shot towards the net. Boucher’s miss rolls around the boards to Jalen Chatfield (#5), who throws a one-timer into the chest of Woll
- Seamus Malone and Sven Baertschi with a solid forecheck that strips the Marlies of possession, but they can’t get a shot attempt out of it
- GOAL – UTICA – 3-2 Comets: Wow, Kole Lind (#13) with a rocket of a shot to gain the Comets their first lead of the game. Play begins as Dyson Stevenson (#26) dumps the puck into the Marlies end-boards. The Comets can’t catch it, but the aggressive forecheck of Carter Camper (#19) and Antoine Roussel (#62) causes a turnover onto Campers stick. Camper passes off to the trailing Lind, who notches his fourth goal of the year with a rifling one-timer from the high-slot.
- Roussel gets an assist credit, but I’m about 99% sure he didn’t touch the puck. It should likely read, Stevenson, Camper, Lind. But whatever
- Jonah Gadjovich (#21) picks off another weak Marlies pass in the offensive zone, allowing Justin Bailey (#95) to wheel towards the goal line. Bailey centers a pass into heavy traffic, where Gadjovich manages to get off a shot that goes just wide of the goal.
- Solid hustle from Jalen Chatfield (#5) to beat Egor Korshkov on the icing
- Sven Baertschi (#47) off an offensive zone draw playing chess with the puck while everyone else playing checkers
- Sven Baertschi (#47) capitalizes on another weak Marlies break-out pass and gets a cheeky pass to Reid Boucher (#24), who walks in for a blast on Woll
- Comets getting numerous offensive-zone draws through the opening five minutes of play – Great pressure
- Comets fourth-line pressuring as Lukas Jasek (#9) gains the zone, then wrings the puck along the end boards to Carter Bancks (#34). Bancks sauces a centering pass to Dyson Stevenson (#26), but Kristians Rubins gets to the puck before Stevenson can get a shot off
- Carter Bancks still forechecking, gets his stick stuck in the skates of Hudson Elyniuk, putting the Comets back onto the penalty kill
- my favorite camera angle in hockey. The one where you cant see what’s going on
- MDP coming up huge on the PK for Utica with a point-blank stop on an Adam Brooks backhander
- alternate angle showing a better look at the second stop as Brooks followed up for a second try from on the goal line
- GOAL – TORONTO – 3-3 Tie: Ten minutes left, and it’s back to being anybody’s game. Liljegren starts it off with an absolute bomb of a one-timer from the point. MDP makes the initial stop with the pads, but his rebound goes right out to Darren Archibald, who taps-in the rebound as MDP had been playing a bit far out of his crease on the initial stop
- Reid Boucher (#24) with a quick blast off the faceoff draw after playing the puck through the skates of his former teammate, MacMaster
- Boucher sets up Baertschi with a pass in the left circle, but a defender blocks Baer’s shot
- Comets second line loses possession, forcing them to backcheck hard. Antoine Roussel (#62) gives Kole Lind (#13) the butt-push, which results in Lind getting to the end boards for a clearing pass to Roussel. The pass to Roussel bounces off his skate to Scott Pooley, who bombs a shot wide of the goal. Roussel breaks out of the zone for the Comets and passes over to Mitch Eliot (#52) for the dump-in. Bit hectic, but they got the job done
- Carter Bancks (#34) with a solid shift to disrupt the Marlies break-out attempt
- Comets controlling well this period
- Seamus Malone (#17) with some excellent puck protection as he wheels around the Marlies boards before centering a pass to Reid Boucher (#24) in the crease of Woll’s net, unfortunately, Boucher puts his shot wide of the goal
- Dyson Stevenson (#26) with a takeaway on the Marlies blue line leads to a prolonged period of possession in the Marlies zone for the Comets. Once again, the Comets fourth-line of Bancks, Jasek, and Stevenson cause this Marlies roster problems
- GOAL – UTICA – 4-3 Comets: Reid Boucher doing ‘Reid Boucher things’ as Guillaume Brisebois (#55) sends a rink-wide pass to Bouch as he’s entering the Marlies zone. Bouch skates over the right circle and wrists a laser over the left shoulder of Woll. Comets regain the lead with under 4.5 minutes to play
- Jonah Gadjovich (#21) attempts to angle a puck over to Justin Bailey (#95), but there isn’t enough steam on it. Fortunately, Bailey capitalizes on a Marlies turnover to race end-to-end for a scoring chance on Woll
- Kole Lind (#13) with some slick moves to control the puck after an offensive-zone draw
- Lind (#13) with a great effort to get around a defensemen for a two-on-one opportunity with Roussel (#62). Lind attempts a cross-ice feed, but a backchecking defender disrupts the pass
- after a great shift, Lind closes it out by almost getting demolished off a suicide pass from Ashton Sautner
- Marlies pull Woll with 1.5 remaining
- Jasek, Stevenson, and Bancks out in the waning minute and a half to tie up the Marlies in their end along the boards
- Comets ice the puck, and interestingly enough, Cull throws out Jasek, Boucher, and Baertschi as his final trio. Jasek is the only guy he trusts to take the defensive zone faceoff, I guess?
- Late chances from the Marlies as time winds down in the game
Gutsy effort by the Comets to come back from two one-goal deficits, and to tie it up late with an even-strength goal. Great effort from the team in the third period as they dominated the Marlies with possession. Shots in the final frame favored the Comets eight to six.
Final Score: 4-3 Utica Comets
|1st||TOR||Tanner MacMaster||Pontus Aberg||Egor Korshkov||5v5|
|1st||UTI||Sven Baertschi||Kole Lind||Reid Boucher||PPG|
|1st||TOR||Kenny Agostino||Jeremy Bracco||Rasmus Sandin||PPG|
|2nd||UTI||Justin Bailey||Sven Baertschi||Brogan Rafferty||PPG|
|3rd||UTI||Kole Lind||Carter Camper||Antoine Roussel||5v5|
|3rd||TOR||Darren Archibald||Tim Liljegren||Nicholas Baptiste||PPG|
|3rd||UTI||Reid Boucher||Guillaume Brisebois||Brogan Rafferty||5v5|
- Kole Lind had an incredible game, one goal and one assist with two shots on net. Doesn’t account for his compete level throughout the game as he was constantly creating chances for his line in the offensive zone. It’s pretty crazy to say it, but, on a line with an 8-year veteran in Carter Camper, and a literal NHL’er in Antoine Roussel, that Lind was far-and-away the most dangerous of the three. The Lindenaiisance has come upon us. Really liking his progression this season, isn’t the passenger he was last season, he’s a fantastic drive of offense and has an underrated defensive game to boot.
- Roussel, we hardly knew ye. Even though it was just a conditioning stint, I really enjoyed seeing him play with Lind. Their chemistry gave me hope for the future that Lind might one day get a chance to reunite with him. Even if it’s only for a preseason game, or in a mean-nothing game to close out a lost season (not that that will happen, given the Canucks impending seven straight cup wins). I think Lind could model his game off of Roussel’s, a bit of a shit-disturber who can agitate, make plays, and score. Size and strength might hold him back, but the Canucks have his rights until the end of the next season when he becomes an RFA.
- MDP had himself an “okay” game, he needs to stop sprawling to his belly on every big save, because if he doesn’t control that rebound well-enough, then he is susceptible to secondary scoring chances. Being a smaller guy, he has to play off his post, further than most goalies, so his defenders have to do better at muscling out forward playing net-front — nothing he could do on that Agostino goal. Archibald’s goal came off his need to play out to limit space for one-timer blasts. But again, rebound control has to be better to avoid chances like Archie got to tie things up.
- Reid Boucher was Reid Boucher. Guy has got an NHL shot that only works at the AHL level…not much more I can elaborate on him
- Baertschi wasn’t looking too hot through the opening ten minutes of the game, but he started to come alive as the game chugged along. After that powerplay tally, a switch went off for him, and suddenly it was like he was playing for his NHL career. Impressive puck-control display in the following two periods when the game wasn’t on penalty-killing time for the Comets
- Defense regressed to their tactics of playing way too deep in the offensive zone. I was hoping after Wednesday’s efforts that those tendencies were shored up or drilled into their heads effectively for the remainder of the season. Fortunately for the Comets D-corps tonight, the Marlies puck-control game was a complete trainwreck. The Marlies sheer number of errant passes and giveaways is what allowed the Comets to pressure in the offensive zone as much as they did. If the Marlies shore up on their control game, then that overly-aggressive play from the d-corps will get them killed by this very impressive Marlies forward group.
- Jonah Gadjovich continues to impress this season, despite not getting too much ample ice-time tonight against the Marlies. Gadj is making his shifts count, and that’s all anybody could ask from him. His skating looks sharp, he was physical, he didn’t even slow down, plus his playmaking ability didn’t look out of place alongside Perron and Bailey. I’d argue that he was controlled play better with Bailey than Perron did. Perron was rather quiet in tonight’s action, whereas Gadjovich was always doing the little things to make himself noticeable.
- Outside of that powerplay goal from Agostino, Jalen Chatfield was pretty decent. He made fewer mistakes than several of the other Comets blue liners. If only he had a decent shot, then his speed would be much more threatening.
- Lukas Jasek was alright in his return, but he was being carried pretty hard by Dyson Stevenson and Carter Bancks. The kids positioning and play with the puck is alright when he has the puck on his stick. But Jasek continues to look like he’s chasing play when he doesn’t inherently have the puck on his stick. It’s bizarre because last season, he was one of the Comets better defensive forwards despite not having the speed. Since his move to center, Jasek looks to have the speed but is playing worse defensively. I think this move to center has tanked his confidence. Jasek genuinely looks scared to create offense in the offensive zone. As much as I enjoy seeing a young forward who will peel back for a defensive effort, I can’t accept it if that’s at the expense of producing negative shot-attempts every game. I wish the Comets and Canucks staff were able to fix the mess they’ve made and could get this kid back to his more comfortable position.
- Overall, a solid performance from the Comets in a road game against a very hot team. The Comets end the Marlies win-streak at seven and quietly find themselves on a three-game win streak. Tonight’s win puts their points-percentage at 0.643, giving them the edge over the Belleville Senators and the Laval Rocket, who both tie the Comets with 27 points in the division. Comets hopefully return Sunday for another decent effort to try and widen that gap a bit further.
Comets Three Stars
- Reid Boucher
- Kole Lind
- Sven Baertschi
The Comets Trajectory?
The Comets are back in action tomorrow when they engage in the rematch. Hopefully, the Comets win, but more importantly, hopefully, I get the recap out in a much timelier fashion!
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