Good afternoon Canucks Nation it’s time to start my favorite month of the year with a Comets rematch against the Toronto Marlies.
Now, because this is the season of perpetual hope, I’m hoping that this Christmas season, that the Comets don’t embarrass themselves too often against their opponents, and they establish themselves amongst the tops of the AHL’s North Division.
Not much to really say before this afternoon’s game, as the only change in the 24 hours since their last match, is Jalen Chatfield getting scratched out of the starting lineup for Stefan LeBlanc. Chatfield’s scratch likely has everything to do with Edler’s injury against the Oilers. Probably a precautionary thing in case he does need to get called up.
THE STARTING LINEUP
|Baertschi (#47)||Malone (#17)||Boucher (#24)|
|Perron (#27)||Camper (#19)||Lind (#13)|
|Gadjovich (#21)||Jasek (#9)||Bailey (#95)|
|Sorenson (#74)||Bancks (#34)||Stevenson (#26)|
|LeBlanc (#3)||Sautner (#6)|
|Brisebois (#55)||Rafferty (#25)|
|Teves (#4)||Eliot (#52)|
|Michael Di Pietro|
Roussel listed as a healthy scratch because, I guess, the Canucks haven’t made the roster move to make space for him?
Perron flips back up to the left-wing to play alongside Camper and Lind, and Tanner Sorenson slides to the wing alongside Bancks and Stevenson.
Dylan Blujus also slides out of the lineup due to an injury picked up in yesterday’s game. Going to be a pretty inexperienced
Interesting that MDP gets his third-straight start between the pipes! And his second start in a back-to-back. MDP wasn’t as sharp yesterday as he was in previous games, but a win-streak is a win-streak, best to ride the hot hand while you can.
RE: INJURY REPORT
|Olli Juolevi (not the knee)||Vincent Arseneau||Wacey Hamilton||Dylan Blujus|
|Richard Bachman||Justin Taylor||Tanner Sorenson||Antoine Roussel|
Comets in Blue
- So it looks like the * primary* broadcast operators are airing this game on the NHL network. Meaning AHL’s TV site is using the b-squad…or in this games case, the effing D squad, as this games video quality is reminiscent of old VHS camcorder footage. Apologies in advance for the quality of tonight’s streamables being so bleh.
- Money well spent
- Camera operator falls asleep but picks himself up to catch Garrett Wilsons shot off a Comets defensive zone draw, almost trickles past MDP into the net
- Comets fourth-line pressuring hard in the Marlies zone, with Teves and Eliot doing admirably to hold the blue line and retain possession for the team. Fourth-line hems the Marlies for so long that eventually, the fourth-liners start racing back to the bench one-by-one to change off for the Jasek line. Really great control from them
- Guillaume Brisebois (#55) with a dangerous giveaway to the high-slot that leads to a scoring chance for the Marlies. Brisebois punctuates his shift with a tripping penalty to put the Comets on the penalty kill
- Roussel and Blujus were features on the Comets PK the past two games, wonder who steps up in their absences today
- 1st PK group: Bancks, Jasek, LeBlanc, Sautner (I think)
- MDP with a glove save on Jeremy Bracco as he gets a burst of speed around Stefan LeBlanc (#3)
- GOAL – TORONTO – 1-0 Marlies: An absolute carbon-copy of the Marlies powerplay goal from yesterday. Pontus Aberg sends a cross-ice feed to Jeremy Bracco, which forces Stefan LeBlanc (#3) to abandon his check in the crease of Di Pietro’s net. LeBlanc missed the block of Bracco’s pass to Adam Brooks on the doorstep, and Ashton Sautner #6) isn’t in position to get a stick-lift to deny the shot. An easy tap-in for the Marlies to give themselves the one-nothing lead.
- Wow, Matt Read goes end to end and completely undresses Guillaume Brisebois (#55) on the way to a backhand shot on MDP
- Comets establishing themselves in the Marlies zone but keep throwing the puck away
- Lukas Jasek (#9) steals the puck from three Marlies players and wheel around the end-boards to the blue line where he hands off to Ashton Sautner (#6) for a quick blast that goes wide of the goal
- GOAL – UTICA – 1-1 Tie: Lukas Jasek continues his impressive shift by tying up the game with a wicked centering pass from the Marlies blue line. Jasek (#9) was all over the ice on this shift as he alternated between forechecker and defender from end-boards to blue line. Eventually, Jasek capitalizes on a Marlies giveaway and turns for a tape-to-tape pass to Justin Bailey (#95), who unselfishly hands off to Jonah Gadjovich (#21) for a point-blank tap-in goal past Kasimir Kaskisuo. Gadjovich’s game-tying goal is his fourth of the season, and puts him at five points in eight games played
- MDP with a solid close-range stop on Adam Brooks
- Ashton Sautner (#6) wheels the puck around the end-boards off a defensive-zone faceoff but blows a tire and loses possession. Fortunately, Seamus Malone (#17) steps in and muscle two Marlies players off the puck for an end-to-end zone entry rush
- Kole Lind (#13) catches a Reid Boucher (#24) rebound then races with the puck behind the goal line and makes Egor Korshkov look quite foolish with a great toe-drag to get around the monstrous left-winger
- Teemu Kivihalme with the wheels to get around Lukas Jasek (#9) and Josh Teves (#4) for a shot that goes just wide of the goal
- Justin Bailey (#95) forgets where the net is and rips a slapper into the half wall
- Reid Boucher (#24) almost gives the Comets a high-danger scoring opportunity after he disrupts a pass in the bottom half of the Marlies right circle. Sven Baertschi (#47) is just out of reach to pick up the puck after Bouch wheels towards the slot. Boucher gets knocked to the ice without possession of the puck, and he argues for a call with the refs
- Francis Perron (#27) picks off a Marlies break out pass and sends it to Carter Camper (#19), who wheels around Adam Brooks for a shot on goal
- Mitch Eliot (#52) showing some speed as he changes onto the ice and chases a Marlies pass to the Comets blue line to beat out Martin Marincin. Eliot’s physical play allows him to get the puck up to Carter Bancks (#34) who enters the Marlies zone, where the fourth line sets up for more elongated pressure
- After some early pressure from the Marlies, the latter half of this period has been all Comets
- Comets win an offensive zone faceoff, but Matt Read forces his way past Josh Teves (#4) along the blue line to give the Marlies a two-on-one rush towards MDP. Di Pietro comes up big with the blocker save
- Reid Boucher (#24) with a ridiculously dangerous high elbow on Teemu Kivihalme
- Not sure what Bouch was trying to argue with the refs about, that elbow at full speed was pretty dangerous AF
- Call on the game-center report is two minutes for high-sticking. Maybe it’s just the quality of the VOD I’m working with, but perhaps it was the butt-end of Bouch’s stick that hit Teemu, not his elbow
- LOL, camera guy with a pre-emptive anticipation of a Comets shorthanded chance
- GOAL – UTICA – 2-1 Comets: The Captain! Carter Bancks (#34) with the spinorama move, shorthanded, to break the tie and give the Comets their first lead of the game. Play starts with Brogan Rafferty (#25) chipping an errant Marlies pass out to the neutral zone for Bancks (#34) to pick up. Bancks casually strolls down the right-wing before rolling out the spinorama for a backhand centering pass to Lukas Jasek (#9) for the tap-in goal. Jasek tallies his fourth goal of the year.
- The Boucher penalty gets killed and the game returns to 5-on-5
- Wow, far left of the streamable to start, Rasmus Sandin and Kole Lind drop the gloves and fight… and the fucking camera operator doesn’t even show the beginning of it! Unforgivable shit from the camera operator
- Time winds down on the period without much happening. Justin Bailey gets one of his patent runs on net, but his weak shot gets sticked away
The score at the end of the 1st period: 2-1 Comets
Like Loui Eriksson scoring his first of the season against Edmonton, you just had to feel fantastic watching Lukas Jasek notch that shorthanded goal. Jasek’s troubles since moving to center have been talked about ad nauseam by myself and others who watch the Comets, so seeing him get such a clutch goal for the team while the shorthanded was great. He’s no six-million-dollar man, but it’s always a great relief to be able to cheer for someone who’s struggling rather than continuing the pile-on. Deeply upset that we don’t get to see that Lind/Sandin scrap, the conclusion of it looked terrible, I can’t imagine how bad it was to start, haha. Overall, a solid first period from the Comets, great effort, and battle to notch two clutch goals.
- Ashton Sautner (#6) bobbles a breakout pass, then Seamus Malone (#17) gets stripped of the puck as he attempts to carry the puck out of the d-zone. The Marlies Hudson Elynuik gets the takeaway and peels for a shot on goal, but Sautner recovers to get his stick on Elynuik’s shot. Deflecting it high and out of play
- Wow, Comets getting a bit too unselfish. Play starts with the Marlies attempting to flip a puck through center to clear the zone, only for Carter Camper (#19) to get his stick on it to disrupt the attempt. Francis Perron (#27) catches the puck in the high-slot and drops it for a golden opportunity. Perron elects, however, to pass off to Camper at the side of the goal, who tries to deke to his backhand for a shot over Kaskisuo. Kaskisuo lays his stick down just far enough to deflect Campers backhand wide of the goal
- Seamus Malone (#17) plays the puck behind himself along the Marlies end boards to get away from his check, before he sets up Josh Teves (#4) for a shot on goal from the blue line
- Marlies look gassed, passes just aren’t finding their targets
- Comets get caught playing too many men up in the defensive zone, as Garrett Wilson finds himself all alone in the crease of Di Pietro’s net for a scoring chance, only for MDP to once again come up big with the save
- Comets begin a line-change at a risky time without possession, as the Marlies find Adam Brooks deep behind the Comets defense. Once again, MDP does MDP things
- Brogan Rafferty (#25) with a slick drop pass to Sven Baertschi (#37), who rips a shot on net
- Justin Bailey gets tripped up in the neutral zone, and the Comets are off to their first powerplay of the game
- GOAL – UTICA – 3-1 Comets: The Comets go 1/1 on the powerplay this game as Reid Boucher (#24) rockets a shot from the right-wing that redirects off the leg of Justin Bailey (#95) into the back of the net. Marlies make the big mistake of giving Boucher all the time and space needed to score.
- Carter Bancks (#34) gets dangerously boarded by Egor Korshkov, and Dyson Stevenson (#26) lets him have it
- Stevenson picks up a two-minute minor for roughing, while Korshkov picks up two for boarding and an additional two for roughing
- Bancks has already got a face-shield on, really dumb play from Korshkov
- Comets 1st peeper: Boucher, Rafferty, Lind, Bailey, Baertschi
- Comets forced out of the offensive zone after Baertschi throws a pass into the skates of Kole Lind that is easily pushed out by the Marlies penalty-killers
- Marlies get a shorthanded drive on goal where a shot from Tim Liljegren goes up into the protective netting, second unit comes out to replace the first. Powerplay not looking as hot on this try
- Nic Baptiste then takes a slashing penalty to give the Comets a very brief 5-on-3 powerplay before returning to the standard 5-on-4
- Boucher gets one shot into the pads of Kaskisuo on the 5-on-3 but that’s all they can muster
- Oof, brutal powerplay from the Comets as they generate maybe three shots over the four-minutes straight of playing-time with the man-advantage
- Game’s returned to five-on-five, but the pace of the game has slowed considerably. Both Comets and Marlies struggling to complete passes
- Dyson Stevenson (#26) attempts a centering slap pass to Ashton Sautner (#6), but there isn’t enough steam on it to get cross-ice. Tanner Sorenson (#74) recovers Stevenson’s missed pass and centers it back to him from the Marlies blueline, where Stevenson then registers a shot attempt
- Tanner Sorenson (#74) chases a dump-in to the Comets zone and almost gets a scoring chance from behind the goal line after Kaskisuo misplays the puck
- Garrett Wilson sticks his leg out on Justin Bailey (#95) as he attempts to cut through center for a shot-attempt. Comets close out the remainder of the second with a powerplay
- Comets get a few redirect attempts that go wide of the goal, but the Marlies hold them off.
The score at the end of the 2nd period: 3-1 Comets
It would’ve been nice to see the Comets extend that lead a bit more with that much powerplay time. The way they slowed down so considerably to close out the period could be disastrous if that’s how they play the remaining twenty minutes. Marlies are playing their third game in three days and somehow have more jump to their step than the Comets do. Comets barely edge the Marlies in shot-attempts, eight to six. Not good enough for a team that had nearly eight minutes of powerplay time.
- Comets powerplay can’t even enter the zone to start the period, and the game returns to 5-on-5
- Comets playing like they’re on a penalty kill. Not looking good for the boys in blue
- No aggression from the Comets in this opening three minutes.
- Carter Camper (#19) centers a pass for Sven Baertschi (#47) in the crease of Kaskisuo’s net, but his shot attempt deflects wide above the goal
- Josh Teves walks the Marlies blue line and gets tripped up by Matt Read. Comets off to their sixth powerplay of the game
- Wellp that was quick. Comets turnover the puck inside the Marlies zone and Mitch Eliot (#52) is forced to run interference to prevent a shorthanded scoring chance for Toronto
- Ashton Sautner (#6) drops for a shot-block, but the Comets just bobbling the puck left right and center as they fail to clear
- 4-on-4 ends and after a very brief powerplay, the game resumes at 5-on-5
- GOAL – TORONTO – 3-2 Comets: Marlies cut the Comets lead in half off a point shot from Jordan Schmaltz that gets tipped under the pads of MDP by Hudson Elynuik. Comets are playing the 5-on-5 as if they were at facing a man-advantage.
- GOAL – TORONTO – 3-3 Tie: yeah, the writings on the walls for this one. The Comets are completely dead in the water here, as the Marlies score their second even-strength goal in less than two minutes to make this a tie-game. No point in even describing the details. The Comets are just getting outplayed, and look lost
- Comets stringing passes together a bit better after the next faceoff
- Despite gaining the Marlies zone on several occasions, the Comets are struggling to cycle the puck efficiently. Marlies breaking up the Comets cross-ice feeds at will, while the Comets aren’t nearly tenacious enough to chase pucks down
- GOAL – TORONTO – 4-3 Marlies: LOL, that’s all.
- Three Comets just floating in the high-slot, completely unsure of what to do in order to defend. MDP can’t even see the shot as the Comets allow him to be screened by Darren Archibald with no questions asked. Lindgren’s shot redirects off of Baileys stick as he halfheartedly drops to block the shot
- Shocked Cull didn’t call a time out after the tying goal. What is with the Canucks organization and not calling timeouts when the games momentum is clearly swinging in their opponent’s favor after a string of goals?
- Comets most dangerous moments from the period as Boucher (#24) and Sautner (#6) get some shot attempts amongst the Marlies traffic. Nothing comes from the attempts, which is telling of how poor they’ve managed this period
- GOAL – TORONTO – 5-3 Marlies: Adam Brooks continues his evisceration of the Comets with his third goal of the game. Play starts when four of the five Comets on the ice chase a Justin Bailey-carried puck into the Marlies right half wall. Sure enough, the lethargy of the team prompts a three-on-one rush the other way, turning into a two-on-one, which results in an easy tap-in hat-trick for Brooks.
- Lol, Cull actually pulls MDP for the extra attacker with 1:45 remaining in the third. He must not have noticed the team’s effort to this point of the game or something, because an extra man isn’t going to do shit for this club
- Yep, Comets spend the next 45 seconds turning over the puck at the blue line and giving the Marlies two empty-net chances
- kind of bizarre moment, as Tanner MacMaster deliberately runs into his former teammate Kole Lind before the next neutral zone faceoff
- Pretty obvious the play was to get himself kicked out of the game as well as goad Lind into taking a penalty that would take him off the man-advantage powerplay to close the game. Pretty ingenious really, just funny that it was his former teammate to do it
- Some mildly interesting things happened to close the game, but who cares, the players certainly didn’t so why should we!
Well, that was embarrassing. Imagine getting out-hustled by a team playing their third game in three nights. What the hell were the Comets doing last night? Were they out getting tanked at the Maple Leafs game? Pathetic effort to close out the final two periods.
Final Score: 5-3 Toronto Marlies
|1st||TOR||Adam Brooks||Jeremy Bracco||Pontus Aberg||PPG|
|1st||UTI||Jonah Gadjovich||Justin Bailey||Lukas Jasek||5v5|
|1st||UTI||Lukas Jasek||Carter Bancks||Brogan Rafferty||SH|
|2nd||UTI||Justin Bailey||Reid Boucher||Brogan Rafferty||ppg|
|3rd||TOR||Hudson Elynuik||Jordan Schmaltz||Tanner MacMaster||5v5|
|3rd||TOR||Adam Brooks||Egor Korshkov||Martin Marincin||5v5|
|3rd||TOR||Jesper Lindgren||Adam Brooks||Jeremy Bracco||5v5|
|3rd||TOR||Adam Brooks||Jeremy Bracco||Darren Archibald||5v5|
- What’s there to say honestly? Team got a two-goal lead in the second period and then stopped playing hockey. Comets were outshot ten to six to close out the third period and went 0/5 on the powerplay after their one successful try, early into the second period. Effort levels were pathetic. This could have been a great statement weekend from the team that widened the gap between them and the Belleville Senators and the Laval Rocket. But instead, they laid an egg and left poor Mikey Di Pietro out to dry on so, so, so, so many even-strength goals.
- Again, where was the timeout call from Trent Cull? How could he not recognize that the Marlies had a giant momentum shift after that first goal from Hudson Elynuik in the third? Could he seriously not sense the change in momentum that had already begun in the second period? Does the AHL not have timeouts?
- This weekend’s games from MDP tanked his numbers. Hard to fault him on the majority of those goals too, as his team left him high-and-dry. MDP’s save percentage remains at 0.913, but his GAA trickles up to 2.44.
- Genuinely not looking forward to re-watching this one to track shot-attempt data, because oh boy that quality was the video equivalent of getting the flu.
- Stefan LeBlanc was on the ice for three of the Marlies goals. Lukas Jasek and Gadjovich were on the ice for three of the Marlies four goals that closed out the game. Really bad look for the young guns after an otherwise promising start to the game that saw both pick-up points in the first period with stellar forechecking and play-creation. If the coaches had spare forwards, both these guys would likely be getting scratched for their third-period efforts. Both looked utterly lost, playing with the lead in the third. And when the going got tough, they floundered when they were asked to play critical defensive roles against a surging Marlies team.
- Decent game from Brogan Rafferty, as he concluded his game with two secondary assists while being on for just one goal-against. He’s at his best when he plays a subdued game, and this weekend had two prime examples of him accomplishing a lot without going overboard in the offensive zone. Jalen Chatfield likely gets called up for depth in the wake of Edler’s injury, but I do kind of wish they gave Rafferty a look.
Comets Three Stars
- MDP, cause in spite of the five goals against, I feel like he’s probably still having a great time
- Brogan Rafferty, see above
- Carter Bancks, for the spinorama and being on the ice for just two goals against
The Comets Trajectory?
The Comets get a much-needed five-day break to work on their shortcomings that cost them in Toronto. They’ll return this upcoming Friday when they take on the Bridgeport Sound Tigers at home. The game against Bridgeport kicks of a four-games in six-night stretch for the Comets.
If you want more Comets coverage from yours truly, you can now find MORE of my writing at thesinbin.net