Well Canucks fans, its time to follow up the main course with some dessert as we move from the Canucks wild OT win over Buffalo into the Comets roadie against Providence.
The last time these teams met, the Comets struggled to score on Bruins tendy, Max Lagace. Despite controlling shot-attempts for the bulk of the game, the Comets simply weren’t strong enough to break the Bruins defense.
The Comets were atrocious at controlling shot attempts against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, so they will need to have an inverse performance with Richard Bachman starting between the pipes.
Bachman starts for the first time this season and will likely be incredibly rusty. Comets have to do everything in their power to not leave him high-and-dry. It’s been a tough year for Bacher as he’s spent the season relegated to being a rostered goaltending consultant for the team. Fingers crossed the Comets have a much better performance tonight against the higher-ranked Providence.
Providence currently leads the AHL’s Atlantic Division and are on a seven-game point streak. Their powerplay is middle of the pack, but their penalty kill is third in the Eastern Conference.
The Comets special teams have been killing it, despite their brutal results over the past month and a bit. Their 22.5% powerplay success rate is the best in the Eastern Conference, and their 86.3% penalty-killing percentage is second in the East as well. Powerplay will have to be top-notch tonight against Providence if they want to maintain their streak of powerplay goals. Last night’s powerplay tally from Jonah Gadjovich made it ten-straight.
Here’s to them making it eleven straight! With that, let’s take a look at the starting lineup!
THE STARTING LINEUP
|Baertschi (#47)||Malone (#17)||Boucher (#24)|
|Bailey (#95)||Camper (#19)||Lind (#13)|
|Gadjovich (#21)||Jasek (#9)||Perron (#27)|
|Arseneau (#18)||Bancks (#34)||Stevenson (#26)|
|Juolevi (#48)||Sautner (#6)|
|Brisebois (#55)||Rafferty (#25)|
|Teves (#4)||LeBlanc (#3)|
In hindsight, I actually can’t believe they gave McIntyre the start against the worst team in the Atlantic Division. Giving Bachman his season debut against the best team in the Atlantic Division seems like a disaster waiting to happen. Coaching staff makes some baffling roster decisions.
Mitch Eliot slides out of the lineup for Josh Teves. Eliot struggled against Bridgeport pretty badly and even started seeing his minutes get cut in the third frame due to how poor he was playing. Josh Teves isn’t exactly an upgrade, but his speed will at least be an asset to the team. Needs to find a scoring punch to his game to start earning consistent ice-time.
RE: INJURY REPORT
|Wacey Hamilton (faceeeeeee)||Dylan Blujus (undisclosed)|
|Tanner Sorenson||Mitch Eliot||David Pope||Nikolay Goldobin (unavailable to play)||Zack MacEwen|
Comets in Blue
- Oh boy, if you have vision problems like I do, maybe avoid watching some of the streamables. It looks like they forgot to focus the camera
- Richard Bachman records his first save of the season
- Comets doing good to get pucks into the Bruins zone
- Comets game plan appears to be setting up for one-timer blasts on the blue line – Not spending a lot of time trying to carry the puck towards the goal
- Arseneau and the fourth line already getting a couple looks in the opening five minutes of the game. Trent Cull trying to get his team to establish sustained pressure in the offensive zone, and Arseneau’s line has done admirably at that this season
- Dyson Stevenson (#26) with a sick pass through a defenders legs for a shot-attempt that deflects of a Bruins leg and wide of the goal
- Comets face a shot after losing a defensive zone faceoff. Lukas Jasek (#9) leads the breakout with a no-look centering pass to Francis Perron (#27). Perron hands off to Jonah Gadjovich (#21)on the left-wing, and he whips a shot on goal
- Sven Baertschi (#47) with a slick backhand pass to Seamus Malone (#17) in the crease of Vladar’s net
- The B’s Peter Cehlarik attempts to muscle past Josh Teves (#4) for a shot on goal, but Teves does well to force him off the play
- yikes, Jonah Gadjovich (#21) carries the puck into the Bruins zone then gets taken down into the end-boards head first. Gadj got to the bench under his own power, but scary to see someone slide into the boards like that
- Josh Teves blocks a shot then launches a shot into the chest of Vladar from the Bruins blue line before mucking it up in the crease
- Jakub Lauko goes loco as he blitzes around Olli Juolevi (#48) and Ashton Sautner (#6) before attempting a centering pass into the slot. Juolevi recovers the pass and clears the zone for the Comets.
- Camera doesn’t capture it well enough, but Vinny Arseneau blows up Jakub Zboril at the centerline
- Olli Juolevi (#48) facing pressure from two Bruins gets a quick break out pass to Vinny Arseneau (#18), who carries it out to neutral territory
- Providence is repeating the Sound Tigers approach, and just hammering the Comets with shot attempts whenever they’re in the zone. Quantity over quality appears to be the name of the game
- Peter Cehlarik rips a shot that goes off the stick of Ryan Fitzgerald and over the net of Bachman. Spotlight guy gets a little excited and hits the button a little too early
- Jonah Gadjovich on the ice for a defensive zone faceoff so doesn’t look like that end-boards collision will take him out of action
- Jakub Lauko displaying tremendous speed again as he wheels around the Comets end-boards, beating Ashton Sautner (#6) out for a wraparound attempt on Bachman
- Scary scene at the arena; after Justin Bailey (#95) gets knocked into the Comets bench by Jakub Lauko. Lauko suddenly collapses face-first to the ice out of nowhere. Both athletic trainers leave the bench to tend to Lauko, as both teams immediately call for the stretcher.
- Lauko eventually was stretchered off the ice, as he gave the crowd a thumbs-up
- Play resumes, and the Bruins are back to playing a heavy forechecking style
- Comets fourth-line out to counter, and VinnyArseneau (#18) levels Zboril for the second time tonight. The big boy’s line eventually gets the puck into the B’s zone. After another big hit from Arseneau, Trent Frederic drills him head-first into the end-boards, drawing a penalty against Providence
- 1st peeper: Lind, Boucher, Rafferty, Bailey, Baertschi
- 1st peeper loses the zone immediately after winning the opening faceoff draw. Justin Bailey regains the zone for the Comets
- Kole Lind (#13) under pressure at the Comets blue line. Lind throws the puck right onto the stick of Joona Koppanen, who then gets a breakaway opportunity only to fan on his shot attempt
- 2nd peeper comes out, and Jonah Gadjovich (#21) attempts a tip-in attempt on an Olli Juolevi (#48) point shot, but Vladar makes the save
- Sven Baertschi (#47) falls hard into the boards, and I think I audibly gasped in fear
The score at the end of the 1st period: 0-0 tie
Once again, it looks like it’ll be a tight game against the Providence Bruins for the Utica Comets. Richard Bachman is looking very strong so far tonight as he stopped 16 of 16 shots. Comets registered just eight shots on goal. Comets need to make more of their time spent in the offensive zone. Need to take a page from their two opponents thus far this weekend, and start throwing everything they can towards the net.
- GOAL – PROVIDENCE – 1-0 Bruins: Bruins get the gift of a lifetime as Bachman has a complete brainfart to give up the opening goal of the game. Paul Carey begins the play by dumping the puck into the Comets half wall from neutral territory. Robert Lantosi beats Olli Juolevi (#48) to the puck and sends a shot in on Bachman. Bachman puts his glove down on the ice as if he was stopping the puck, and is comically late to react to Paul Carey’s rebound shot on goal. I’m still in a bit of disbelief that Bachman thought he gloved down the puck as it clearly went through the crease off his right pad. Either Bachman injured himself on the play and was slow to move left-to-right, or he straight up lost vision of the puck. Either scenario is a bad look
- Lantosi wheels around the Comets end boards, beating Guillaume Brisebois (#55) for a shot attempt. Brisebois then comically collides with Justin Bailey (#95), who manages to clear the zone while lying on his back
- Finding very little to discuss with the Coomets play this period. Comets relying on Richard Bachman to come up repeatedly with clutch saves as the Comets stand around motionless in their zone
- Justin Bailey gets a speedy rush down the left-wing for a centering pass to Kole Lind, but Lind gets tied up, and nothing comes from the play
- TV Timeout seven and change into the second period and Bachman is already up to 24 saves
- Baertschi (#47) with a beautiful move to split between the D for a drive on net. Bae sends a pass to Seamus Malone (#17) for the tap-in, but Malone gets hauled to the ice by a defender
- Comets lose a defensive draw, but Jonah Gadjovich (#21) shows great tenacity to pick up the lost draw and force the puck out of the Comets zone and into the Bruins end
- Off Gadjovich’s drive, Olli Juolevi (#48) gets dinged for interference, putting the Comets onto the penalty kill
- Comets division-leading penalty-kill will have to do without their leading shot-blocker
- LOL, anytime the B’s touch the puck, there is a guy in the crowd, no matter what the angle that keeps shouting “JUST SHOOT IT!”
- Lukas Jasek (#9) gets a stick on a cross-ice feed only to put it right into the body of Robert Lantosi
- Comets kill off the PK, holding the Bruins to one shot only
- Comets struggling to clear the puck out of the zone to allow for a wholesale line change
- Amidst their struggles to clear from their end, Josh Teves (#4) picks up a cross-checking penalty to put the Comets back onto the penalty-kill
- Comets peeker manages to tie up the puck along the end-boards to chew down a healthy chunk of the Teves penalty
- Providence’s powerplay looking pretty mediocre here as the Comets clear multiple times to kill the Teves penalty
- Dan Vladar ices the puck and the Comets get an offensive zone draw during the waning seconds of the pk
- Brogan Rafferty (#25) takes a high stick to the eye behind the net of Bachman from Cameron Hughes. Rafferty was struggling to keep up with play, and it almost results in a scoring chance for the B’s. Eventually, Robert Lantosi gets dinged for tripping as he takes down Francis Perron (#27) along the Comets half wall
- Comets get their second powerplay of the night
- GOAL – UTICA – 1-1 Tie: Comets capitalize off the opening powerplay draw, as Justin Bailey (#95) gets a tap-in off a Reid Boucher (#24) slap-pass for his eighth of the season. Comets actually lose the draw, but Bailey hustles to retrieve the puck off a Bruins defender to paly it back to Olli Juolevi (#48). Juolevi goes rink-wide to Boucher on the right-wing, and he rips a brilliant pass to Bailey on the doorstep for the equalizer
- Bruins get a huge scoring opportunity against an exhausted Comets d-pairing. Fortunately, Ashton Sautner (#6) comes up big to muscle Robert Lantosi off of a backdoor tap-in attempt
- Jonah Gadjovich (#21) sets up Francis Perron (#27) for a golden one-timer attempt in the slot, but Perron fans on it
The score at the end of the 2nd period: 1-1 Tie
Amazingly, after getting outshot NINETEEN to FIVE in the second period, this one remains tied at one apiece. After two periods, Comets have been outshot 35 to 13.
They’re going to have to do something to start drawing penalties and getting more opportunities with the man-advantage in the third. They’re getting eviscerated at even-strength and need every little advantage they can get. The scary thing is, I don’t think Goldobin OR MacEwen will do much to change the way the Comets have played lately. Neither guy is renowned for their defensive play or ability to sustain shot-attempt pressure.
- Francis Perron (#27) sends a pass into the slot that goes past Jonah Gadjovich (#21), and a crashing Lukas Jasek (#9) mises the feed as he gets knocked over to the ice
- Comets continuing the game plan of standing perfectly still as if each Bruins forward is a T-Rex. No one is stepping forward to go man-on with their check. Comets defense is entirely reliant on the Bruins failing on their shot-attempts or failing on their passes. No way this is sustainable hockey.
- Juolevi (#48) half-heartedly steps into a Bruins forward trying to gain the zone, and takes a tripping penalty to put the Comets on their third penalty kill of the night
- Comets kill off the Juolevi PK, holding the B’s to just one shot on goal
- GOAL – PROVIDENCE – 2-1 Bruins: it could only be you! As Sven Baertschi (#47) attempts a breakout pass from inside the Comets blue line, only for it to get picked off by Paul Carey. Carey’s takeaway winds up on the stick of Robert Lantosi, who gets hit by Baer. Baer overskates the loose puck during his hit, allowing former Canucks legend, Brendan Gaunce, to seal. Gaunce races around Brogan Rafferty (#25) towards the left circle and rockets a wrister past Bachman to break the tie
- Carter Bancks (#34) with a breakaway opportunity, but loses the puck when he hits the brakes for a shot attempt. Dyson Stevenson (#26) drives through center and gets hauled down on the way in
- Comets shots on goal this period have been from impossible angles and spectacularly ineffective
- Kole Lind (#13) protecting the puck along the Bruins end boards manages to find Ashton Sautner (#6) with a rink-wide pass. Sautners bomb from the point catches Vladar in the body, but the Bruins do well to prevent any second-attempts
- Nine minutes left in regulation and Richard Bachman comes up with a big save on a point shot deflected at the last second
- Sautner (#6) gets hit hard into the boards from behind, he channels that frustration into a huge point shot
- Lukas Jasek (#9) attempts to carry the puck out of the zone for the Comets, but he has the puck poked off his stick by Paul Carey
- Comets repeatedly throwing the puck away in the neutral zone
- GOAL – UTICA – 2-2 Tie: Hahahahahaha, the madlads have done it. They’ve managed to make this a tie game despite getting outshot 3-to-1. Lukas Jasek (#9) starts it off with a rink-wide feed to Olli Juolevi (#48), who rips a blast on net. Juolevi pinches aggressively along the right wall to catch his rebound. The B’s Peter Cehlarik attempts to chip a centering pass to Alex Petrovic, but it’s in his body, so he hand passes the puck to his feet. Reid Boucher (#24) pounces on the dropped puck and cuts to the high slot for a laser of a wrist-shot that goes top corner on Vladar’s net
- It could only be Bouch!
- Fantastic effort from Juolevi on the game-tying goal, arguably the best offensive pinch I’ve seen from a Comets defenseman in quite some time
- Juolevi (#48) and Jasek (#9) involved in a board battle along the Comets half wall. Jasek attempts to clear with a pass, but its right onto the tape of a Bruins player. Fortunately, Oskar Steen bumps Richard Bachman over in the crease, giving the Comets a powerplay with less than a minute left in the period
- Wellp, Justin Bailey takes a hooking penalty with eight seconds remaining in the third.
- Time winds down, and the Comets and Bruins will have 55 seconds of 4-on-4 before the Bruins get themselves a 4-on-3 powerplay
The score at the end of the 3rd period: 2-2 tie
- Jasek loses the draw to Gaunce, but the Comets recover only to play keep-away rather than pressure
- 3:57 left, and the Bruins get the extra man for a 4-on-3 powerplay
- Bruins with 3-4 shot attempts but can’t get one cleanly on net
- Bailey leaves the box and its four-on-four until the next whistle
- Comets attempting to clear, and then Sven Baertschi (#47) gets a perfect stick placement to stop a shot from Urho Vaakanainen
- Juolevi (#48) gloves down a shot and springs Justin Bailey (#95) ahead for a two-on-one rush. Bailey attempts a centering feed to Kole Lind (#13), but the Bruins get a stick on it and force it wide of the goal
- Audio is picking up a kid from the crowd who is absolutely furious that no one is shooting the puck at will, nor are they fighting
- Bruins spend the remainder of OT in the Comets zone but don’t get many shots through to the net
The score at the end of the Overtime: 2-2 Tie
For the second night in a row, the Comets chance at a second point depends on the shootout.
- Robert Lantosi – SCORES
- Francis Perron – save
- Paul Carey – save
- Sven Baertschi – Save
- Brendan Gaunce – miss
- For the second night in a row, it comes down to Reid Boucher to keep the Comets alive
- Reid Boucher – save…Comets lose
Final Score: 3-2 Providence Bruins
|2nd||Providence||Paul Carey||Robert Lantosi||Josiah Didier||5v5|
|2nd||Utica||Justin Bailey||Reid Boucher||Olli Juolevi||PPG|
|3rd||Providence||Brendan Gaunce||Robert Lantosi||Paul Carey||5v5|
|3rd||Utica||Reid Boucher||Olli Juolevi||—||5v5|
- It’s pretty funny; you could literally take everything I said last night against Bridgeport, and apply it to tonight’s game
- Another disappointing display of puck-control from the Utica Comets. Their best-sustained pressure came in
the final two minutes of the third period, and the entire overtime periodnever. Otherwise,it was a pretty pitiful performance.
- Olli Juolevi looked solid in his
returnsecond game back. Was crucial in the Comets penalty-killing tonighttwo equalizer goals to force overtime. Skating looked better tonight than it did before his recent IR stint. Guess the time off did wonders for him. Bummer about the post he hit tonighttwo penalties he took that gave the Bruins serious momentum swings. It would’ve been awesome to see him get his first goal of the season in his returnsecond game, but two assists will suffice.
- Richard Bachman was the hero for this club tonight. Considering this was his first start of the entire 2019-20 season, I was worried rust would be a major factor. And while it was on that first goal from Paul Carey. Bachman was the difference-maker tonight as he went on to stop 42 of 44 shots on net.
- Pretty sure at some point Seamus Malone got benched after being on the ice for both Providence goals-against. He looked weak on the puck and repeatedly got muscled away from offensive plays. Ironically, Cull substituted him with Lukas Jasek, who has been just as ineffective in staying strong on the puck as Malone.
- Does Ryan Johnson have any plans to bolster the center depth of this club? Do the Canucks brass have no problem tanking the development of Lukas Jasek, simply to fill an organizational void? Surely a team overloaded on the wings can make a deal somewhere to bring in a center. They had to bench Malone due to his weak play against Providence; who else is there to bring in? Another ECHL PTO?
- Considering the Comets head coach is a former AHL defenseman, I’m pretty shocked that the D-corps have regressed as badly as they have this season. Not a single man on the roster looks proactively strong on the puck. By proactive, I mean the ability to carry the puck through considerable pressure to create offense or at the very least, to transition play up-ice. Currently, the only strength on the puck comes from the D reacting to the play developing from scoring areas in their end. Most of their physical play to deny possession comes in too-little-too-late situations. Sautner hasn’t looked the same this season. Chatfield is constantly chasing the play. Brisebois’ speed in the defensive zone has looked weak all season. Eliot is young and capable but lacks strength. Teves is all speed but no brains. Blujus is physical but lacks the speed to be proactive with it. Juolevi doesn’t know how to use his size and shies away from physical contact. Rafferty is a solid two-way defender, but puck-protection and out-muscling his opponents to transition the puck isn’t his thing. I don’t know how many more games I can watch where five players stand stationary in the defensive end. The Comets d-corps are letting their goalies to face an unrelenting stream of unblocked shots. MDP is good and young and will survive, but even he can’t prop up a team that gives up 60+ even-strength shot-attempts on a nightly basis.
- Am I misinterpreting the way the Comets are playing? Is there even a message being relayed from the farm to the Canucks about how poor they’ve doon defensively this season? Can’t blame these losses on injuries, because it’s not like their star players are out of the lineup, they have Rafferty, Boucher, Baertschi, Camper, Bailey, and Sautner. The guys at the top of the call-up list are in the lineup, and they aren’t good enough. They’re eking out points, which, sure, good job, but if the long-term plan is to develop and win, then they’re doing it poorly.
- Comets now sit in a three-way-tie for 4th place in the Division and are just three points up on the seventh-place team in the division, the Cleveland Monsters. Its time to shape up…or ship up!
Comets Three Stars
- Richard Bachman – 42 saves on 44 shots-against
- Olli Juolevi – Two assists, four shots
- Reid Boucher – One goal and one assist on three shots
The Comets Trajectory?
The Comets have a quick turnaround as they hit the road again to faceoff against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers this upcoming Monday. Hopefully, the team gets Di Pietro, MacEwen, and Goldobin back into the lineup so they can maybe get a jolt of energy into this struggling lineup.
If you want more Comets coverage from yours truly, you can now find MORE of my writing at thesinbin.net