Some Sunday night info-dump for #Canucks fans
-Continues to be an elite play driver at 5v5
-Pretty low on the shot-assist metrics but averaging 5 individual shot-attempts per-game
— Cody Severtson (@CodySevertson) March 8, 2021
So was everyone going to keep watching me pump out charts with the wrong season listed for the entire year without saying anything!?
This entire time, I had been posting charts dated 2019-20?!?!
“Why didn’t anyone tell me!? I’ve been making an idiot out of myself!”
THE SEASON IS A FLAT CIRCLE:
The Comets are back in action this week for their first 3-in-4 of the season!
And I bet you anything that you could guess who their opponents are!
Did you guess one of the Rochester Americans or the Syracuse Crunch!?
‘Cause if you did? You got it!
The carousel of playing the same teams over and over again, as though time were a flat circle, continues.
They don’t play someone other than Syracuse or Binghamton until April 3rd when they take on the Providence Bruins.
It is almost exclusively Syracuse/Rochester for the entire season.
It’s a really… really unfortunate schedule.
I have to throw asterisks on all the stats I’m keeping this season by saying, “oh yeah, these shot-control rates came from playing the same 40-50 players for 90% of the season.”
But, because the Comets Harvest cares about the little things and the little developments, we persevere.
Tonight, the Comets, sans Jon Gillies AND Kole Lind, will look to avenge last week’s loss. A tall order for a young group.
Lind took a high-stick at the tail-end of last Wednesday’s game that split his face open pretty good. That infraction put the Comets on an extended 5-on-3 powerplay where Jack Rathbone picked up his first goal of the season.
The powerplay was absolutely atrocious for the Comets last Wednesday. Picking up just that one goal from Rathbone in eight opportunities. I’m not sure how much better it will look tonight without Kole Lind in the Boucher spot either.
Ironically, at 5v5, the Comets controlled play exceedingly well. Their volume approach generated a PLUS-38 shot-attempt differential at 5v5.
Unfortunately, their goaltending was not up to snuff.
Jon Gillies has been Solid for the Comets this season, but the two goals he allowed last Wednesday weren’t great.
The first was a point shot was the only one you couldn’t fault him on. Screened by three skaters and tipped in the middle to go high over his glove side. The dude had no idea a shot was even coming.
The second was a backbreaker. Can’t be allowing squeakers like this while on the man-advantage.
The third was just Gillies looking completely lost in his crease and allowing Rochester an easy tap-in goal. No need to swim. Just plant.
The Comets will be starting either Jake Kielly or one of the Blues rookies, Joel Hofer or Evan Fitzpatrick.
DI PIETRO NEEDS GAMES!
The Canucks goaltending agreement with St. Louis has currently seen Jon Gillies take on the lion’s share of starts.
Gillies is a 27-year-old AHL tweener who is a prime 3rd string candidate for St. Louis.
Jake Kielly is 24-years-old likely an ECHL-AHL tweener who doesn’t really factor into the Canucks short-term or long-term plans.
Evan Fitzpatrick is 23-years-old on the end of his ELC after putting up abysmal numbers in the ECHL. He’s basically there for a place to practice at this rate.
Arturs Silovs is a waiver-exempt, soon-to-be 20-year-old who has only been given a single game with the Manitoba Moose while on a loan-agreement with the Jets. He likely returns to the Barrie Colts when the OHL resumes, but that isn’t a guarantee.
Michael Di Pietro is a waiver-exempt 21-year-old who is burning the final year of his ELC sitting on the practice squad, earning time with Ian Clark (who may leave at the end of his contract), and practicing with the taxi-squad.
This is unacceptable. The Comets play nine games over the next 22 days. How the Canucks couldn’t call-up Silovs to the taxi-squad to send Di Pietro down for game-action is beyond me.
The Comets don’t have an AHL goalie on them right now!
They could’ve made this switch weeks ago!
DO IT NOW! Get the kid playing games!
He was so good for the Comets last season; he put the team on his back on most nights! You can’t waste this year.
Blues contracted player, Curtis McKenzie, gets tonight’s honour of being the Harvest’s do something player!
McKenzie is a minute-munching second/third-line forward playing alongside Carson Focht and Nolan Stevens. Despite their impressive two-way play and overall control, I’d expect more substantial offence generation for someone with McKenzie’s takeaway rates. He isn’t the fastest skater, but he’s adept at picking off passes and stripping pucks while forechecking. The offence that follows that solid forechecking pressure has been underwhelming.
It’s especially bizarre to see someone preventing goals and shot-attempts at 5v5 at his rate, without contributing a lick of goals. Just two on-ice goals-for at 5v5 in six games played for McKenzie.
McKenzie has the fourth-worst goals-for rates (per-60) of any Comets player. While he’s done excellent at preventing goals against, absolutely nothing is happening for production.
I’m still questioning why Cull has chosen McKenzie for PP1 — I can only assume it is apart of the Canucks deal with the Blues as part of sharing an affiliate.
But frankly, McKenzie brings nothing to the powerplay. Even with PP1 minutes, there is a considerable lack of goals scored (per-60) on the powerplay with McKenzie on the ice.
Need him to step up his offensive game.
He was a 42 point player for the Chicago Wolves last season and is just two seasons removed from a 25 goal campaign with the Texas Stars.
Hopefully, that starts tonight in the absence of the Comets first-line center, Kole Lind.
- Once again, the lineup blender leaves us with a bunch of trios who’ve spend absolutely zero time together at 5v5, haha.
- I have been saying it all year, “put Gadjovich on the top-line because they need a goalscorer to make it work.” Hopefully, they can!
- Fortunately, the team gets Hugh McGing and John Stevens back from IR. Otherwise, they would be playing with a 9F/7D roster…which truly would’ve been something!
- Also, the Stevens brothers on a line together <3
- Looks like Josh Wesley will play this game as a forward instead of rotating in as the seventh defenceman.
Don’t feel like reading? Click here for spoilers!!
- Off a d-zone faceoff, the Stevens line gains control and hems the Amerks into their zone for their entire shift. Good start!
- Jasek (#9) gains the zone then dishes for Jett Woo (#22), who sets up Gadjovich (#21) at the net-front for a tip-in attempt.
- Gadjovich looking speedy on this line with Baertschi and Jasek; he goes end-to-end off a Baertschi rink-wide feed.
- Teves (#4) goes for a trip around the Amerks end for a wraparound attempt. Net gets tipped over onto Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen, haha.
- [GOAL – UTICA – 1-0 Comets] Comets continue their run of scoring the game’s opening goal! This time, Josh Teves (#4) makes an aggressive cut through the center to pick up an Amerks flip-attempt. Teves cuts down the right side, bowling over Griffin Luce in the process before setting up Hugh McGing (#14) for the net-front tap-in. Comets net moorings continue to be dogshit as, once again, the net gets pushed out of position by a light breeze. McGing picks up his first career pro-goal while Teves picks up his first assist of the season. Risky move from Teves, but it paid off. Good effort to capitalize on the risk/reward there.
- Stevens brothers come out, and again, they look for another tap-in opportunity at the net-front. The coaches obviously saw holes in the Amerks’ net-front coverage. Comets have attacked in this specific way four times in the opening four minutes of play.
- Jasek (#9) with a great stick placement to force an Amerks turnover in their end. Baertschi (#47) picks up the turnover but flubs his shot on goal.
- Will Lockwood (#10) displaying some great puck-control and speed through traffic. Lockwood loses the puck along the end-boards, recovers, and draws in three Amerk defenders through the high-slot before dropping off for Mitch Reinke’s (#28) shot attempt.
- Jack Quinn flips the puck over the glass, and the Comets head to their first powerplay of the night.
PP1: Baertschi, Rathbone, Gadjovich, Jasek, Reinke
- Love the composition of this powerplay unit; a bit safe with Reinke/Rathbone on the back-end, but I love seeing Baertschi and Jasek out with Rathbone and Gadjovich. That’s a powerplay unit that, with time, can do some damage.
- PP1 Gets a one-timer from Jasek, but Amerks sweep the puck out of the zone, Comets 2nd powerplay unit hops over the boards
PP2: Woo, Focht, McGing, McKenzie, Nolan Stevens
- Jett Woo (#22) with a slick no-look feed to Nolan Stevens (#17) on the powerplay. Stevens wires a shot through traffic, and somehow Luukkonen makes the save.
- These are the little things the Comets Harvest appreciates; Baertschi (#47) sets up Gadjovich (#21) for the entry, then races to the endboards to recover the puck after Gadj takes a hit on his run. Jasek (#9) wheels down the left and cuts to the center for the tap-in opportunity but keeps moving his feet the entire way to retreat and cover for his pinching defenceman. *chefs kiss*
- Teves (#4) goofs on his drop-pass, and Jake Kielly is forced to smother the puck before an Amerk can capitalize.
- Ten minutes into the period and the Amerks have yet to register a shot or a shot-attempt on net. An unbelievable stretch of control from the Comets to start this game
- Woo (#22) plants his feet and throws his shoulder into Remi Elie once he sees the hit coming.
- Jack Rathbone (#3) has the puck poked off of his stick as he attempts the break-out, leading to the Amerks first shot on goal in the game.
- LOL, Tyler Tucker throws a wrist-shot on Luukkonen from center-ice
- Carson Focht (#19), forechecking, capitalizes on a turnover from Mattias Samuelsson at the Amerks goal-line and sets up a great shift for his fourth-line off of it. Mitch Eliot (#52) hammers two shots into Luukkonen.
- Baertschi (#47) fishes the puck out of faceoff draw and wrists one on Luukkonen.
- An awkward moment from the game, the refs take over two minutes to deliberate over a puck-over-the-glass infraction from Mitch Eliot.
- Comets go to their first PK of the night off of the bizarre delayed call.
PK1: McKenzie, J. Stevens, Tucker, Woo
- Stevens wins the PK faceoff-draw, and Tucker clears for Utica.
- Tucker (#2) picks off a pass to Kielly’s crease. Comets tie up the puck along the boards, and eventually, the Amerks push themselves offside.
PK2: Lockwood, Kaspick, Teves, Reinke
- Kielly faces down his two most dangerous chances of the night from the Amerks.
- Comets clear the zone just before Eliot leaves the box, but the refs call it “icing.”
- Tough break for the Comets second PK unit
- Comets win the draw and eventually force the puck out to center ice to allow for a wholesale change.
- Gadjovich (#21) with the solid hustle to disrupt the Amerks break-in from the neutral-zone.
- Jasek (#9) picks up the loose puck in the offensive zone, then evades two players before a slick, no-look, set up to Sven Baertschi (#47) at the right-circle.
- Kielly gloves down a point-shot, and the game gets a little chippy after Tanner Kaspick throws a cross-check into the back of Matej Pekar.
- Three minutes remaining, and the Comets face their first sustained pressure from the Amerks at 5-on-5.
- Matej Pekar again stirring up some ruckus at the net-front.
- Jake Kielly goes down awkwardly after stopping a shot; Teves (#4) drops to a knee to help out his fallen goaltender to help the Comets break out from the d-zone.
- [GOAL – UTICA – 2-0 Comets] The only-man who scores at 5v5, Jonah Gadjovich (#21), does it again! This time Jasek (#9) picks off J.S Dea’s breakout pass before handing the puck off to Mitch Eliot (#52). Eliot throws a pass into the slot, and Gadjovich shovels it past Luukkonen to give the Comets a two-goal lead. Gadjovich up to eight goals on the season now, the most in the AHL.
- John Stevens (#16) picks off a pass inside the d-zone and helps the Comets breakout for a change.
- Time winds down on the period, with the Comets edging the Amerks in shots-on-goal, fourteen to ten.
- Dominant effort in both ends of the ice from the Comets
- John Stevens (#16) blocks a shot early in the period, and the Comets almost make it a three-nothing game. Casey Fitzgerald gets a stick down just in time to block Nolan Stevens’ (#17) empty-net opportunity.
- Amerks again fan on their breakout pass from the d-zone, and the Comets generate a high shot-attempt from Jett Woo.
- Rathbone attempts to cut down the left-wing, but Michael Mersch trips him up on the attempt. Comets to their second powerplay of the night
PP1: Jasek, Rathbone, Reinke, Baertschi, Gadjovich
- Mitch Reinke (#28) passes to Gadjovich at the net-front; Gadjovich pulls the puck in and shoots from in tight. Luukkonen can’t find the puck until it pops loose out to Jack Rathbone (#3), who drills a shot on Luukkonen through traffic.
- Rathbone (#3) finds Baertschi (#47) all alone at the front of the net with a pass; Baertschi shovels the puck on Luukkonen, and Gadjovich (#21) crashes for the rebound attempt.
PP2: Focht, Woo, McGing, McKenzie, N. Stevens
- Jett Woo (#22) pulls a “Tyler Myers” while defending an Amerks shorthanded rush.
- The game returns to 5v5.
- Comets third-line out for a great shift against the Amerks; relentless pressure from the Comets tonight.
- Comets fourth-line takes a spin in a very heavy shift; lots of hits and tumbles by both teams.
- A LONG shift for the first-line, again game picking up in its physicality.
- Woo (#22) joins the rush for a skate down the right-wing, throwing his shot off the blocker of Luukkonen.
- Been an insane lack of whistles this period; both teams taking turns carrying into the offensive zone for offence. Comets faring better in generating actual shots on goal, however.
- Luukkonen gloves down one of those shots for the first stoppage in what feels like ages.
- Gadjovich forces the Amerks out of the Comets’ d-zone after a good hit at the blue line.
- Kielly with a big save on Steven Fogarty, who cruises into the slot for a point-blank slapshot.
- Jasek sets up Eliot (#52) for a massive one-timer that ricochets off an Amerk body.
- Off of that one-timer, the Stevens’ line and Teves/Eliot hem the Amerks into their zone for a full minute. Pure dominance even if the shots weren’t there. Just completely wearing down the Amerks top-line.
- Amerks clearly ice the puck from behind the red-line, and Cull loses it on the refs for calling off the icing. Huge missed call by the refs there.
- Tanner Kaspick, on the backcheck, gets his stick caught in the skates of an Amerk skater and goes off for tripping. Comets to their second penalty kill of the game
PK1: Jasek, Tucker, Woo, J. Stevens
- [GOAL-ROCHESTER- 2-1 Comets] A mere twenty seconds into the penalty kill, and the Comets lead is cut down by one. Brett Murray with a gorgeous saucer-pass to Jack Quinn for a sharp-angle goal over Kielly. Tough break for the Comets, who were absolutely dominating the period thus far.
- Mitch Eliot with another point-shot clapper on Luukkonen. The guy is hunting for that first goal of the season.
- Casey Fitzgerald with a slow one-timer from the point that narrowly goes wide of Kielly’s net.
- Teves really showing off his skating tonight with his holds along the offensive-zone blue line.
- Lockwood takes a high-sticking infraction, and the Comets head to their third PK of the night.
PK1: Kaspick ,Teves, Jasek, Eliot
- Kaspick wins the draw, and the Comets clear the zone. Good start to the PK
- Kaspick knocks down a pass on the Amerks break-in, and the Comets clear for a second time.
- Josh Wesley steps on for a pk shift as a defenceman after almost exclusively playing tonight as a fourth-line forward. He goes out with Tyler Tucker alongside Curtis McKenzie and John Stevens.
- A good shorthanded forechecking effort from McKenzie to kill time off the Lockwood penalty
- Jasek (#9) displaying the wheels while shorthanded to pick up a loose puck and set up Kaspick (#26) for a shorthanded chance.
- Great PK for the Comets — stifling all set-up attempts from the Amerks
- Baertschi (#47) sends Gadjovich (#21) into the offensive zone for a drive on goal. Gadjovich floats a backhander on Luukkonen before crashing into the endboards.
- Time winds down and the Comets finish the period, having doubled the Amerks in shots-on-goal, twelve to six.
- Jasek (#9) with another strong shift. This time Jasek puts on the wheel to pick up Baertschi’s (#47) turnover inside the Comets d-zone and lead a zone-entry for Utica the other way. Jasek beats out the Amerk defender to the loose puck inside the Amerks zone off of the entry and backhands a pass to Gadjovich (#21) for a shot on goal.
- Rathbone gets tripped up in the high-slot, but no call.
- [GOAL – ROCHESTER – 2-2 Tie] Man, what the hell are these referees watching? Lukas Jasek (#9) picks Michael Mersch’s pocket inside the Comets d-zone, then turns to wheel through center-ice for a breakout. Jasek then has a stick thrown in his feet, tripping him up. Jasek loses possession, and the Amerks steal the puck and wire a weak point-shot past a way out of position Kielly. A blatantly missed call and an absolute softie is given up by Kielly. This game is knotted again.
- Lockwood (#10) catches a high-flip for a breakaway opportunity, but Luukkonen makes a big save on Lockwood’s attempt.
- Wraparound chance from the Amerks Ryan Jones; follow-up try from Michael Mersch sees Kielly cover the puck for a whistle.
- Ref’s blow-down play over a hand pass in the offensive zone, and Jasek looks the maddest I’ve ever seen him in three years of watching him play in the AHL. Kind of funny, haha.
- Lockwood (#10) shows some great wheels to break out of the Comets zone and lead the entry; Jack Quinn cross-checks Lockwood, sending him head-first into the boards. The Comets are off to the powerplay.
PP1: Gadjovich, Jasek, Baertschi, Rathbone, Reinke
- Reinke with a centering pass that deflects off of Luukkonen’s pads and out into the neutral zone.
- Jasek with a breakaway opportunity, but he peels to the outside and eventually gets stripped of the puck. PP2 switches onto the ice.
- PP2 with a shot high and wide of the goal.
- Powerplay really struggling tonight for both units. The game returns to 5v5.
- Awkward moments for the Comets midway through the period as they struggle to string together a clean pass in the neutral zone.
- Lockwood (#10) with his second breakaway of the night off of a blocked point-shot. Lockwood, with time and space, sails his shot wide of the goal.
- A tough shift for Jack Rathbone (#3) after he blocks a shot with his arm before falling hard in a tie-up.
- Jasek now taking a spin with McGing and Lockwood for an offensive zone faceoff.
- The puck takes an odd bounce off the Comets endboards. Fortunately, Kielly never left his net, so now awkward “stanchion goals” for the Amerks tonight.
- The refs really have somewhere to go after this game; they blow another blatant icing call after a solid shift of control from the Stevens brothers’ line.
- Rathbone (#3) attempts the ‘Tyler Myers’ to a varying degree of success. Kielly once again finds himself on his bum in his crease. Baertschi (#47), fortunately, spots the loose puck and leads the break-out for Utica.
- Steven Fogarty takes a holding penalty behind the play with less than four minutes remaining in the game to put the Comets on their fourth powerplay.
- Few early chances from PP1, but an errant pass from Reinke loses the zone for Utica.
- Rathbone (#3) with an aggressive pinch to keep the zone for Utica. Amerks generate a dangerous breakaway opportunity for Andrew Ogilvie, who gets behind both Reinke (#28) and Rathbone (#3).
- Solid hustle from Rathbone to get back and even better discipline to not take a stupid penalty to deny the chance.
- Oh, yeah, and a good stop by Kielly.
- Hugh McGing (#14) sends his one-timer on the powerplay just wide of the net.
- Teves breaks up a two-on-two rush from the Amerks as the Fogarty penalty concludes.
- Curtis McKenzie (#81) takes a boarding penalty with 18 seconds left in the period.
- McKenzie trying to do the opposite of ‘doing something’ in the waning seconds of this period. So dumb.
- Comets to their fourth PK of the night
PK1: Kaspick, Teves, Eliot, J. Stevens
- Time winds down after PK1 clears the zone.
- Comets will spend the first minute and 18 seconds shorthanded, 3v4.
- Kaspick, Reinke, Tucker start for the Comets shorthanded.
- Tucker with another great active stick to disrupt the Amerks passing game.
- J. Stevens with a big shot-block, but the Comets fail to clear.
- Two huge stops from Jake Kielly behind an exhausted PK group.
- Baertschi, Jasek, and Rathbone take a spin together.
- Jack Rathbone (#3), with a tremendous effort to break up the Amerks three-on-one opportunity.
- Jasek (#9) resets in the neutral zone before setting up one final try with Baertschi (#47), but Luukkonen comes up big again!
- Gadjovich (#21) picks up a ricochet around the boards, drives into the offensive zone, then circles around the net to sets up Reinke (#28) with a glorious chance in the slot! Reinke sends his backhander wide of the net!
- Jett Woo steps on with Curtis McKenzie and Nolan Stevens, and an exhausted top group for Rochester ends up pinned into their end for a solid 45 seconds.
- Time winds down on the overtime period, and this one is going to the shootout.
- Great job by the Comets to outlast the Amerks powerplay early and generate some great looks of their own
- ROCHESTER – Arttu Ruotsalainen loses a handle of the puck – MISS
- UTICA – Hugh McGing reaches way back to Albany before going backhand over Luukkonen – GOAL
- ROCHESTER – Jack Quinn displays some nifty hands but runs into Kielly and loses the puck on a Forsberg attempt – MISS
- UTICA – Mitch Reinke cuts straight in with speed but wrists his shot off of Luukkonen’s blocker – SAVE
- ROCHESTER – JS Dea slips one under Kielly’s blocker side then celly’s with the stick twirl – GOAL
- UTICA – Nolan Stevens cuts to the outside before cutting to center for a shot into the pads of Luukkonen – SAVE
- ROCHESTER – Kielly makes the stop on Amerks Captain Steven Fogarty – SAVE
- UTICA – the other Stevens brother, John, fumbles on the entry but reaches around Luukkonen’s left pad for a backhander and the win – GOAL
Comets win in the shootout: 3-2
- Jonah Gadjovich looked great on the first-line. No hyperbole or praise for dramatic effect. Gadjovich looked fast, displayed great hands, hockey IQ, and two-way play. Was one of his best two-way games he’s played all season. He did not look out of place on the Comets first-line with Baertschi and Jasek. His forechecking presence was badly needed. Jasek is a great option at picking off passes after they’re released, but Gadjovich’s physical forecheck made those players make risky outlet passes for the taking. Happy for the guy. A lot of people wrote him off after the last two seasons. Even now, I still have reservations due to his skating. But tonight was a fantastic step in the right direction. Proving he can skate and play with the first-line against top-competition and not look out of place is a good look for the big man from Whitby.
- Gadjovich ended the night with seven shots on goal and now leads the AHL in goals. Not too shabby!
- I don’t think Lind will be out for too much longer. Should he return, I think Gadjovich may have earned himself an extended look on the Comets top line. Maybe the center will be different; maybe it will be Jasek, maybe it will be Lind. It’s tough to say. But I don’t think we’ve seen the last of ‘Top-Sixjovich.’ I think he displayed a lot of the qualities necessary to being a top-line forward at the AHL level. He was good. Impressively good. He might just be the goalscoring punch at 5v5 that this top-six has been in desperate need of this season.
- Lukas Jasek had a really great game at 5v5. He was stripping the puck off of Amerks left, right and center. He was missing shots and holding the puck a bit too much for my liking on the powerplay. But 5v5 is where the game matters most. And he excelled on that top-line with Gadjovich and Baertschi. I actually thought he and Gadjovich had better chemistry than Jasek and Baertschi had as a pair. Kind of how I’ve been saying all year that the first-line needs a shooter. That’s what I think Jasek needs. Someone to go to the slot and redirect his passes or tip his shot-attempts. I was very intrigued by the speed that Jasek was displaying on the Comets PK and at 5v5 on those forced turnovers. Legitimately looked like an NHL’er out there at times.
- Jack Rathbone was about as quiet as Rathbone gets. AKA, he didn’t score any points. He was still a lot of flash and panache whenever he held the puck, but the Amerks were honing in on him whenever he started to put in work along the blue line. They were wise to his attempts at cutting down the wings to set up cross-ice passes for his shooters. The one time where he really went for it, the Amerks took a blatant tripping penalty to avoid the set-play. Was absolutely the best part about the Comets’ first powerplay unit. His bomb from anywhere on the ice is something to behold. NHL players don’t really clump like they do in the AHL; AHL PKs tend to get very panicky, resulting in a cluster-ball of 4-5 players in the way of a primary shooter. When Rathbone has that shooting lane, it is like an absolute laser beam firing off. I still don’t know how Luukkonen made that one safe from on his ass. Rath’s shot is absolute money.
- Speaking of the powerplay, I liked the reinvigorated look with Rathbone on the blue line, though I would prefer to see someone like Will Lockwood out instead of Mitch Reinke. Reinke doesn’t bring much to the powerplay, frankly, and he doesn’t have the speed to backcheck on those shorthanded rush opportunities. Give me Will Lockwood out there all day to backcheck like a madman and create zone-entries for PP1. Speed kills, and even if his hands can’t keep up with his feet, the net positive of having someone like Lockwood fighting for rebounds on the powerplay is huge.
- Speaking of which, I thought Lockwood played a great game. Really think his speed will earn him a shot in the NHL even if the production isn’t there. The dude can wheel, and if he can translate his penalty killing to the NHL, he’ll be found money for the Canucks next season.
- Another solid night for Josh Teves and Mitch Eliot in limited minutes. Teves’ speed is certainly above-average AHL, borderline NHL, quality. Just tends to dish the puck or lose the puck at the most inopportune moments. Eliot has an absolute bomb of a shot, and you can tell he’s searching for that first goal of the season. He had to settle for a primary assist on that Gadjovich goal, but a goal is bound to come from him soon—dude claps.
- Liked the look of the Stevens’ brothers line with Curtis McKenzie. With last-change, Trent Cull got them out against the veteran/big-boy hockey line of JS Dea, Andrew Ogilvie, and Remi Elie; and they absolutely dominated them in shot-attempts. The brothers had a couple good breakaway opportunities, but I think they peeled off of the opportunities because neither wanted the other to have a scoring edge over the other. Fair.
- I don’t really like to talk about reffing in the game thoughts section because it makes the Harvest sound way too Homer-ish. But the reffing tonight was atrocious. Several blatant missed icings completely tilted the ice in favour of the Amerks. Plus, the non-tripping call on Jasek that led to the game-tying goal was pathetic. Refs have to be better than they were tonight in Utica. To hell with game-management. A team like the Comets, dominating a team for 2 minutes straight in the offensive-zone, shouldn’t have icing waved off simply because the Amerks have the long-change to go through.
- Kielly was okay tonight. He made some clutch stops, but he got caught flailing around his crease for some reason on several attempts. The Jasek non-call on the game-tying goal aside. It was a weak goal to allow. Fortunately, Kielly has found a niche as a shootout god as he picks up his second shootout win for the Comets.
- Jett Woo was completely fine.
- Sven Baertschi was solid as usual.
- Carson Focht was dominant in his shifts, even if the points didn’t come. His fourth-line with Robby Jackson and Josh Wesley had no business being as dominant as it was when it came to controlling shot-attempts and suppressing attempts-against.
- Hugh McGing had a big night in his return from IR — Four shots, the opening goal, and a shootout goal! Big contribution on a night that needed guys to step up in the absence of so many key players.
COMETS HARVEST THREE STARS
- Jonah Gadjovich
- Lukas Jasek
- Mitch Eliot
HM: Josh Teves
Next Up on the Docket
Comets are back up this weekend for a double-header against, you guessed it! The Amerks and the Crunch!
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