Whats up guys! I stayed up real late to get this one done, so R/Canucks can get a double-dosage of Farm action! It’s been a rough month for Utica, with all the injuries to key members, so today they looked to turn over a new leaf at the start of a new month to try and find a sense of consistency.
If you’ve followed the Farmies for a while, you’ll know I’m usually pretty positive with my outlook of the teams handling of their prospects, but then I read that Cull benched Lukas Jasek in favor of Tanner MacMaster for this game against Laval and I started getting pretty angry.
Jasek is 7th in points on the team, hustles every shift, has a pretty well rounded game and consistently is a driver of offense for his linemates (whoever they may be).
Personally I don’t think it’s a good move by Trent Cull…one of the ways to lose a room is if you bench one of the consistently hardest working guys over players who are a complete crapshoot whether they show up to play or not. So we go into what now needs to be a statement win for Utica with one of their most consistent players getting benched AND Cull has AGAIN thrown his lines in a blender to try and see what works.
After 23 games, if we still haven’t found out what works, we’re in trouble. The lack of finding suitable centermen to insulate our rookies is looking worse and worse on the coach and the GM. Not sure what they expected by not finding skilled centers who drive play and offense; especially considering the majority of their rookie wingers (with the exception of Gadjovich) were drafted as skill players/goal-scoring wingers. Playing them with centers who are slow and practically incapable of a break-in or throwing a decent pass is just a recipe for disaster. So yah, I hate the Jasek benching, but looking back over this past stretch, the failure to provide the rookies with conditions for healthy development is pissing me off quite a bit more.
The team returned Brandon Anselmini to the Kalamazoo Wings, he didn’t play at all while up with the Comets.
The team still has Jagger Dirk recalled from the Wings but he’s still yet to play.
Jasek getting benched is just eye rolling to me. Like I said earlier, he’s 7th on the team in points. 3 of the 4 team’s current centermen have fewer points than Jasek and consistently generate less offense than he does. I’d love to see them flex MacEwen/Gaunce and Jasek to center so they can get Cameranesi/Woods and Darcy out of there, and get MacMaster and Lind out there on lines with other skill players instead of running them out there with dudes who can’t create plays.
|Jagger Dirk||Jonah Gadjovich||Lukas Jasek||Petrus Palmu|
|Hand||upper body||lower body||concussion||knee|
Streamable Clarity Improvement Notice
Continuing with last issues theme, going to be Players full name (jersey number) – place in streamable (if not outright obvious) then every sub sequential play featuring that player it’ll be last name(jersey number) – place in streamable (if not outright obvious) I’m also going to reduce the amount of hyperlink in the GOAL streamables, since that’s what I think MOST people are here for and don’t want some gaudy blue taking up the screen.
Comets in Blue
- Audio problems to start the game so don’t worry its not just you.
- Not sure why Tanner Kero(#10) is pinching when Darren Archibald(#25) is already on the right wing. The bad pinch leads to a 4 on 2 the other way which fortunately Laval can’t capitalize on
- Kole Lind(#13) on the Comets powerplay throws it to nowhere that leads to a rush going the other way Do Comets players just not talk on the ice or what?
- Audio comes back but it’s the French feed lol
- GOAL – UTICA – Comets 1-0: Comets on the powerplay due to a Rocket crosschecking penalty; a shot from Evan McEneny(#2) gets tipped by Tanner Kero(#10) to put the Comets up by 1
- Michael Carcone(#58) gets a lucky bounced off the wall and gets a shot on goal
- Zack MacEwen(#15) with a nice shot attempt and then a follow-up shot on goal
- Tanner MacMaster(#19) incredulous that icing isn’t waved off despite beating his man to the puck
- Tony Cameranesi(#27) banks it off the end-boards to MacMaster(#19) who sets up Brendan Gaunce(#16) who promptly fans on the one-timer attempt
- Reid Boucher(#24) one timer attempt
1st period score: 1-0 Utica
Utica outshot Laval 16 to 11. A pretty busy first period with both teams just peppering the opposing teams goalies with shots, but not too many REAL chances to score. Utica still needs to get their centers to get better at break-in attempts. Every break into the offensive zone is from a wingers cross ice pass to the other winger, or from cutting through the middle themselves. Definitely a more promising start for the team though.
- GOAL – LAVAL – 1-1 Tie the Comets are slow on the backcheck, and Michael McCarron gets a nice feed to Alex Belzile who ties the game at 1
- aaaaaaaaand heeeeeeeeeere cooooooome the teddy bears!
- Jonathan Dahlen(#54) races down the ice with Lind(#13) on a 2 on 1, but the puck goes off his skate then he gets the penalty for running the Rockets tendy
- Nice work from Darren Archibald(#25) and Brendan Gaunce(#16) to start the Comets penalty kill. Huge hit from Archie
- Boucher(#24) follows suit and disrupts the Rocket’s powerplay even more
- Two huge saves from Bachman with the Comets still on the penalty kill
- Lind(#13) out of the box is alone on a breakaway and completely sails it over the net
- Jesse Graham(#64) gets boarded HARD, he was ok but man the way he went into the boards looked BAD
- Lind(#13) tries to be fancy with his drop pass to Graham(#64), but its picked off and leads to a scoring opportunity for Laval. Just watching this streamable it feels like there is a serious lack of communication between the players, so many missed passes, and everything seems so forced or rushed.
- GOAL – UTICA – 2-1 Comets: Laval’s Charlie Lindgren absolutely robs Kero(#10) but can’t stop a shot from Michael Carcone(#58) that gets tipped by Archibald(#25) in front
- Kero(#10) strips the puck, and Archibald(#25) gets a nice shot on goal
- GOAL – LAVAL – 2-2 Tie: not really sure what Bachman was looking at for this one. Didn’t follow the puck as the Rocket forward moves behind him and is thus late to setup for the ensuing shot that ties the game
- Utica gets a freebie as Hunter Shinkaruk misses the easy open net tap in
- Bachman misplays a puck bouncing off the endboards and almost makes it a 3-2 game
- Kero(#10) tries a cheeky shot on goal; Boucher(#24) rings it off the post
- GOAL – UTICA – 3-2 Comets: Cam Dacry(#11) wins the draw and kicks it to MacEwen(#15) who rifles it past Lindgren to give Utica the lead
- MacEwen(#15) had 10 goals and 23 assists in 66 games with Utica last season, and he has matched his goal total in just 24 games this season. Huge improvement from the big guy!
- lol on MacEwen’s next shift he takes a high-sticking penalty. Utica will spend the beginning of the 3rd period on the penalty kill
The Score at the end of the 2nd period: 3-2 Comets
Was great to see the Comets with a VERY aggressive forecheck this period, who’d have thunk that actively trying to keep your opponent in their own zone would lead to goals? Utica outshot Laval 14 to 9 this period!
- sigh….no audio to start the third period
- GOAL – LAVAL – 3-3 Tie Guillaume Brisebois(#55) moves his stick for one second and it opens up Hunter Shinkaruk to rip one past Bachmans glove side
- Bachman absolutely robs Nikita Jevpalovs point blank
- Boucher(#24) robbed up close by Lindgren
- Archibald(#25) with some speed and nice stick handling up the wing through traffic, then draws a penalty to put the Comets on the powerplay
- Apparently Archibald got cut on the high-stick so it was changed to a 4 minute double minor
- GOAL – UTICA – Comets 4-3: Evan McEneny(#2) with some slick moves to break into the offensive zone, then rips a one-timer past Lindgren to put the Comets ahead by 1
- GOAL – UTICA – Comets 5-3: Gaunce(#16) attempts to center the puck but it instead hits a body in front and deflects in. weird one but we’ll take it
- GOAL – LAVAL – Comets 5-4: Carcone(#58) misses the intercept of a pass from Alex Belzile, falls attempting the check and is slow to get up to deny the rebound shot; Laval back within 1.
- Bachman with a great save
- MacEwen(#15) with patience gets a shot on net, but the puck is stopped on the goal line by Lindgren and Byron Froese
Final Score: 5-4 Utica Comets
|1st||Utica||Tanner Kero||Evan McEneny||Tanner Macmaster||PP|
|2nd||Laval||Alex Belzile||Michael McCarron||Alexandre Alain||5V5|
|2nd||Utica||Darren Archibald||Michael Carcone||Evan McEneny||PP|
|2nd||Laval||Ryan Culkin||Byron Froese||Michael McCarron||5V5|
|2nd||Utica||Zack MacEwen||Cam Darcy||—||5v5|
|3rd||Laval||Hunter Shinkaruk||Michael McCarron||Alex Belzile||PP|
|3rd||Utica||Evan McEneny||Michael Carcone||Reid Boucher||PP|
|3rd||Laval||Victor Mete||Michael McCarron||Alexandre Alain||5V5|
- Comets did well today, with a really strong aggressive forecheck and just throwing everything and anything at the net. Definitely a lot of holes defensively but were quite sound in the o-zone which was nice
- Reid Boucher led the team with 8 shots on goal, but somehow came away with only 1 assist.
- Really strong games from Evan McEneny, Darren Archibald and Zack MacEwen. Probably the best game I’ve seen Archibald play in either the AHL or in the NHL.
- Kole Lind had a shockingly bad game…like really bad, he was a liability every shift, his constant drop passes to nowhere led to several near-goals for Laval…cut the flashy shit, its not junior anymore, and doesn’t work if your team has no cohesion whatsoever on the ice.
- It is getting a bit concerning with how invisible Dahlen has been lately. He wasn’t benched, he just really had nothing worth putting in a streamable. The guy has been a ghost since Juolevi went down with injury, and the fact that all his points were mostly coming from the powerplay, really makes you wonder if he can actually be a difference maker 5v5 or is he THAT dependent on having good linemates with extended time on the powerplay? Fortunately for him its still only his first year playing NA hockey so its okay if he’s working out the kinks now.
Comets Three Stars
- Darren Archibald – really noticeable night for Archie, lot of aggressive forechecking, speed and chance generation from him which is surprising because I’m just so used to not seeing much from him so this was a welcome change
- Zack MacEwen – barring the bad high sticking penalty, he had another solid game, wicked goal tonight, 4 shots total, lots of chances generated with him on the ice
- Evan McEneny – led the team with 3 points on the night – still ended as a -1 but I don’t think anyone ended with a + due to the high scoring nature of tonight’s game. Was reliable defensively and was generating a lot from the blueline
- Honorable mention – Reid Boucher – snakebitten would be a good way to describe Boucher’s game tonight…I don’t know many players who can get 8 quality shots on net and NOT get a goal
The Comets return this Wednesday when they visit the Rochester Americans for their 4th straight road game. The last time the Comets faced the Amerks they were outshot 47 to 22 but managed to win the game 5-4. Since then Rochester rattled off 2 wins against the Binghamton Devils and the Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins and most recently lost 3-0 to Binghamton. The Amerks will look to impress at home, given their last effort at home against the Comets wasn’t enough.
With confirmation that Juolevi is out for at least 2 to 3 weeks, and a fairly aggressive forechecking gameplan that actually paid off, it will be interesting to see what Cull does with the lineup going into Wednesdays game.
Hope you guys enjoyed this edition of the Farmies, any feedback, improvement suggestions, content or highlights you’d like me to focus/pick out during games, let me know and I’ll do my best to provide during the next Farmies!