12/1/18 – Utica Comets vs. Laval Rocket

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.

 

Starting Lineup

 

LW C RW
Archibald Kero Boucher
Carcone Darcy MacEwen
Dahlen Woods Lind
MacMaster Cameranesi Gaunce
LD RD
Sautner Blujus
Brisebois Sifers
McEneny Graham
G
Richard Bachman

 

Returns

The team returned Brandon Anselmini to the Kalamazoo Wings, he didn’t play at all while up with the Comets.

Recalls

The team still has Jagger Dirk recalled from the Wings but he’s still yet to play.

RE: Benchings

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.

 

BENCHED
Jagger Dirk Jonah Gadjovich Lukas Jasek Petrus Palmu

 

Injury Report
Arseneau Bancks Chatfield Hamilton Juolevi
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.

 

1st period

 

Comets in Blue

 

 

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.

 

2nd Period

 

 

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!

 

3rd Period

 

 

Final Score: 5-4 Utica Comets

 

Scoresheet

Period Team Goalscorer Primary assist helper type
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 Utica Brendan Gaunce 5V5
3rd Laval Victor Mete Michael McCarron Alexandre Alain 5V5

 

Takeaways

  • 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

  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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

 

What’s Next?

 

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!

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