1/12/19 – Utica Comets vs. Syracuse Crunch

Good Saturday mid-afternoon, early-dinner time to you all! The Comets are back at it again for a double header; this time the Comets face off tonight at home against the Tampa Bay Lightning’s farm team, the Syracuse Crunch. The Comets and Crunch play their 5th of a 12 game series against the Crunch this season (AHL schedules amirite guys!?), the series is currently tied at 2 apiece, but the Crunch edge the Comets in scoring 19 to 9

 

Tonight’s starting lineup should be a doozy…despite having strong performances on the 3rd pairing, Jagger Dirk was returned to the Kalamazoo Wings, while the team kept PTO Cliff Watson…contractually this is baffling as Dirk IS an AHL contract … not sure why they’d keep a PTO who has performed worse in the same role over him… As I said in the last Farmies, Watson and Saucerman have no chemistry on a line together, in fact, whereas Dirk and Sauce played physical enough to negate any kind of speed disadvantages, Watson has looked completely out of his depth in passing, skating, everything, and Saucerman isn’t good enough to compensate for his failings…so while Watson drags down that third pairings reliability…its also dragging down Saucerman’s effectiveness as well… again…to service a PTO instead of utilizing a contracted guy in Dirk….

 

Looking at tonights lineup, Cull has opted to drop Jasek from the lineup, despite having strong puck possession ability and playmaking skills from along the boards the past several weeks….who is slotting in that spot you ask? Why its none other than DEFENSEMAN, Jesse Graham!

 

Again…please do tell me why its wrong to critique or judge our Farm teams handling of rookies…Jasek is not listed as injured…so that means instead of slotting in MacMaster OR Jasek on the fourth line, he opted to slot in Graham who’s defensive liability has seen him as a healthy scratch 15 times this season as well as being a healthy scratch in LAST nights game against Bridgeport…

 

If he’s sending a message to Jasek…I don’t know what that message is…and this could play into the whole Palmu “lack of communication” thing…because I legit have no clue why Jasek would be a healthy scratch as of late as he has been more effective on the ice than even Dahlen as of late….oh well…we’ll see how tonight plays out so lets get into it.

Starting Lineup

LW C RW
Pyatt Kero Boucher
Dahlen Gaunce MacEwen
Bancks Hamilton Lind
Gadjovich Darcy Graham
LD RD
Brisebois Sifers
McEneny Blujus
Watson Saucerman
G
Ivan Kulbakov

 

Benched
Jasek MacMaster
1 7

 

RE: Benching’s

MacMaster unable to crack the 4th line spot after Jasek gets pulled out…and has been scratched 7 games straight…send him down to the ECHL for Christ sakes if you’re going to slide in an ineffective defensemen into the 4th line role.

 

RE: INJURY REPORT

 

Injury Report
Arseneau Bachman Chatfield Juolevi Sautner Woods
Undisclosed Out for the Season foot Out for the season his fucking faceeeeeee lower body

 

Sautner apparently skated for the first time on January 3rd…and while he’s rejoined the team technically at practices, he’s still at least out until the end of the month. Chatfield remains as a “possibly returning end of January or February latest”

 

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 their green & white jerseys

 

 

Score at the end of the first period: 1-0 Comets

 

Some good sustained pressure from the Comets at times in the offensive zone…some fairly bad gaffes in the defensive though from our veterans, and the one from Gadj/Breezy but otherwise a pretty competent period from the team. They were outshot, but only by a small margin, 10 to 8. Pretty good period overall against the team that once blew them out 10-1 with the same goaltender; speaking of which, Kulbakov has looked really solid tonight and last night in spite of the 4 goals against…really solid play from the man who’s started 5 straight.

 

2nd Period

 

 

The Score at the end of the 2nd period: 2-0 Comets

 

Saucerman with a fucking hilarious between period interview. I do think back to Ryan Johnsons’ comment in one of Saucermans earlier interviews where he was like, “ask him a hockey question” because its like…we get it…he has a big beard…lets move on how bout lol

 

Solid second period from the team despite once again some awful discipline. 2 unneccesarry penalties puts the comets at 4 on the night and that puts them at 28 penalties in 6 games…really unhealthy numbers…their opposition has only scored 5 times in those 28 tries, which puts their PK% at 82% in January, but the exhaustion of constantly rolling out the same 6 guys over and over for the PK isn’t healthy and is probably a contributor to the exhaustion we see from the team in the third period. Once again the Comets were outshot 9 to 8 in the 2nd…so as I said hopefully that 2nd period of constant penalty killing doesn’t hamper their ability to maintain the lead

 

3rd Period

 

 

Final Score: 3-2 Comets

 

Scoresheet

 

Period Team Goalscorer Primary assist helper type
1st Utica Jonathan Dahlen Tanner Kero Zack MacEwen PPG
2nd Utica Tanner Kero Reid Boucher Tom Pyatt 5v5
3rd Syracuse Andy Andreoff Cameron Gaunce 5v5
3rd Utica Brendan Gaunce Wacey Hamilton Carter Bancks 5v5
3rd Syracuse Cory Conacher Nolan Valleau Cameron Gaunce 5v5

 

Takeaways

  • Despite exhaustion setting in hard on this Comets team, they looked pretty OK against a tough Syracuse Crunch team. Comets had impressive games from MacEwen, Gaunce, Dahlen and Blujus tonight.
  • Fix that Zamboni door…it’s only a matter of time before it cause some wonky ricochet that costs the Comets a game, if it hasn’t happened already
  • Kulbakov once again gives up his usual 1 saveable shot of the night but also gets robbed with an incredibly unlucky high-stick deflection that SOMEHOW went without a call…baffling stuff…but an impressive 28 save performance kept his team in this one. ESPECIALLY in that brutal third period where it felt like a 20 minute long powerplay.

 

Comets Three Stars

  1. Ivan Kulbakov
  2. Brendan Gaunce – once again, absolutely clutch tonight…1 goal, 4 shots, tonnes of time on the penalty kill and super aggressive forechecking all night… its too bad the Canucks called him up after a lengthy stay on IR…because he’s more than earned a call up with his play in the past several weeks than he had prior to the call up
  3. Zack MacEwen – constantly a threat whenever he’s on the ice…his 200 ft game is incredible, the speed and strides he shows are unmatched on his team, wicked shot, and playmaking ability…him and Gadjo on that breakaway by all hockey conventions SHOULD not work, but they pulled it off and almost scored off it!

 

What’s Next?

 

Comets re-solidify themselves as 2nd in the North Division and now get a nice break before they return on Wednesday for another home game, ALSO against the Syracuse Crunch…That’s a lot of time for both teams to go over what worked and what didn’t so I expect a pretty competitive game next week. Hopefully we’ll see what the deal was with the whole Jasek benching and Graham playing as a forward thing…because while they did win tonight, I can’t say Graham was nearly as effective as a forward than Jasek.

 

As always I 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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