1/18/19 – Utica Comets vs. Binghamton Devils

TGIF my fellow Canuck brethren! Tonight we have a hotly contested matchup between the Utica Comets and the Binghamton Devils as they battle for supremacy over the North Division! The Comets last two games against the Devils was the beginning of a rough stretch, culminating in a 10-1 loss to the Syracuse Crunch. Since that rough stretch though, for January at least, the Comets have run up a 5w-2L record securing themselves firmly in a tie for 1st place in the North Division, and tied for 3rd in the eastern conference.

 

The Binghamton Devils run a VERY brutal, physical style of hockey as we’ve seen in our numerous encounters this season…losing Sautner long term and Dahlen for an extended period of time with a broken face and concussion respectively. The team has struggled pretty hard with the Devils physical gameplay…ironically despite having the league worst penalty kill, the Devils seemingly perform at a 20% better clip against the Comets than any other team.

 

Team will be receiving Brendan Woods back into the lineup after being gone with a lower body injury since December 7th…There aren’t too many physical players on the Comets team, but Woods is one of them, we’ll see if he’ll be able to turn it up against this tough Devils team in his first game back. I’m not really holding my breath though…

Anyways shitton of injuries and illnesses rattling this team, and with Tanner Kero up in the big leagues, the team sees some major shakeups to its forward lineups so with that, lets get into tonight’s game!

 

Starting Lineup

 

LW C RW
Pyatt Gaudette Boucher
Dahlen Gaunce MacEwen
Bancks Darcy Lind
MacMaster Woods Gadjovich
LD RD
Brisebois Blujus
McEneny Sifers
Graham Saucerman
G
Ivan Kulbakov

 

Looks like Gaudette’s impressive play in last game won him the right to center that top line in the wake of Kero’s absence… he had great chemistry with Pyatt in the last game so it’ll be interesting to see how this line works with a bonafide finisher in Boucher working with them.

 

Benched
Watson
2

 

RE: INJURY REPORT

 

Injury Report
Arseneau Bachman Chatfield Hamilton Jasek Juolevi Sautner
Undisclosed Out for the Season foot Undisclosed Sick Out for the season his fucking faceeeeeee

 

Woods comes off IR for the first time since December 7th and at a perfect time too otherwise we’d probably be seeing Graham at right wing while MacEwen or MacMaster slid to center to cover their absence.

 

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 a green/black alternate tonight

 

 

Score at the end of the first period: 2-2 Tie

 

Really solid competitive 1st period against a team the Comets have struggled with hard as of late…I want to say that brutal hit from Woods kind of woke the team up. Heads are on a swivel and players aren’t getting caught flat footed, lots of motion which is rewarding to see! Utica just barely held the edge in shots on goal, leading 12 to 11 over Binghamton.

 

2nd Period

 

 

The Score at the end of the 2nd period: 3-2 Comets

 

Bit of a slower period in terms of action, but nonetheless the Comets outshoot the Devils 13 to 10 and they gain their first lead of the game off a nasty pass zone entry and pass from MacEwen. Hopefully they learned from their exhausting 3rd period in Wednesday’s game and they’ve paced themselves accordingly… much more disciplined 2nd period from the team this game round, so hopefully we get a well-rested and composed Utica Comets for the third period where they can try and put this one away. Think it was obvious based on the number of streamables, but Jonah Gadjovich has really been impressing me with his play along the boards…really solid calm passes under pressure and while engaged in hard battles…isn’t just throwing plays away…he lost possession on one offensive drive but that was probably the only glaring error I saw in his game so far tonight. Hope he can find the back of the net with his line because he’s been dynamite for them.

3rd Period

 

 

Final Score: 5-3 Comets

 

Scoresheet

 

Period Team Goalscorer Primary assist helper type
1st Binghamton Eric Gryba 5v5
1st Utica Kole Lind 5v5
1st Binghamton Nathan Bastian Colton White Michael McLeod 5v5
1st Utica Evan McEneny Reid Boucher Adam Gaudette 5v5
2nd Utica Brendan Gaunce Zack MacEwen Guillaume Brisebois 5v5
3rd Utica Brendan Woods Jonah Gadjovich Evan McEneny 5v5
3rd Utica Carter Bancks Evan McEneny Cam Darcy 5v5
3rd Binghamton Nick Saracino Brandon Baddock Josh Jacobs 5v5

 

Takeaways

  • The Comets 5v5 couldn’t have looked better tonight, with great games from Woods, Gaudette, Gadjovich, McEneny, Dahlen and MacEwen. I wish the AHL did ANY kind of advanced stat tracking because the Comets takeaways tonight were through the roof…so many times possession was kept off great stick work in the Devils zone that lead to some golden scoring opportunities and goals for the Comets. Really impressed by their effort tonight…plus they didn’t blow their wad having to defend against a shit ton of stupid penalties.
  • Gadjovich is lowkey picking up his game piece by piece in his past 6 starts…hard along the boards, finishing his checks no matter what, great pressure that disrupted a lot of Devils exit attempts, had some great passes to MacMaster tonight that (I mean this politely) if sent to a better player probably end up as goals for. The re-direct to Woods for his goal in his return game was absolutely nasty though…yes I know his skating needs work, but the guy hustles in his skates to aggressively forecheck and work along the boards…give this kid the same kind of skating coach that Bo Horvat had and oh man we might have a sleeper player here…great calm plays along the boards…many times you see guys get crowded by 2 or 3 dudes from the enemy team and the player being pressured will just pass it to no mans land…but Gadj has lowkey great awareness…you can see it whenever he goes along the boards or to battle he takes a quick glance around the ice to get a feel for where everyone is. I really like his game, and I’m glad it paid off with a primary assist for him. I would think that with Jasek due to return after being sick for the past couple games, that Gadjovich will have earned his spot and MacMaster’s will be the one to replace.
  • Gaudette’s speed…oh boy just look at those controlled zone entries, the guy is just blowing past everyone on the ice…another reason why I wish there were advanced stats in the AHL because this kid was just a possession and entry machine tonight. Showed he could absolutely handle a 1st line center role at the AHL level with ease.
  • Florida Panthers were in house to scout the Farm tonight…genuinely wondering now if we do see a trade for Gudbranson
  • Have to give a quick credit to Ivan Kulbakov who had his 7th straight start for the Comets and looked sharp once again. His ability to come in clutch for the Comets this stretch and the earlier stretch back in October and November might have bumped up his stock a bit and pending what happens with Bachman, might be making a case for himself as a bonafide starter in the AHL. I don’t know if Michael DiPietro plans to move to the AHL (or if he’s even technically allowed to) but barring any other trades, I’ll be paying close attention to Kulbakov’s progression and game for the final 23 games of the season to see if he can make a case as the Comets starter for next season in the event that Bachman’s injury is worse than we think
  • I’ve been saying it around here and on the Canucks discord, but Evan McEneny is asserting himself as the Comets most reliable defender this season. Last season he had a brutal leg injury that cut his season at just 11 games. This season he’s come in with something to prove, extremely reliable on the powerplay along the blue line, calm under pressure in his own zone, crisp passing, rarely takes dumb penalties…shit the guy could get called up tomorrow and replace Pouliot or Gudbranson and I can confidently say he’d be more sound defensively…the guy is playing his best hockey right now…its actually kind of crazy to me that in a night where he gets a goal, 2 assists and ends as a +3 and he’s only the second star of the night haha
  • Reid Boucher ended the night with 1 assist and 8 shots registered on goal and ended a -1. I know this guy lit it up in the early parts of the season, but I think we’re now seeing the repercussions of running so hot so early, players know he’s the Comets triggerman and are quick to block his paths to the net, so he needs to adapt a bit more to being a playmaker/assist machine in the wake of being the known triggerman for the Comets. Countless times he takes the selfish attempt on goal but it leads to nothing…if he ever wants that shot in the NHL he’s gotta diversify…. Don’t get me wrong he was dangerous as fuck tonight…I mean 8 shots is 8 shots, but his plays he did set up were pretty dangerous, but I can tell he just has that desire to be a one man goal scorer, when he can definitely be much more.

 

Comets Three Stars

  1. Evan McEneny
  2. Adam Gaudette
  3. Jonah Gadjovich

Honorable Mentions: MacEwen, Kulbakov, Reid Boucher

 

What’s Next?

 

Comets are back at it again tomorrow when the Belleville Senators visit the Comets to end off their 5 game road trip. The Senators are currently on a 3 game losing streak, with their last loss coming against the Syracuse Crunch. This will be the first encounter the Comets will have had with Darren Archibald since he was traded to the Ottawa system in exchange for Mike McKenna and Tom Pyatt. Since joining the Senators Archibald has only got 1 assist in 4 games played and has a +/- of -3…that’s after having run up 16 points in 23 games played with Utica this season… knowing how hockey stories go, he’ll probably get a hatty or some shit.

 

Regardless, with both Utica and Syracuse winning their games Friday night, the Comets hold firm in 2nd place in the North division and remain tied for 3rd in the East. Despite all the shit Cull has been given for his deployment of the rookies, but man its hard to deny that whatever he’s doing IS working.

…granted…

Most of those wins have come when he’s played the Rookies in the lineup but hey…Im not a coach…im just a guy…sitting at a computer….meticulously rewinding a game….and recording highlights…for all you beautiful people out there who read this whenever its posted! Bless you fine readers of the Farmies, without you’re kind words and support, I don’t know what I’d do!

 

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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