3/17/19 – Utica Comets vs. Hartford Wolf Pack

Good afternoon my r/canuck brothers and sisters…your hungover buddy THRILLHOIAF is running it back with a recap of last night’s game against the Hartford Wolf Pack. Currently the Wolf Pack sit dead last in the AHL’s Atlantic Division, despite maintaining 65 points (3 shy of the Comets 68 points). The Comets have been playing lately like a dead last team, although I can’t really fault them too hard…its literally like an ECHL team featuring AHL lifers and rookies with a few standout NHL caliber guys bearing the brunt of the heavy lifting.

 

Like this lineup shouldn’t technically exist in the AHL but it does due to terrible injury luck on the Canucks and the Comets, as well as pretty laughably bad asset management.

 

Position Player Status
#1 goalie Thatcher Demko Injured beginning of the season for 18 games, dressed for 19, then NHL for good
#2 Goalie/defacto number 1 after Demko Richard Bachman dressed for 23 games then out for the season with injury
#2 Center Adam Gaudette played 14 games, rest of season with Canucks due to Sutter/Beagle injuries
1st pairing Dman and powerplay qb Olli Juolevi Played 18 games then out for season with knee injury
Defacto 1st pairing Dman and powerplay QB Evan McEneny 58 games played, career best points, out for season with knee injury
1st pairing Dman Ashton Sautner 31 starts then misses 23 games due to injury, then called up to the Canucks
1st pairing Dman Luke Schenn Impact Dman with Sautner for 7 games before being permanently called up to Canucks
1st/2nd line Left Winger Jonathan Dahlen 50 starts then traded for a high potential bust prospect instead of a piece that helps the Comets now
1st/2nd line winger Darren Archibald Comets cornerstone piece traded for Tom Pyatt and a goalie they lost to on waivers to get Demko in the NHL
1st line Winger Michael Carcone 17 pts in 20 games, still top 10 in Utica scoring, traded to division rival for an NHL piece
Rookie winger Tanner MacMaster 11 pts in 29 games, 4th amongst rookie group, traded to division rival again for a Dman due to injuries/callups
Rookie winger Petrus Palmu 12 starts, mostly all on the 4th line with ECHL plugs and 16 healthy scratches; left for Liiga to get more icetime
2nd pairing Dman Jalen Chatfield Missed 31 games due to injury
3rd/4th line rookie winger Kole Lind 44 starts, 15 games lost due to injury; not producing
4th line rookie winger Jonah Gadjovich 37 starts, 20 healthy scratches, 8 games and counting lost due to injury – scored 1 less goal than Kole Lind with arguably weaker linemates and playing time
teams best goal scorer Reid Boucher possibly a broken hand, season might be toast
3rd pairing dman Dylan Blujus 32 starts, 23 games and counting out of the lineup with a broken hand
4th line center Wacey Hamilton 17 starts, 43 games and counting lost due to a concussion to start the season and neck injuries now

 

I mean shiiiiiit, some of those guys I listed aren’t all-stars or anything, but if you take out you’re constantly overhauling your lines because of the aforementioned injuries/trades/call-ups, you’re never going to have chemistry develop, nor are you going to have anybody play with confidence cause the dynamic is constantly changing.

 

Right now I count, 8 guys on the roster right now who would otherwise be playing full time in the ECHL that are on our starting line on 1st pairing D minutes or on the 3rd line…like I’ll give them credit, THEY’RE HANGING IN THERE…but dude this roster is hurting hard…hence why the Dahlen trade blows my mind, and still the Carcone and MacMaster trades…they got pieces back, but they’re all so reactionary and did legitimately nothing to help this squad out in the short term or even the long term… It’s legit hard being a Canucks and Comets fan at the same time…

 

The big question tonight (last night)..whatever…sorry I’ll be jumping from tenses quite a lot in this Farmies as I’m VERY hungover and trying to keep the narrative will be a bit tough…but the BIG QUESTION…is how the fuck do the Comets rally back from that heartbreaker of a loss in overtime… I mean yeah they’re athletes and they get over shit like that…but how the fuck do you legitimately come back from that? One of your few NHL-quality players hands the opponent the game by fucking up a shot attempt, then hooks the breakaway player giving them the penalty shot and an easy win after they got rolled over in the final period? When I’m playing League of Legends and I get on a bad losing streak, it doesn’t take much to tilt me when in that next game when something goes wrong and it leads to a loss…and that’s a fucking game…this is these dudes livlihoods and careers…I’m still thinking about that shootout loss and am in disbelief…hell I’m still in shock over the 4 unanswered in 10 minutes against Laval….I mean, fingers crossed they can figure their shit out as a group but its like literally every game this month the odds just stack further and further against them…

 

That horribly miserable pre-amble aside, lets get into last nights game!!

 

Starting Lineup

 

LW C RW
Jasek Kero MacEwen
Gaunce Woods Lind
Bancks Darcy Stevenson
Arseneau Gardiner Thomas
LD RD
Petgrave Chatfield
Anselmini Sifers
LeBlanc Graham
G
Marek Mazanec

 

Malone looked decent and scored a goal in his first game…so obviously the natural response is to bench him, slide his ECHL winger Reid Gardiner to center, and then KEEP Kyle Thomas in the lineup… lol I swear Cull/Johnson and co have this ongoing bet of how to make bad roster decisions on a nightly basis to fuck with the fans. Like…I’m sorry but Thomas is just awful, takes a penalty every game, and besides 1 or 2 moments a night where he has a controlled entry that leads to a play being setup, he’s just a liability whenever he’s on the ice. I also still contend that Saucerman being out over Petgrave makes no sense.

 

RE: INJURY REPORT

 

Injury Report
Bachman Boucher Blujus Juolevi McEneny Hamilton Pyatt Gadjovich
Out for the Season hand hand Out for the season Out for the season Neck Injury Concussion Upper Body Injury

 

Healthy Scratches
Malone Saucerman
1 3

 

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 the green/white alternates

 

 

Score at the end of the first period: 1-1 Tie

 

Kind of a weird one, the Cull once again has his team on a 5 minute powerplay and his guys end up caught out on the ice for too long allowing for a shorthanded goal.. The Comets lead the league in short handed goals against by the way with 15 total shorthanded goals against…not exactly a great stat to lead the league in. Loved the forward pressure from the team though, they managed to outshoot Hartford 11 to 5 and maintained a shit ton of possession in the offensive zone, not allowing Hartford to set up in their end practically at all.

 

2nd Period

 

  • Jasek on the ice for the 2nd period opening draw! Sporting some stitches
  • more of the same from the first period from the Comets for the opening minute, just pressuring hard in Hartfords end
  • GOAL – HARTFORD – 2-1 Wolf Pack: Once again, the Comets are caught out on a long shift, then Matt Petgrave(#38) skates way the fuck out of position to a puck he’s never going to reach that springs the Wolf Pack on another breakaway, and Shawn St. Amant pots Hartfords second straight goal to give the Wolf Pack the lead…this is why I want Saucerman in over Petgrave, no fucking clue what Petgrave expected here
  • Stefan LeBlanc takes a high sticking minor after the goal and the Comets are off to the PK
  • GOAL – HARTFORD – 3-1 Wolf Pack: Hartford makes it 3 straight as Ryan Gropp capitalizes on the powerplay as he rifles a shot glove-side past a screened Mazanec…not sure why the Comets were just letting him get screened so easily but…aight
  • with 3 goals against on 8 shots, Mazanec gets the yank and Michael Leighton comes in…not sure you can really fault him on that powerplay goal, or the two breakaway goals either as all three were awful defensive coverage…not sure what he thinks putting Leighton in will do
  • a hard checking shift from the Comets results in a puck-over-the-glass infranction from the Wolf Pack putting the Comets on the powerplay
  • Comets honor Bancks games played achievement with a video package and I realize now how much he looks like Christian Bale
  • Powerplay has a few moments and shots but nothing comes close to the net
  • Vincent Arseneau takes a boarding penalty and Matt Beleskey drops the gloves to try and fight him but to no avail
  • Gaunce(#16) catches Arseneau(#18) on his way out of the box for a breakaway chance but he puts it right into the body of Hartford goaltender Adam Huska
  • GOAL – HARTFORD – 4-1 Wolf Pack: 4 unanswered tallies, 3 this period…LeBlanc(# 3)goes to play the puck back to Graham(#64) who loses an edge turning to catch the puck and that lets Matt Beleskey take the turnover and feed it to Ville Meskanen who is completely unchecked at the front of the net
  • team is playing like they’re completely tilted off the face of the planet…
  • MacEwen gets a great drive on net but then as the team looks to set up a cycle Brandon Anselmini gets pressured and is forced to reset out at neutral ice

 

The Score at the end of the 2nd period: 4-1 Hartford

 

*heavy sigh*

Its tough boys…its tough… I’m sure the Utica fam didn’t want to spend their St. Patty’s Day watching an ECHL team get embarrassed at home again. Comets outshot just barely 9 to 8.

 

3rd Period

 

  • Jaime Sifers(#26) with a bomb from the blue line that goes off the post and off the back of Huska and sits loose at the end of his skates
  • GOAL – HARTFORD – 5-1 Wolf Pack: Comets possession gets ended when its cleared up the ice to Steven Fogarty who waits out a sliding Graham(#64) to spinorama around LeBlanc(#3) to set up Ryan Gropp once again uncontested at center ice for the tap-in goal
  • 5 straight unanswered
  • Greg Chase gives Stefan LeBlanc a crosscheck behind the play and Leblanc tries to get in a fight with him but Chase just turtles, frustration coming to a boiling point here for the Comets…LeBlanc picks up a 2 minors, one for cross-checking (somehow) and a second for Unsportsmanlike conduct, so LeBlanc will have company in the box
  • Comets kill the penalties fortunately
  • Also I didn’t mention it but Lind has been bumped down to the 4th line with Arseneau and Gardiner –
  • GOAL – UTICA – 5-2 Wolf Pack: the unanswered streak ends as Graham(#64) gets two shots off from the blue line and the wall, with the second shot being the one that finds its way through. Pretty innocuous shot that got through, figures right.
  • Brendan Woods picks up a slashing minor and the Comets are onto their 6th penalty kill on the night
  • GOAL – UTICA – 5-3 Wolf Pack: The Comets get a shorthanded tally of their own as Gaunce(#16) skates it to the Wolf Pack’s blue line, then turns to pass to a trailing LeBlanc(# 3)who sets up the Captain Carter Bancks(#34) in his record setting game played for the Comets; pretty slick backhand move to cut the Wolf Pack’s lead to 2.
  • MacEwen(#15) literally trying to put the team on his back with this nasty end-to-end play where he fights through practically every Wolf Pack player to get a shot off on goal
  • 2 minutes left in the game and off an offensive zone draw, Lukas Jasek gets dinged for interference and the Comets are off to the PK so that’ll be it for any late heroics
  • Comets pull Leighton to get the 5 on 5
  • MacEwen behind the play tries to engage in a fight with Darren Raddysh and he gets tossed

 

Final Score: 5-3 Hartford Wolf Pack

 

Scoresheet

 

Period Team Goalscorer Primary assist helper type
1st Utica Tanner Kero Cam Darcy Jesse Graham PPG
1st Hartford Bobby Butler SHG
2nd Hartford Shawn St. Amant Terrence Wallin Ville Meskanen 5V5
2nd Hartford Ryan Gropp Sean Day Ville Meskanen PPG
2nd Hartford Ville Meskanen Matt Beleskey 5v5
3rd Hartford Ryan Gropp Steven Fogarty Vinni Lettieri 5v5
3rd Utica Jesse Graham Brandon Anselmini Cam Darcy 5v5
3rd Utica Carter Bancks Stefan LeBlanc Brendan Gaunce SHG

 

Takeaways

 

  • wellp the wheels once again fell off after they got even a semblance of a game going tonight…8 penalties to be killed… and once again the team outshoots their opponent in a loss, this time 28 to 20… and again, brutal defensive gaffes cost the Comets a game.
  • that’s 7 straight losses for the Comets, 1-8-1-0 in their last ten…Belleville and Cleveland also picked up points on Saturday night as well, so with that the Comets fall down to 6th in the North Division…that’s probably that for the Comets season to be completely honest…With the injury to Chris Tanev, And Pouliot being Pouliot, I don’t see a scenario in which either Brisebois OR Sautner get sent back down to Utica. I’d like to think the Canucks use one of their remaining call-ups on Zack MacEwen to get a look to close out the season, but IIRC the roster is near max capacity right now.

 

Comets Three Stars

  • Brandon Anselmini
  • Zack MacEwen
  • Vincent Arseneau

HM: Jesse Graham for ending the game with 2 points,

 

What’s Next?

 

The Comets are back in action this Wednesday as they face off against the Belleville Senators in what would’ve been an interesting matchup if the Comets had won yesterday and not collapsed again today..but instead it’ll probably be a pretty dull affair where once again I spend three hours crossing my fingers that the Comets do SOMETHING

 

As always I hope you guys enjoyed this edition of the Farmies, I’ll see you all back here Wednesday and as always 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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