10/25/19 – Utica Comets vs. Binghamton Devils

Merry weekend to all in Canucks nation! Tonight couldn’t be a better night for Canuck-hockey. As those of us in BC hunker down for windstorm 2k19, what better way to spend the evening than by watching the Farm-team try and make it an unprecedented six in a row to start the season.

 

Tonight the Comets see the return of Ashton Sautner as well as the season debut of Adam Gaudette. Despite his impressive pre-season, and solid play in his few NHL starts, his play wasn’t enough to warrant a long-term look with the club. Gaudette joins a club that has been dominating the AHL in goalscoring to start the season.

Since moving to center full-time, Lukas Jasek has shown to have decent chemistry playing alongside Sven Baertschi and Nikolay Goldobin. Most would assume Gaudette would move to a line with Baertschi, in an attempt to rekindle their pre-season chemistry. But it might not be the optimal move for the club long-term.

 

Tonight’s opponent for the Comets are their Division Rivals, the Binghamton Devils. Binghamton comes into tonight’s game after having ended a four-game losing streak, Wednesday night, in a 4-1 victory over the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.

 

LW C RW
Boucher (#24) Camper (#19) Lind (#13)
Goldobin (#77) Jasek (#9) Baertschi (#47)
Bailey (#95) Gaudette(#88) MacEwen (#15)
Arseneau (#18) Perron (#27) Bancks (#34)
LD RD
Brisebois (#55) Rafferty (#25)
Juolevi (#48) Sautner (#6)
Teves (#4) Chatfield (#5)
G
McIntyre (G)

 

Adam Gaudette, rocking number 88, slots between the all-speed-pair of Justin Bailey and Zack MacEwen. I’m looking forward to seeing what those three can put together tonight. If this line uses their speed like I know they can, I’m going to call them the Gigawatt-line.

Disappointed to see Blujus get benched, but understand he has it tough playing behind Sautner, Chatfield, and Rafferty. Blujus, honestly, played like a guy who should be in the regular lineup over Chatfield or Sautner. He plays like a pro, chipped in offensively, played physical, and was sound in the defensive-end. I do hope Blujus gets an extended look with the d-corps as the season progresses along. I like his ability to contribute all-over as opposed to someone like Chatfield, who plays physical, skates hard, but has offense evaporate on his stick.

Seamus Malone looked OK in his first games since returning from IR. Given how incredibly deep the Farm is right now; however, he’ll need to absolutely light it up in his opportunities to get himself a consistent spot in the teams bottom-6.

 

RE: INJURY REPORT

 

Injury Report
Jonah Gadjovich(upper-body) Tyler Graovac (knee)
Healthy Scratches
Stefan LeBlanc Dyson Stevenson Dylan Blujus Seamus Malone Wacey Hamilton (vet) Richard Bachman

1st period

 

Comets in their Green/White Thirds’

 

 

Score at the end of the First Period: 2-0 Comets

 

The Comets, once again, start with a dominant period of hockey. The fourth line with Francis Perron centering has been a threat every-time they’ve been on the ice too. Really liking what I’m seeing from Perron tonight, he’d otherwise been quiet to start the year. This is his first “noticeable” effort. Josh Teves is looking good tonight as well, showing crisp skating and puck control. Brisebois and Sautner are a reliable pairing, but neither are moving the needle offensively; I think Brisebois had 2-3 shots that each sailed high and wide of the goal. Otherwise, the team looked good to start, a few giveaway blunders, but McIntyre has been solid. Comets outshot the Devils 12-to-6 after 20 minutes of play.

 

2nd Period

 

 

The Score at the end of the 2nd Period: 3-1 Comets

 

Well, the Comets regained the two-goal lead. However, the second period was quite messy — really bizarre play-reads by the Comets blueliners. The forward groups also appear to be struggling to gain and establish a cycle in the Devils zone. Comets were out possessed and outshot 12-to-10 after 20 minutes of play. They start the third with a minute-and-a-half of powerplay time.

 

3rd Period

 

 

Final Score: 5-1 Utica Comets

 

Scoresheet

 

Period Team Goalscorer Primary assist helper type
1st Utica Carter Bancks Francis Perron 5v5
1st Utica Vincent Arseneau Francis Perron Brogan Rafferty 5v5
2nd Binghamton Chris Conner Michael McLeod 5v5
2nd Utica Reid Boucher Olli Juolevi Nikolay Goldobin PPG
3rd Utica Vincent Arseneau Carter Bancks Francis Perron 5v5
3rd Utica Kole Lind Carter Camper Reid Boucher EN

 

Takeaways

 

  • Well, I bet you weren’t expecting to read a bunch of praise about the Comets fourth line, but here it goes! They were literally the difference-makers for the team tonight. Francis Perron, ironically, after being bumped down to the fourth line after Gaudette’s return, had himself his most impressive game as a Comet. He was smooth transitioning the puck, constantly fishing passes out to open players from impossible areas, he was every bit as advertised coming into the season tonight with an impressive showing alongside two of the Comets seldom discussed players
  • If you’ve been reading the Farmies/Harvest since I began last season, you’ll probably have noticed I have a bit of a homerism for a few players. I was maybe the only person in North America who appreciated what Petrus Palmu brought to the ice every time he had a shift, but he gone now. Replacing him as this year’s homerist pick is Vinny Arseneau! I was a pretty big homer for Big Vin last season as well, but this season might be a bit different due to the strides he’s appeared to have taken with his game.

Big Vin spent the majority of his pro career in the ECHL until he earned a 20 game PTO with the Comets in 2017-18. Last season, Arseneau surprised many when he ended up 9th in team goalscoring after playing only 38 games. After six games this season, Vin has picked up three goals, and one assist after six games exclusively playing on the fourth line. The guy can hit hard, can score beauty goals, and can transition the puck. He’s a legit threat whenever he’s on the ice because I don’t think opponents expect a 6’2″ 216-pound left-winger to be able to transition the puck as well as he can.

This isn’t a THRILLHOIAF “call-him-up” campaign or anything. This is just a write-up showing my appreciation for Arseneau’s game, and overall improvement as a role-player who’s become one of the Comets more underrated offensive threats. Granted, it is still incredibly early in the season; There are still 70 games remaining on the schedule. Regardless, I still liked what I saw from the big guy tonight.

  • True story, on elite prospects, Arseneau is listed as the only hockey player EVER to have originated from Les Iles-de-la-Madelaine.
  • Olli Juolevi had himself a pretty good game tonight as well. His skating did look a bit clunky at times in the third period. At one point, I thought he rolled his ankle, trying to change his ankle. Overall though, I think OJ had himself a good game, relative to his defensive compatriots who were otherwise unnoticeable or making bad reads repeatedly throughout the night.
  • Gaudette, MacEwen, and Bailey looked quite dangerous at all times when they were on the ice, but they need to pick between the three of them who’s going to be the trigger man…It seems more like all three want to take the option to wheel, snipe, and celly on their own as opposed to working as a trio to create space and scoring opportunities. Don’t get me wrong; the three have the speed to try and 1v5 their opponents. Still, it bodes better for them to be able to cycle off a zone-entry for a shot, than to just mindlessly wheel around the net to set up the defenseman.
  • Zane McIntyre with another solid outing for the team. McIntyre was relied upon several times to come up with huge clutch saves for his team. With the lone goal-against being due to poor defensive coverage. Wasn’t really sure what to expect from him coming into this season, but he’s been a big reason why the Comets can run up the score the way they have.

 

Comets Three Stars

  • Vincent Arseneau
  • Francis Perron
  • Zane McIntyre

HM: Carter Bancks

 

The Comets Trajectory?

 

The Comets head out on the road Saturday night when they visit the Hershey Bears. Last season, the Bears and Comets split the season, with the Bears outscoring the Comets six-to-four after two games. Saturday’s meeting will be just one of two games the two will play this season. The Comets leave for Hershey at midnight tonight, so exhaustion will likely be an important factor in the team’s play tomorrow.

 

As always, if you want to read up on this Comets Harvest or the 2018-19 Farmies editions, you can find them all at my Comets Harvest Blog here

 

If you want a more condensed version of Comets recaps, you can now find MORE of my writing at thesinbin.net

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