The Comets look to bounce back from their dismal double-shutout loss this past weekend. The problem is, they’re missing practically everyone important that would make that easy to accomplish.
Tonight’s opponent is their North Division rivals, the Binghamton Devils. Fortunately for this young core, they’ve dominated the Devils so far this season. The Comets are currently winning the season match-up with three wins to the Devils none, with the Comets outscoring the Devils twelve-to-five. The Devils are currently the second-worst team in the Division, coming into tonight’s match-up having lost three straight.
In theory, this is a great opponent for the Comets young group of prospects to try and re-assert the team’s place at the top of the Division. However, there hasn’t been anyone in the Comets lineup that has taken it upon themselves to win the team some games in the absence of Boucher and Baertschi.
The Comets game against Providence last Friday, was at the very least, a promising sign that this team could battle hard in the absence of its star players. I’ve just finished going through all the shot tracking for the game, and its quite incredible they came away from that one without any points. They badly outshot the Bruins and out-chanced them throughout, but ran into a goalie who decided to play his best game of the season that night.
Their game against Rochester on Saturday, though… wellllll *coughs his way out of trying to justify what happened*
After last night’s embarrassing loss to the St. Louis Blues, I’m just hoping that the Comets show some fire and fight in their game. At the very least, to prove that they didn’t luck themselves into an undefeated October, but earned it through good play and teamwork.
Fingers crossed that no one else gets injured too . . .
THE STARTING LINEUP
|Perron (#27)||Graovac (#44)||Goldobin (#77)|
|Bailey (#95)||Jasek (#9)||MacEwen (#15)|
|Bancks (#34)||Malone (#17)||Lind (#13)|
|Arseneau (#18)||Hamilton (#36)||Stevenson (#26)|
|Juolevi (#48)||Chatfield (#5)|
|Brisebois (#55)||Eliot (#52)|
|Teves (#4)||Rafferty (#25)|
Not having Blujus, Sautner, OR Fantenberg to play with this young-ass d-corps could be disastrous on the levels of Saturday’s game. Fingers crossed they don’t collapse when put under pressure.
That being said, I’m glad to see them move Perron back to his natural spot on the wing. He looked decent at center, much more-so than Jasek, but alongside Goldobin from a more comfortable position could be good news for that line. Graovac also has looked pretty awful in his two games with the Comets, so he needs to show something tonight alongside two of the team’s best playmakers.
Oh, and they didn’t bench Josh Teves, which is a godsend.
RE: INJURY REPORT
|Jonah Gadjovich(upper-body)||Reid Boucher (knee)||Carter Camper (upper-body)|
|Stefan LeBlanc||Richard Bachman||Stefan LeBlanc||Ashton Sautner (unavailable)||Justin Taylor (unavailable)|
Comets in Blue
- The Devils strip the puck off Mitch Eliot’s stick right after the draw, eventually leading to a shot from Joe Morrow into the bread-basket of Zane McIntyre
- Lukas Jasek with a turning pass to center-ice in the Devils end, but there’s no one there to receive
- Not much happening after three and a half minutes.
- GOAL – BINGHAMTON – 1-0 Devils: Good start for the Comets. Carter Bancks (#34) loses the puck in a board battle in the Devils end, allowing the Devils to break-out. Brogan Rafferty (#25) fails on a pinch at the blue line, giving the Devils an odd-man rush. Seamus Malone (#17) with a good effort on the back-check to get back and try to disrupt the pass. Unfortunately, Malone only gets a piece of the cross-ice pass, and Kyle Cumiskey gets a one-timer under the glove of McIntyre.
- Early response from the Comets, as Zack MacEwen (#15) calls for the one-timer feed from Justin Bailey (#95), Devils tendy, Louis Domingue makes the pad save.
- Broadcast group for the Devils are into weird arthouse films
- Julian Melchiori whips a pass from the Comets end-boards that bounces off Malone’s (#17) stick and almost past McIntyre
- Vinny Arseneau (#18) plows through Michael McLeod
- Francis Perron (#27) finds the puck at center then wheels past a Devils defender for a backhander over the net of Domingue
- Tyler Graovac (#44) finds himself on a two-on-one with Francis Perron (#27), but completely whiffs on his cross-ice pass
- GOAL – BINGHAMTON – 2-0 Devils: Nikolay Goldobin ( #77) attempts to lead the Comets into the Devils zone with a pass to Tyler Graovac (#44) at center. Graovac loses control of the puck immediately, and the Devils get another odd-man-rush the other way. Joey Anderson rips a shot off the chest of Zane McIntyre, and as Brogan Rafferty (#25) turns to catch the rebound, his check, Ben Street gets the easy rebound goal.
- two goals on six shots for the Devils
- Devils captain, Ben Street, collides with Jalen Chatfield (#5) into the net of Zane McIntyre. Street gives Chatty a shove after the collision, so naturally, Chatfield responds by throwing Street down to the ice with a headlock
- Surprisingly, neither got a roughing penalty after that play
- Devils almost make it three, when Chris Conner toe-drags around a sliding Olli Juolevi (#48) for a backhander on net that slides through McIntyre’s crease
- After an offensive zone draw, Brogan Rafferty (#25) gets a one-timer on Domingue. The rebound drops right onto Zack MacEwen’s (#15) stick, but Julian Melchiori has picture-perfect stick placement to prevent a follow-up shot
- GOAL – UTICA – 2-1 Devils: the fourth line, once again, putting in work for the Comets. As Vinny Arseneau (#18) capitalizes on a fumbled break-out pass by the Devils Fabian Zetterlund to set-up Dyson Stevenson (#26) for his first career AHL goal.
- Vinny Arseneau once again proving himself to be the teams most reliable fore-checker. Not sure I’ve seen his kind of hustle from anyone in the Canucks prospect group.
- Justin Bailey (#95) with speed through the neutral zone for a wrister on Domingue
- LOL, Seamus Malone attempts to glove down a puck in the Comets end, but a crashing Devils player nearly gets a shot off, the second the puck touches his stick. Malone should maybe stop involving himself in the Comets end tonight … luck is certainly not on his side so far
- Jalen Chatfield (#5) with a slick rink-wide pass to Tyler Graovac (#44). Graovac gets the odd-man-rush and successfully completes the cross-ice feed to Francis Perron (#27) for a one-timer on Domingue
- apologies in advance for the change in streamable audio levels – switched from speakers to headphones, so might require some adjustment
- MacEwen looks like he’s playing a little frustrated. Got tied up in the Comets end on a backcheck, then missed a pass from Justin Bailey (#95) to enter-the-zone. Fired a shot from center-ice on Domingue that had a hint of frustration on it
- Time winds down on the period
Score at the end of the First Period: 2-1 Devils
Tough to rate how that period, as a whole, went for the Comets. Comets were outshot eleven to eight and gave up several significant scoring chances to the Devils. Lukas Jasek has been disappointing tonight. Mitch Eliot looks much better than he did over the weekend. Brogan Rafferty is having another off-night for the most part. This period, he was caught on the ice for both goals against, with poor reads on both plays. It’s incredible how incapable the team is at setting up a cycle in the offensive zone in the absence of just a few players. Hoping they can somehow figure it out and try to even this one out. Dyson Stevenson’s goal ended a scoring drought of 140 minutes.
- MacEwen’s frustrating night continues as he gets dinged for tripping
- Comets off to their first PK of the night. 1str Group: Bancks, Hamilton, Chatfield, Juolevi
- LOL, Carter Bancks forechecks aggressively on the PK, and the Devils Colton White runs into his goalie. The collision knocks off Domingue’s helmet and stops play
- Tyler Graovac (#44) misses a pass, but Jalen Chatfield (#5) blocks a centering feed with his skate, to then clear the zone
- sigh, soon as the MacEwen penalty ends, Guillaume Brisebois takes an interference penalty. Giving the Devils their second powerplay of the game
- First pk group: MacEwen, Hamilton, Juolevi, Chatfield
- Juolevi (#48) blocks a shot with the knee and is labored as he gets up
- Juolevi buddy…please…stop using your knees to block pucks.
- A gif encapsulating the Comets last three games, as Josh Teves (#4) has a free-and-easy clearing attempt, but he loses an edge, and the Devils regain control in the Comets end
- Brisebois penalty ends and the Comets line of Goldy, Graovac, and Perron pressure the Devils into icing the puck
- Tracking the shots/blocks/misses for my Comets Corsi project is going to be a nightmare for this game. Constant camera-angle changes from the Devils broadcast is making this an atrocious viewing experience
- Ten minutes down and the Comets finally set-up a cycle in the Devils end, only for Jalen Chatfield to rifle a shot that goes up and over the boards into the protective netting
- Comets watching their defender’s battle along the boards and elect to allow the Devils to retrieve the puck. Seriously, where’s the effort from the forwards outside of the fourth line?
- Vinny Arseneau (#18) with a turning wrister on goal followed by a “fight” with Brandon Baddock, who did his best running man impression throughout the bout
- Both pick up 5 minutes for fighting, and now the Comets are without one of their best forecheckers, haha. Funny how that works!
- Juolevi (#48) misses a puck played off the glass giving the Devils a two-on-one rush, but Jalen Chatfield (#5) hustles to negate a scoring chance
- Kole Lind (#13) picks up a loose puck to send a cross-ice feed to Wacey Hamilton (#36) for a wrister that goes right into Domingue’s glove. Good chance created by Lind
- Lind (#13) attempts a solo drive on goal, but loses control of the puck
- Juolevi attempts a stretch-pass to Goldobin on the blueline but Goldy can’t control the puck
- Goldobin (#77) receives another stretch pass from Juolevi (#48) and gets blatantly interfered with after he gets a touch on the puck. It’s one of those nights however as the refs forget to look in the direction of the puck on this particular play
- GOAL – UTICA – 2-2 Tie: The interference doesn’t matter! As Tyler Graovac (#44) pokes the puck out along the boards out to Justin Bailey (#95). Bailey finds a crashing Brogan Rafferty (#25) with a beautiful pass. Rafferty then gets a gorgeous no-look pass to Goldobin (#77), who buries it for his second of the year.
- Also, A+ song choice on the game-tying goal
- Comets spend remaining 52 seconds of the period facing pressure from Binghamton
The Score at the end of the 2nd period: 2-2 Tie
Comets outshot ten to five, but, they go two-for-two on the penalty kill, and get a game-tying goal off an absolutely gorgeous passing play. I had a giant thing prepared for the conclusion of this period about how this team isn’t even trying to set up passing plays between themselves. And here they are closing out the period with that beauty of a goal. Hopefully, that tying goal gives the team a shot in the arm and some faith in their scoring ability.
- McIntyre with two shots against after just 51 seconds of play to start the third
- Vinny Arseneau (#18) with a drop-pass to a speeding Lukas Jasek (#9) who drives to the goal for a shot, only to lose the puck at the very end
- Think that might be the fastest I’ve seen Jasek skate all season.
- Devils making geat work of their time spent in the Comets end as they’re just hammering the Comets with shots. Only after a blatantly offside zone-entry do the Comets get a reprieve from the onslaught
- MacEwen takes his second penalty of the night after interfering with a Devils player. Comets off to their third pk of the night
- Comets do a great job denying the Devils any shooting lanes. They kill off the MacEwen penalty, and the game returns to even-strength
- Devils pressuring hard, and the refs legitimately ignore Josh Teves (#4) being held by a Devils player as he chases a puck to the end-boards.
- Francis Perron (#27) has a shot that I’m almost 99% sure went off the inside bar and out.
- GOAL – BINGHAMTON – 3-2 Devils: The cruelty of the game, as the Devils going the opposite way set up a scoring play. Francis Perron is caught watching the play, as Nathan Bastian sets up a crashing Chris Conner for the tiebreaking goal.
- Trent Cull and Carter Bancks ask the referee’s to review the Perron shot from the overhead camera, but they refuse his request and play carries on
- Mitch Eliot (#52) with great hustle from off the bench to hold the line in the Devils zone. Brisebois (#55) gets himself a shot on Domingue, followed by a wraparound attempt that almost capitalizes
- Wow, the referees actually dish out a penalty to the Devils, as Ludvig Larsson takes a hooking penalty. Comets off to their first powerplay of the game
- 1st Powerplay Unit: Juolevi, MacEwen, Graovac, Rafferty, Goldobin,
- Would’ve preferred them to load up, given there’s just four and a half minutes left. Two d-men and someone as slow as Graovac does nothing for the Comets here
- As expected, 1st unit loses the zone immediately and gets nothing going
- 2nd PP Unit: Perron, Bailey, Brisebois, Eliot, Lind
- 2nd Unit does just as little as they elect to play dump-and-chase hockey on their powerplay try
- Justin Bailey gets his usual solo drive on net but nothing comes from it
- Comets pull McIntyre for the extra man
- wow, the ref’s legitimately don’t want Utica to win… Justin Bailey gets tripped to the ice, and Zack MacEwen is on a breakaway on goal when the refs blow the play dead?. Play was not offside either, just baffling refereeing
- Goalie pulled for the six-man powerplay group: Juolevi, Rafferty, MacEwen, Bailey, Graovac, Goldobin,
- GOAL – BINGHAMTON – 4-2 Devils: despite the 2 man advantage…Juolevi elects to dump the puck into the Devil’s end instead of just carrying it…holy moly, what an absolutely awful decision.
- Comets pull McIntyre with one minute remaining again
- Comets get boxed out with the man-advantage and generate nothing in the final minute.
Final Score: 4-2 Devils
Comets outshot 18 to five over the final frame. 39 to 18 overall. Pretty pathetic effort once again. I am getting horrific flashbacks of last season with the terrible decision-making.
|1st||Binghamton||Kyle Cumiskey||Nathan Bastian||Brandon Baddock||5v5|
|1st||Binghamton||Ben Street||Joey Anderson||Dakota Mermis||5v5|
|1st||Utica||Dyson Stevenson||Vincent Arseneau||—||5v5|
|2nd||Utica||Nikolay Goldobin||Brogan Rafferty||Justin Bailey||5v5|
|3rd||Binghamton||Chris Conner||Nathan Bastian||Ben Street||5v5|
|3rd||Binghamton||Ben Street||Ryan Schmelzer||—||SH,EN|
- Having a tough time putting together coherent thoughts on tonight’s Comets performance. Frankly, it sucked. It was pathetic. Sixty minutes of guys playing cute hockey with their endless no-look drop passes to their opponent’s sticks, and shots that are fifty feet wide of the goal. I’m even getting tired of the dump-and-chase hockey. After eleven games, it’s quite obvious that the Comet’s have only three guys on the team, max, who have the aptitude or drive, to actually play that kind of hockey.
- Speaking of which, what happened to Zack MacEwen. Relative to how he played most of last year, his skating looks lethargic, his shooting ability has dropped off the face of the earth. I know people are going to point to his 6 points in 9 games, but those 6 points came from a run of three games only. He’s been held pointless now in five straight. If he’s chosen to work on his defensive game, that’s fantastic, but if that comes at the expense of dropping everything else from your game that made you worth a call-up last season, then I’d say forget it.
- Kole Lind came into this season wanting to prove the haters and the doubters wrong. Lind has exactly zero points, when playing away from Boucher or Baertschi. Lind has been a passenger for the majority of the Comet’s first eleven games of the season, and never has it been more apparent than this past three. The kid is completely averse to physical play when it’s not instigating after the whistle’s blown. I simply do not see any sort of intensity from his play. The only time you’ll catch it is when he’s jumping on loose pucks. Genuinely not sure what direction or trajectory he has as a player if, as a goal-scorer, he is completely and wholly reliant on everyone else to carry him.
- My brain keeps replaying that dump-in from Olli Juolevi with the two-man powerplay advantage. Like are you seriously kidding me that not one of those six guys could carry the puck into the zone themselves? I’m certain the voice screaming “no!” in the streamable is from the powerplay coach dying inside on that play. Once again, away from NHL caliber talent (Fantenberg, Sautner), Juolevi proves to be a one-trick pony. Two trick if you consider sacrificing your body on every penalty kill. And while I absolutely love me a tape-to-tape rink wide feed that results in a goal. I can’t, for one, accept that in place of everything else required to be a successful defender, even if just at the AHL level. Tonight’s game from OJ wasn’t even a bad showing of his skate speed. He only got burned once, which for him is a milestone. When you’re getting outclassed by Jalen Chatfield in both the defensive AND offensive end, alarm bells start ringing.
- Lukas Jasek continues to be just a complete dud. I understand that playing with MacEwen and Bailey is tough since both guys like to play “me versus everybody,” kind of hockey. But I wasn’t kidding when I said that’s the fastest I’ve seen Jasek skate all season. He’s just looked so disengaged from the play. I can only equate it to him being that uncomfortable with playing the center position, that he’s hesitant to play at center-ice and create offense from there. More often than not, Jasek will peel off from chasing a puck rather than attempt to continue an offensive drive. This all goes back to the team having no backup plans in the event of call-ups or injuries. Well, the team is down Camper, and Graovac is too slow to hang with the top-six, so now what?
- Lost in the minutiae of the Comet’s third disappointing result in a row was the lowkey impressive game from Mitch Eliot. Eliot could actually hit the net with a shot from the blueline. So by that token alone, he’s automatically outplayed Brisebois. His speed looked sharp, and despite a few times where he couldn’t outmuscle a Devils player who was crashing the net, I didn’t think he looked too out of place amongst his AHL D compatriates.
- At this point I’m willing to say, the Comes should put Arseneau and Stevenson with Francis Perron and give them better match-ups. Because that line was actually quite legit when they were together. Tonight, once again, Perron, Arseneau, and Stevenson, independent of each other, were the only players engaged physically while actually landing shots on goal.
- Feelsbadman for Zane McIntyre, who got absolutely shelled for 60 minutes tonight. Team completely left him hanging on all three of those goals against.
- Also, at this point, it would be hilarious if the Comets did go without a single win through November after an undefeated October.
Comets Three Stars
- Mitch Eliot
- Vinny Arseneau
- Zane McIntyre
The Comets Trajectory?
The Comets return Friday night when they take on the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins for the last time this season. In their first match against the Penguins, the Comets gave up three straight goals to then tie the game and win in overtime. The current iteration of the Comets might get three goals, contingent of course on the returns of Camper, and Boucher. With Baertschi somehow slipping through the waiver wire undetected.
Comets lose three straight, and honestly, the blueprint to beating them is pretty clear right now. There isn’t a lot of time between games to adjust, as the Comets play another three games in the next five days. Fingers crossed their opponents don’t have this team figured out or this November stretch is going to be worthy of last year’s Comets.
If you want a more condensed version of Comets recaps, you can now find MORE of my writing at thesinbin.net