12/1/19 – Utica Comets vs. Toronto Marlies

Good afternoon Canucks Nation it’s time to start my favorite month of the year with a Comets rematch against the Toronto Marlies.

Now, because this is the season of perpetual hope, I’m hoping that this Christmas season, that the Comets don’t embarrass themselves too often against their opponents, and they establish themselves amongst the tops of the AHL’s North Division.

Not much to really say before this afternoon’s game, as the only change in the 24 hours since their last match, is Jalen Chatfield getting scratched out of the starting lineup for Stefan LeBlanc. Chatfield’s scratch likely has everything to do with Edler’s injury against the Oilers. Probably a precautionary thing in case he does need to get called up.

 

THE STARTING LINEUP

 

LW C RW
Baertschi (#47) Malone (#17) Boucher (#24)
Perron (#27) Camper (#19) Lind (#13)
Gadjovich (#21) Jasek (#9) Bailey (#95)
Sorenson (#74) Bancks (#34) Stevenson (#26)
LD RD
LeBlanc (#3) Sautner (#6)
Brisebois (#55) Rafferty (#25)
Teves (#4) Eliot (#52)
G
Michael Di Pietro

 

Roussel listed as a healthy scratch because, I guess, the Canucks haven’t made the roster move to make space for him?

Perron flips back up to the left-wing to play alongside Camper and Lind, and Tanner Sorenson slides to the wing alongside Bancks and Stevenson.

Dylan Blujus also slides out of the lineup due to an injury picked up in yesterday’s game. Going to be a pretty inexperienced

Interesting that MDP gets his third-straight start between the pipes! And his second start in a back-to-back. MDP wasn’t as sharp yesterday as he was in previous games, but a win-streak is a win-streak, best to ride the hot hand while you can.

 

RE: INJURY REPORT

 

Injury Report
Olli Juolevi (not the knee) Vincent Arseneau Wacey Hamilton Dylan Blujus

 

Healthy Scratches
Richard Bachman Justin Taylor Tanner Sorenson Antoine Roussel

 

1st period

 

Comets in Blue

 

 

The score at the end of the 1st period: 2-1 Comets

 

Like Loui Eriksson scoring his first of the season against Edmonton, you just had to feel fantastic watching Lukas Jasek notch that shorthanded goal. Jasek’s troubles since moving to center have been talked about ad nauseam by myself and others who watch the Comets, so seeing him get such a clutch goal for the team while the shorthanded was great. He’s no six-million-dollar man, but it’s always a great relief to be able to cheer for someone who’s struggling rather than continuing the pile-on. Deeply upset that we don’t get to see that Lind/Sandin scrap, the conclusion of it looked terrible, I can’t imagine how bad it was to start, haha. Overall, a solid first period from the Comets, great effort, and battle to notch two clutch goals.

 

2nd Period

 

 

The score at the end of the 2nd period: 3-1 Comets

 

It would’ve been nice to see the Comets extend that lead a bit more with that much powerplay time. The way they slowed down so considerably to close out the period could be disastrous if that’s how they play the remaining twenty minutes. Marlies are playing their third game in three days and somehow have more jump to their step than the Comets do. Comets barely edge the Marlies in shot-attempts, eight to six. Not good enough for a team that had nearly eight minutes of powerplay time.

 

3rd period

 

 

Well, that was embarrassing. Imagine getting out-hustled by a team playing their third game in three nights. What the hell were the Comets doing last night? Were they out getting tanked at the Maple Leafs game? Pathetic effort to close out the final two periods.

 

Final Score: 5-3 Toronto Marlies

 

Scoresheet

 

Period Team Goalscorer Primary assist helper type
1st TOR Adam Brooks Jeremy Bracco Pontus Aberg PPG
1st UTI Jonah Gadjovich Justin Bailey Lukas Jasek 5v5
1st UTI Lukas Jasek Carter Bancks Brogan Rafferty SH
2nd UTI Justin Bailey Reid Boucher Brogan Rafferty ppg
3rd TOR Hudson Elynuik Jordan Schmaltz Tanner MacMaster 5v5
3rd TOR Adam Brooks Egor Korshkov Martin Marincin 5v5
3rd TOR Jesper Lindgren Adam Brooks Jeremy Bracco 5v5
3rd TOR Adam Brooks Jeremy Bracco Darren Archibald 5v5

 

Takeaways

 

  • What’s there to say honestly? Team got a two-goal lead in the second period and then stopped playing hockey. Comets were outshot ten to six to close out the third period and went 0/5 on the powerplay after their one successful try, early into the second period. Effort levels were pathetic. This could have been a great statement weekend from the team that widened the gap between them and the Belleville Senators and the Laval Rocket. But instead, they laid an egg and left poor Mikey Di Pietro out to dry on so, so, so, so many even-strength goals.
  • Again, where was the timeout call from Trent Cull? How could he not recognize that the Marlies had a giant momentum shift after that first goal from Hudson Elynuik in the third? Could he seriously not sense the change in momentum that had already begun in the second period? Does the AHL not have timeouts?
  • This weekend’s games from MDP tanked his numbers. Hard to fault him on the majority of those goals too, as his team left him high-and-dry. MDP’s save percentage remains at 0.913, but his GAA trickles up to 2.44.
  • Genuinely not looking forward to re-watching this one to track shot-attempt data, because oh boy that quality was the video equivalent of getting the flu.
  • Stefan LeBlanc was on the ice for three of the Marlies goals. Lukas Jasek and Gadjovich were on the ice for three of the Marlies four goals that closed out the game. Really bad look for the young guns after an otherwise promising start to the game that saw both pick-up points in the first period with stellar forechecking and play-creation. If the coaches had spare forwards, both these guys would likely be getting scratched for their third-period efforts. Both looked utterly lost, playing with the lead in the third. And when the going got tough, they floundered when they were asked to play critical defensive roles against a surging Marlies team.
  • Decent game from Brogan Rafferty, as he concluded his game with two secondary assists while being on for just one goal-against. He’s at his best when he plays a subdued game, and this weekend had two prime examples of him accomplishing a lot without going overboard in the offensive zone. Jalen Chatfield likely gets called up for depth in the wake of Edler’s injury, but I do kind of wish they gave Rafferty a look.

 

Comets Three Stars

  • MDP, cause in spite of the five goals against, I feel like he’s probably still having a great time
  • Brogan Rafferty, see above
  • Carter Bancks, for the spinorama and being on the ice for just two goals against

 

The Comets Trajectory?

 

The Comets get a much-needed five-day break to work on their shortcomings that cost them in Toronto. They’ll return this upcoming Friday when they take on the Bridgeport Sound Tigers at home. The game against Bridgeport kicks of a four-games in six-night stretch for the Comets.

 

If you want more Comets coverage from yours truly, you can now find MORE of my writing at thesinbin.net

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