2/1/2020 – Utica Comets vs. Cleveland Monsters

Well, I ended up passing out pretty early and accomplished none of the tracking catch-up I’d hoped too, FML.

Fortunately, I’m well-rested and ready for this morning’s Comets/Monsters rematch!

Not much has changed in the 16 hours since these two teams last met, and it looks like the starting lineup has no changes to it, so let’s just get right into it!

 

THE STARTING LINEUP

LW C RW
Baertschi (#47) Jasek (#9) Goldobin (#77)
Perron (#27) Camper (#19) Lind (#13)
Malone (#17) Stevens (#16) Pope (#11)
Sorenson (#74) Bancks (#34) LeBlanc (#3)

 

LD RD
Sautner (#6) Rafferty (#25)
Juolevi (#48) Chatfield (#5)
Brisebois (#55) Blujus (#8)
G
Zane McIntyre

 

INJURY REPORT
Wacey Hamilton (foot) Vincent Arseneau (concussion) Dyson Stevenson (ankle) Reid Boucher (hip) Jonah Gadjovich (undisclosed)

 

Healthy Scratches
Richard Bachman Josh Teves Mitch Eliot

 

1st period

 

Comets in White

 

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

 

The game started promising for the Comets, but oh boy, the Monsters are just dominating the Comets at 5-on-5. Complete shooting gallery in the Comets end today, while the Comets patient and calculated approach at 5-on-5 is getting them nowhere in Cleveland’s end. Shots favour the Monsters thirteen to eight.

 

2nd Period

 

 

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

 

Jasek’s even-strength goal makes the third period a bit more interesting, but the Comets are really struggling with the speed and size of the Cleveland Monsters today — Forwards look completely disengaged on their backchecking, and the D are getting beat on the outside ad nauseam. Comets outshot the Monsters nine to six but go 0/2 on the powerplay, and 0/1 on the PK. Comets will start the period with 1:41 of 5-on-4, a great opportunity for them to tie the game early.

 

3rd period

 

 

Final Score: 3-2 Cleveland Monsters

 

Scoresheet

 

Period Team Goalscorer Primary assist helper type
1st UTI David Pope Carter Camper Olli Juolevi PPG
1st CLE Calvin Thurkauf Paul Bittner Anton Karlsson SH
1st CLE Stefan Matteau Adam Clendening Kevin Stenlund PPG
2nd CLE Trey Fix-Wolansky Marko Dano Stefan Matteau PPG
2nd UTI Lukas Jasek Jalen Chatfield Nikolay Goldobin 5v5

 

Takeaways

 

  • The lack of physicality from this Comets team without Stevenson, Gadjovich, Arseneau, Hamilton, and even Boucher is quite apparent. Comets were getting pushed and hit over and over with zero response from the team. Obviously playing physical and laying hits isn’t the reason they lost, but it’s a big part when literally 12 forwards cannot out-muscle their opponents to get to the net. Peep the shot map 50% of the Comets 28 shots on goal were weak attempts from the point, but when they managed to get to the slot, they scored on 25% of their shots (2/8). Not sure if it was exhaustion, simply physically outmatched, or a lack of drive, but a Comets team without long-range firepower HAS to have the will to crash the net and fight for rebounds, otherwise, they’re going to get killed down the stretch.
  • After last night’s game where I was concerned with the play of Brogan Rafferty, he came back with a pretty decent, albeit, unnoticeable game today. Love his ability to transition the puck on his own with his skating. The Monsters were all over the Comets tonight to prevent there skating game from flourishing, but when afforded the time and space to move, Rafferty looked great doing so.
  • Comets defencemen have noticeably regressed to their November-style tactics of getting repeatedly caught up in the offensive zone. The number of odd-man rushes given up due to this tendency to pinch high without puck-control is too damn high!
  • Olli Juolevi had an OK game, relative to his teammates and his game last night. He had quite a few giveaway gaffes early, but that one streamable of his speedy backcheck was a massive relief to see. Clearly, there are still kinks he’s sorting out with his knee/hip problems, but this weekend was a good sign of forward progress, all things considered
  • I think I jinxed Jalen Chatfield last night when I said he had a good game because he was all over the place today. His coverage on some of those Cleveland rushes were near-disastrous, and his overcommitment on offensive zone pinches was easily the worst amongst defenders. For a guy with nine assists in his last 70 games, you’d think he’d stick to his strengths as a speedy, physical, defensive defensemen because the offensive contribution side of his game kept putting the Comets at a disadvantage. Maybe if the Comets forwards actually tried backchecking for once, maybe his aggression would pay off, but there is just way too much standing around for Chatfield’s style to be effective.
  • The one-timer option: I cannot believe how sad the Comets one-timers looked tonight. Do they really not drill or practice their one-timer attempts? Is Reid Boucher the only player allowed to attempt one-timers? I suppose it doesn’t matter because the forwards, in general, had a rough weekend. But holy moly, if Boucher is out for a while, and if MacEwen/Bailey are up with the Canucks for an extended period of time, then they really need to find a one-timer option, and quick.
  • I was pretty critical of Zane McIntyre’s first two goals allowed in the opening period, but he was clutch through the final two periods. Facing down odd-man rushes isn’t easy, repeated east-west movement isn’t easy, but he persevered and stopped the Monsters final 13 of 14 shots to at least give his struggling forward group a chance to tie things up.
  • Nikolay Goldobin looked pretty checked out in today’s game. So much so that I have to wonder if the MacEwen/Bailey dual-call-up is playing into his mental. He got two goals last night but looked indifferent through much of today’s 60-minute affair.
  • Adam Clendening registered ten shots against the Comets over the weekend double-header, lol

 

Comets Three Stars

  • Olli Juolevi
  • Lukas Jasek
  • Zane McIntyre

 

The Comets Trajectory?

The Comets return Wednesday for a roadie against the Laval Rocket! I haven’t recapped a mid-week game in quite some time, so I’m sure it’ll be a disaster! 😀

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