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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Tailing the Komets

Early start

The Komets are now 1-5-2 on Sundays after a 3-1 loss to Rockford. They had chances to score at the one end but Rockford goaltender Ronnie Vogel was too touch. At the other end, Kevin Kurk played OK, but he's got to control his rebounds better especially against a team like Rockford that crashes the net.

So I got to the Coliseum about 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, and as I walked into the press box I noticed what at a glance I thought was a senior hockey team warming up. Once I sat down I realized it was the Komets. They skated from about 3:30 to 4 p.m. and left before the crowd entered. They went through some drills and basically just got their legs loose.

``I've done that a couple of times over the years in my career,'' Komets coach Greg Puhalski said.

The guys seemed to be having fun, and they'd usually be at the rink by that time anyway. They also seemed to get off to a better start energy-wise and tempo-wise than normal, even though they trailed 1-0 after the first period.

Puhalski said the early practices may continue, though a lot will depend on the team's schedule.

So what did you think of the game? I'm starting to come to the mindset that the Komets just have to play smarter. How many stupid penalties are they going to take, even if the referee is looking to call stuff. Why are the players out of position to start with?

Boy, did they miss Chaulker on the power play to set things up and settle down. I wrote a column for tomorrow saying that basically they have to quit trying to be a team that can score five goals per night because they absolutely can't. That doesn't mean they can't still be a very good team and maybe even challenge for a title. They have to start trying to win games 3-2 instead of 6-5 because that's never going to happen against Rockford, Kalamazoo, Danbury or Muskegon. The sooner they accept that, the better club they will be.

Posted in: Komets


Sun, 01/22/2006 - 6:28pm

Anyone who wants to put down Jorde.... he stood up for his team. Perhaps the only Komet that did in yet another loss tonight at MC. Btw... how do you get thrown out for being the third man in, when there are no other altercations taking place?

Sun, 01/22/2006 - 7:18pm

I agree, Blake. Weeks ago I asked if the plan over the summer was to win a lot of games 2-1 and 1-0 because I just didn't see the offense on this team as it was being put together. That is not to say it is a bad team, but we might have to settle for having the 5th best team in the league. And Mondalak was brutal tonight. Did it matter? Maybe not, but if the Komets had any thoughts of playing as physically as Saturday, I think he probably took them out of it.

Sun, 01/22/2006 - 7:47pm

First off, thank Mr. Jorde. Fight of the year. And I agree, 3rd man in of what? Brutal.

Second, was that a lesson in physical play we just witnessed? Bring on the 4 games in 5 nights excuse or that we didn't have people in the lineup. Save it. We got manhandled on the boards. Shouts from all around me tonight were of "where's our physical team, Franke" to "hit somebody". All game. We couldn't get things setup in the zone. Did alot of dumping but our chasing wasn't as fast as Rockford's.

This weekend pretty much summed up where we stand. We can still beat the teams we should. We can skate awhile with a top tier team but if we're not going to play physical and allow them to dictate play, we're done or we can beat a top tier team but have to play a perfect game and have EVERYONE playing.. We are still 3-13 against the big four and 17-4 against the rest of the league.
Hard to race at Iny when you don't have an Indy car.

Sun, 01/22/2006 - 8:04pm

I applaud Jorde for the fight and think he is coming aroung finally, but he sure the heck wasn't clearing anyone out of the front of the net, and before you say I know, NO ONE WAS! We definitely got beat all the way around tonight, not fast enough and definitely not physical enough. We also didn't get much help from the ref, I haven't seen that many wistles in a long time.

That being said the team is starting to come around, but we need to be able to hang with the big boys better than that. I would like to see what Summerfield could do if he could ever get some more ice time.

Sun, 01/22/2006 - 8:21pm

I agree totally with Scoops...To see Jorde step up and step in with a heavy weight like Reynolds was nice and boy did he land some bombs. Blake do you actually think we can win games against Rockford or Muskegon 2-1 or 3-2? I do not think we can do it consistantly and until we can match up better physically we are wishing and hoping. Scoops post was right on, look at the record against the big four. That right there is a good column for you to write and ask Franke what is the plan. I felt our effort tonight was good but Rockford still made us look bad at times tonight.

Sun, 01/22/2006 - 8:28pm

I have 100% more respect for Jorde after tonight. He completely stood up for a teammate right away and with a passion. I know it sounds corny but that was probably my proudest moment as a Komets fan this year. I've felt that Komets don't seem to stand up for one another as much this year and to see Jorde do it was wonderful. The third man in call was bogus but I can't do anything about that. Who was the original two fighters? A Rockford player just starts wailing on Galbraith and Jorde fights that guy. Galbraith didn't throw a punch nor did he get called for a fighting major. Anyhow, I'm glad Jorde did what he did no matter the outcome. I'll look at Jorde in a totally different light now.

Sun, 01/22/2006 - 8:37pm

More than anything else tonight, I was surprised to see Goodwin fight tonight! Who was expecting that?! I don't think I've ever seen him fight before, and I can't say I was too disappointed by the outcome. Great job, Goody!

I would rather see Summerfield out there than some of our other forwards. The kid has potential, but how can he show Coach what he can offer if he's on the ice for only a few shifts every game? Heck, in Kalamazoo, he didn't even play! I want to see more of this guy.

I'm with scoops. I couldn't believe the number of times I actually agreed with those fans yelling "hit somebody!" Usually, I'm not one to complain about either the amount of checking into the boards or the power-play lines, but tonight was a different story. I found myself yelling "hit somebody" more often than not, and, during the so-called "power-play," I was yelling, "WE CALL THIS A FREAKING POWER PLAY?!!" I frightened quite a few of the people around me, since I'm not usually a loud person. LOL Tonight was a pathetic attempt at power-plays. You're right, Blake: we needed Chaulker. Desperately.

I still have faith in the K's. I can't really complain, because they beat K-zoo on Friday and QC last night, which is bound to make them exhausted, so, despite tonight's game, I still have faith. Go Komets!

Sun, 01/22/2006 - 8:38pm

Woah, sorry for the novel. LOL I didn't realize I had that much to say!

Sun, 01/22/2006 - 9:38pm

That's OK, Laurie, sometimes it sneaks up on all of us.

David, I think we're looking at the same things from different angles. I agree with you 100 percent, but it's only going to happen when all of these players buy into it and execute it. Don't you guys remember the Port Huron teams Puhalski brought in here? They weren't always the most talented, but they were the best organized and they played a physical style, and they were 6-1 against the Komets.

Mon, 01/23/2006 - 3:51am

Typical Sunday game...That was a brutal cross check by Reynolds on Galbraith that made Jorde step in and take care of business. How about that goaltender interference on Rumble when Vogel was about 5 feet from the side boards. My dad got so made at the referee that he left after the second period...said it wasnt fun watchin the referee botch up a good game. Why trade Worlton when Summerfeild isnt gonna see the ice either... And if fighting is down and teams arent keeping tough players on their teams anymore I think Rockford hasnt gotten the memo yet...That team is loaded with rough and tumble players, and if we have to play them in a playoff atmosphere our stars are gonna get pummeled again. I can live with being the top of the second tier teams if they display the kind of effort they did saturday nite.

Mon, 01/23/2006 - 7:02am

did anyone hear that worly got ko"d again in an east coast league game?

those sunday games are getting
brutal, 3 games 3 nights, they should play the younger kids more on sundays,
neumie looked like he was skating in quick sand.

i agree with scoops, that would be an interesting article ( Q & A ) franke and puhalski on just exactly what they plan to do try and win against the 4 teams that they are struggling with, the coach needs o do more than keep saying the team needs to execute and buy into the systems. against the big 4 the ks are like a poodle trying to race 4 greyhounds.

Mon, 01/23/2006 - 10:01am

From what I can tell Worlton hasn't played since his first game with Stockton. I did see that Brian Gratz was picked up by Reading of the ECHL.

Mon, 01/23/2006 - 10:08am

Goksgo, read today's story.

Mon, 01/23/2006 - 11:01am

The Big Snake fight with Galbraith irked me. Nothing against Lance for taking it but that was for Big Snake's stats. Had NOTHING to do with the game except to rub our faces in it with a courtesy tilt. Would of liked to see Summerfield pound on Voltera right after. Come to think of it, would of liked to see more Summerfield period. The kid took the Danny Stewart dinner that nobody else wanted. Guess our only hope to seeing him get more icetime is more injuries. Once Chaulk and Carpentier come back....he has as much chance to play as I do.
Little late to ask management about our shortcomings. They have the catbird seat in the building and I am sure they can see the same things we do. Just keep beating the teams we should and not worry about the other four teams right now. If we make it to the playoffs, its a successful season based from where we started from, what we had to work with, and what we had to overcome so far.

Mon, 01/23/2006 - 11:11am

Scoops, relax buddy. It's only halfway through the marathon. Who's to say they can't or won't make any more necessary changes? Sometimes you guys act like you think management wants the team to lose just because they don't see the game the way you do. Right now they are maybe one or two players away from really being a title threat. Who thought that would happen at 5-11-2? Who ever thought that would happen?

And Galbraith was the one who asked Big Snake to go. I was standing right there.

Mon, 01/23/2006 - 11:52am

The Galbriath vs Big Snake happen because Galbraith took a run at him at the end of the 2nd period. Big Snake asked Galbriath to dance with 8:41 left in the game, but he mouth over later. Later happen with 4 seconds when Martinson put out Big Snake who lined up next to Lance. Big Snake tap him before face off...When you take a run at someone vs Rockford you will have to pay for it. That is what they do and how they play. Blake I agree with you Franke may try to bring in a so called "snipper", but when you do not have anyone who can protect him what good does it do us? I know players must "buy" into the system but when does that excuse stop being used. If they did not buy into the system after a the first few games then why are they here? Why didn't they cut, trade, or waive those who did not buy into the system?

Mon, 01/23/2006 - 12:36pm

Where's it say they can't stand up for themselves? That's what Goodie did yesterday, didn't he? Guy has fought this year. So did Jason Kean, Troy Neumeier and AJ Bozoian. I'm not saying that these guys have to take on the superheavyweights, either.

And I think that's why they traded Stewart and Virag, not that those two weren't doing what they were supposed to, but to get the message across that EVERYBODY needed to pay attention or they were going to be moved on.

Mon, 01/23/2006 - 2:24pm

Goodie really did not fight yesterday that was a horrible call because both Goodie and Gens just pushed and shove...That did not qualify as a fight. Rockford was responding to the check that Goodie had thrown on one of their players and they took exception. Goodie had no choice because he had about 4 guys on top of him right after the check. That was a scrum more than a fight. I would prefer to have other guys stand up for the likes of Goodie, Chaulk, or PC. I say we lack the role players like a Chaz Johnson or Big Snake not a goal scorer. That is what I think the biggest difference is between us and the "Big Four"

Mon, 01/23/2006 - 2:35pm

Damn, I was 8 rows up and I missed all that conversation. Must of been tending to the kids at that time. I remember the run he took though.

Management wants to win just as bad as all of us do. I think our player "titles" kind of hamstring us on what we can do, can't do, or will do. No? Without a doubt we have shown repeatedly we are short in some areas. Is it more beneficial for us to wait?

We have proven over the last month or better we can be dangerous and disasterous depending on who we play. Physical play is HUGE in playoff hockey. HUGE. Our biggest downfalls against these cup favorite teams is we get abused physcially and play stupid giving them more of an advantage than they probably already have.
I have never seen a tiger change its stripes so as we stand(ing pat) right now.....we are what we are. The folks aren't going to mysteriously buy into the Puhalski system or all of a sudden play physical just because its game #77 of the season.

Mon, 01/23/2006 - 3:16pm

Maybe. I remember the 92-93 team that started the same way and ended up huge and I see some similarities. That team gradually got better throughout the season just as this one seems to be. Who knows? Maybe Shaffy will want to come back and play after the Olympics?

I'm just throwing that against the wall, not trying to start a rumor by any means.

Mon, 01/23/2006 - 6:32pm

Blake do you think there is any chance of the K's claiming Ambler of waivers from the Frostbite? He would be of help to us with a strong winger who can fill a big role we need. In 27 games he 6 pts but 120 pims..I know he is not a sniper, but he played the most of 2 seasons with Muskegon. Just a thought...He has to better than Rumble

Mon, 01/23/2006 - 6:48pm

Blake, Guy and Troy got 5 min. fighting penaltys but they didn't throw any punches.
over all we are playing better hockey, we just need so score more goals to take some pressure off the d-men. i don't think they believe that they can beat rockford and the fury

Mon, 01/23/2006 - 8:13pm

Blake who was the first player the komets signed to an unl contract?

Mon, 01/23/2006 - 9:28pm

Oh, smitty, you're making my head hurt. I'm not positive, and I can check it tomorrow, but for some reason Ryan Black is sticking in my head. Might be Bruce Ramsay since he was an assistant coach.

As for scoring more, I think that was my point in today's column. I'm not sure they ARE going to score more, so they better start learning to get better on defense. Even if they score more, they aren't going to beat Muskegon or Kalamazoo that way anyway. They have a chance if they play 2-1 or 3-2 games with those squads.

David, as for Ambler, I don't know but I can try to remember to ask tomorrow. I also need to ask about Keaner, but I know he has a Doctor's appt. tomorrow I think, and he was encouraged by his progress.

Tue, 01/24/2006 - 11:18am

Blake that would be a question worth asking of Franke as pertains to Ambler. I saw were Kean was place on a Non-roster spot. What does that mean for his return.

Tue, 01/24/2006 - 11:23am

Martin Fillion was first draft pick, Kelly Hurd and Shawn Smith, different Shawn Smith, were the first two signings. According to Coach Puhalski, the Kean move is just a roster move and nothing more. They wanted to free up IR space. As for Ambler, they declined to answer.

Tue, 01/24/2006 - 1:12pm

I didn't see anything in your article about the K's playing physical against these teams. If they decide not to, the scores will not be 2-1 or 3-2 as they are too talented to be allowed to skate around freely.

Tue, 01/24/2006 - 1:35pm

I think that's the point, Scoops. They do not have the team to go out and play rock em sock em, but they do have a team that can be physical enough to win. Like we were talking a couple of weeks ago, what other team DOES play that phyiscal? Nobody really. So if they pick it up they might be effective. What other choice do they have?

I think that message is starting to get through, but we'll see. I do know that is what Puhalski wants, and has told them, but the response hasn't always been there. They did it quite well last Friday and Saturday night, particularly Friday in Kzoo. Four in five nights might be a bit much, but I thought there was some hitting in Sunday's game.

Tue, 01/24/2006 - 2:28pm

Who plays physical? I would say the big four qualify without question. I sure as hell wouldn't call them finesse teams. YOu say we have a team that can be physical enough. Maybe. But I think the inconsistancy lies in we're trying to get that out of players of which that isn't necessarily their style of play.

Tue, 01/24/2006 - 6:30pm

I agree with Scoops I look down the roster and nobody actually stands out as a physical player. Goodie is one who throws his body around and I will give Galbraith a little credit, but I would say he needs to get into the weight room. I just think we have too much of the same in a lot of our forwards not enough diversity when you look at the roster.

On a side note, Blake it would be an interesting story to look at how the league has change over the years. This non-physical or what I like to refer to as "euro-hockey", is it a league decision from the top or the owners? It has change so much even from last year. Everyone talks about the rule changes, but they have not change that much, have they? The officiating in this league is not very good or consistant. Sorry I am rambling but I lost the battle for the TV remote with the wife and American Idol is on. She gave me a beat down like Jorde gave Reynolds.