I still don't think the defense is as much a problem as the forwards. There's plenty of talent up front, but I don't see anyone paying the price. They all think they are Russian stick-handlers, even the guys who should be heading to the front of the net. How many rebounds did the Komets get to tonight? How many times did the forecheck actually get to the PH defenseman when they had the puck? How many times did they throw a big check two seconds after the puck was gone? There are too many of the same player there.
Man, does this team miss Matt Reynolds and Terry Marchant. They weren't the most graceful, but they would stick their nose in and get to rebounds. The knock on Terry Marchant was always that he wasn't physical enough, but he was always scoring his goals within five feet of the net just as he was getting his block knocked off. Who on this team consistently goes for rebounds? No one. That's why the lines are so interchangeable, because they are all the same player.
I'd really like to see this team go all-out defensively at home and try to limit the opposition to five shots a period. Just keep a man high all night and don't pinch and for goodness sakes don't get caught up ice. It seems like every time they get in trouble it's because one of the defenseman is getting caught up ice, leaving a rookie back facing a two-on-one, and that leads to a goal or a power play or a short-handed chance.
Remember early in the season when the Komets all seemed to be a stride faster than everyone else in the league? No one could keep up when they cycled down low. They aren't using their speed much at all, and they can't fight through Port Huron's trap at all right now. Give the IceHawks credit because they are a better team than last year. The crazy thing is they can't win at home, either.
Despite all that, I still think this will be a very good team when you bring back Osman, Legault, Chaulk and Bertram. And I wish they had a Rob Guinn, Kevin Schmidt or Kevin Hansen back on the blue line. That's the exact player the Komets are missing back there right now, but every other team is looking for the same thing. They're going to have to develop that player from among the rookies.