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Tailing the Komets

Tomorrow's story

A week ago, the Fort Wayne Komets were on a 26-9-2 tear and didn't want to change a thing. Following this weekend, they have to take another look at what's available before Tuesday's 3 p.m. trade deadline.

After Sunday's 3-2 defeat by Port Huron, the Komets have a losing streak for the first time in 2006. They lost Saturday despite out-shooting Quad City 48-31 and despite out-shooting Port Huron 49-14. Flags also blocked at least another 10 shots on goal.

Except for the fact that they were playing Port Huron, lately the worst team in the United Hockey League, the Komets might have had an excuse. Forwards P.C. Drouin (22 goals), Lance Galbraith (20 goals) and Matt Hunter (7 goals) didn't start because of injuries, and then Jonathan Goodwin (24 goals) left the lineup early in the first period with a broken nose. That meant that Colin Chaulk (20 goals) was the only Komet with at least 20 goals.

The Komets were playing with 14 skaters, but Port Huron has been playing with 14 or less for most of the last month. Goaltender Jeremy Symington's chest made 47 saves for the Flags, while Kevin St. Pierre lost to a Port Huron team for the first time in his three years as a Komet covering 13 games.

Drouin, Hunter and Goodwin should be back in the lineup by Friday, and the Komets hope to find out how bad Galbraith's knee injury is today. He's out for at least two-to-three weeks and possibly the rest of the season.

“We're going to have to work harder at getting somebody in now just because of Galbraith,'' Komets General Manager David Franke said. ``We'll see what's available. Nobody is going to trade anybody halfway decent unless they get something good in return. Maybe we can talk to a couple of the teams that aren't looking very good for the playoffs, and see if we can work a deal with them.''

Without Galbraith and Goodwin, the Komets turn into a perimeter team. Opponents will let them shoot as often as they like from outside as long as no one is screening the goaltender. Port Huron was content to just flip the puck out of the zone the entire third period, waiting for the Komets to come back and try again from downtown. The Komets worked hard but their style helped Port Huron more than themselves.

Komets coach Greg Puhalski said he'd prefer to find another defenseman to give him seven to work with instead of the current six. Usually, it's easier for a defenseman to play forward if necessary than for an extra forward to play defense. Each team is allowed only 19 players on the active roster, one more than the game roster.

“As long as I've been here, the team hasn't really made a lot of changes the last four years,'' Komets captain Chaulk said. “It's really hard for me to speculate. I'm sure every team is trying to make themselves better, and I'm sure we're trying to do the same.''

There might be a much bigger problem for the Komets, though. Fort Wayne is now a pitiful 2-16-0 when the opponent scores first and 0-16-1 when trailing after the second period. That lack of mental toughness gets teams killed in the first round of the playoffs.

“I think it's just a mindset,'' defenseman Troy Neumeier said. “When we do get down by one or in the third period, everybody is more individualistic than team-oriented. More times than not, it's not going to work that way. Turnovers start coming and then everybody gets all out of position because one guy is trying to do everything, and the other guys don't know what he's doing. Everybody becomes all boggled up after that.''

It won't matter what the Komets can get in trades if they can't learn to win a few comebacks. That's not something one or two new players can fix, but has to be a total team effort — no matter who is or isn't playing.

Posted in: Komets


Sun, 03/12/2006 - 6:52pm

How about getting Littlejohn? I think he would fit into the Lance spot just nicely. I wonder what we would have to give the Otters to get him, since I don't see them in the playoffs this year...

Hit Somebody!!!
Sun, 03/12/2006 - 6:55pm

A broken stick and a Molly McMaster autographed trading card. Missouri stinks.

Sun, 03/12/2006 - 6:57pm

OK, what would we want for Galbraith? We're not going to give him away for nothing and neither will Missouri.

Hit Somebody!!!
Sun, 03/12/2006 - 6:58pm

I'd like our chances much better with 2 legitimate 1st or 2nd liners than the third line or worse patches we have to work with. No knock on those guys, but we are trying to win the cup, not finish 9th.

Hit Somebody!!!
Sun, 03/12/2006 - 7:02pm

DAB and Wiggins. They would finally be back full circle.

Hit Somebody!!!
Sun, 03/12/2006 - 7:04pm

I hope we don't have to give Galbraith away. I admit, I was hard on him early. I have started to really like him. He plays hard and makes plays. He is the most exciting player we have.

Sun, 03/12/2006 - 7:12pm

I would like to see them make a move, but who do we have of value to give. Really we do not have anyone of value unless you consider Rumble, Hukalo, Carpentier, and Hunter guys of value. Unliess we are willing to trade a guy like PC or Goodwin then are market strength is very weak.

Tony E
Sun, 03/12/2006 - 7:34pm

Trade Troy to a team like Missouri who might be looking for a new head coach next year?? I know it sounds crazy but they might be interested in bringing him in to get to know the organization for the rest of the season while he is playing and then maybe offer him the coaching job next year? The only thing that might scare them off is that recently, former Komet players have not made good head coaches.

Sun, 03/12/2006 - 7:44pm

After getting retooled my only worry was injury. Drouin, Hunter, Goodwin and Galbraith. We need them all playing by the end of the month. Looks like we may slip to 7th or 8th seed if these guys are out for an extended period, which isn't really all that bad in my opinion.

I really liked the intensity and effort friday. If we get into the playoffs they have to play everygame that way and if they do we're going to win some games. The one thing that is really troubling me is how we dominated Friday then lost back to back the way we did.

I'll call my Mr. Hustle award early, Miller, in my book, by far. He's all over the ice all the time and when you hustle and work hard like that things are going to happen for yourself. Thanks three three, i'm glad your back on the team.

Hope everyone picked up their free screening kit tonight, no excuse not too, especially since it was free!

Took two of the kids down after the game to skate for the first time, they had a great time. Good time to buy skates, picked them up on sale today.

Hit Somebody!!!
Sun, 03/12/2006 - 7:46pm

What do you mean, Killer, Willet, and Ramsay were all great....ur....never mind.

You have to trade somebody to get somebody. Do we still pay Ken Boone? Trade his rights, he was a fine player for one game and watched the rest of the games that year. I know we don't still have him, just being funny. How about trading Pokey, whoops, not funny.

Tony E
Sun, 03/12/2006 - 7:51pm

Watch it now! Pokey is making a comeback!

Actually would you believe the hockey hall of fame can't spell Komets right!?!?!

Hit Somebody!!!
Sun, 03/12/2006 - 8:00pm

What, is he playing for a retirement commuinty team? Do they allow walkers and canes on the ice?

Tony E
Sun, 03/12/2006 - 8:05pm


Actually I think Troy might make a decent coach. I think his is smarter both intellect wise and hockey wise in comparison to the three guys you mentioned. He also has the perfect mind set for a coach. He can get hot and bothered when needed but he also can keep a cool head when things get rough.

Hit Somebody!!!
Sun, 03/12/2006 - 8:14pm

Shoot the Franke's an E-mail about your idea. They probably never thought of it. Maybe we can rob 2 or 3 guys from Missouri with your thinking. Maybe Troy is our coach though? Don't go nuts you guys, I'm kidding.

Hit Somebody!!!
Sun, 03/12/2006 - 8:23pm

Let's trade Icy for a couple of players. We have a new mascot.....you know....the skating anal-probe, "Mr Enema Man." That was classic. Go back a couple of days ago Blake to your topic of the funniest things seen as a Komet Fan. That takes the cake. The whole wheelbarrow race during the 2nd intermission was great with Enema Man behind Icy with his probe going where the sun doesn't shine was great. Mr. Sproat has out-done himself on this one. I can see it now, Enema Man riding the four-wheeler on the ice, Enema Man t-shirts, Enema Man making appearances at Arby's with the Oven Mit, Enema Man shooting things into the crowd, Enema Man playing musical chairs, Enema Man riding the classic car bicycles, wow great things to come. The guy playing Enema Man has a crappy job so to speak.

Sun, 03/12/2006 - 8:24pm

Getting rid of Galbraith would be a hugh mistake- injury or not! If it looks like Drouin and Goodwin will be back - I think we will be okay.. I love Galbraith..but don't throw up your hands and starting freaking out 'there goes the playoffs' because Lance is hurt. Lance alone doesn't make our team. GO KOMET(S)..

Sun, 03/12/2006 - 10:20pm

I would deal Hunter if we could something solid and a little more offensive in return. I would NOT deal Troy. You can mark my words....Troy Neumeier will be our best defensemen come playoff time. He has been the last 2 years and he will be this year. The guy knows how to turn it on in the playoffs.

Mon, 03/13/2006 - 11:11am

Did I read that right? Each team is allowed 19 players on the active roster, one more than on the game roster?

What is the point in that? Do teams pay a guy not to dress?

If so, why?

Mon, 03/13/2006 - 11:59am

Who needs to go?Guinn hes basically useless,unless hes handing a stick to the opponent or kissing the guy.I cant believe he has an A on his sweater.St.Pierre can go also they had 2 breakaways on sunday and he couldnt stop either.

Mon, 03/13/2006 - 12:13pm

If you want to give constructive criticism that's one thing but insulting the players is crossing the line. Were you spouting "trade Guinn" on Friday and Saturday when he scored goals? The guy lets one breakaway and you want to feed him to the dogs. As for you guestioning the A on his jersey, who exactly are YOU to do that? He got the A for reasons seen by the management, team and coach and that's what matters.

Mon, 03/13/2006 - 12:20pm

THis is another "DAVID", a new one,,,,

Hit Somebody!!!
Mon, 03/13/2006 - 5:31pm

Same old story on the blogs. Everyone has their sacred cow. Don't say anything bad about the sacred cow or everyone will come unglued.

Mon, 03/13/2006 - 5:36pm

All right, enough already. Find a new topic.

Now don't come back and say, but he started it or I'll send you all to your rooms. LOL.

Really, though, asking why or why not a guy has an A. That's pretty low. The only thing that matters is that I've never heard a player question it.

In a few weeks I'm writing a story about Guinn which will explain in part how he got the A and how he keeps it. Once you read that, there will be no question. He's earned it.

Move on. The discussion about who should be traded is over.

Mon, 03/13/2006 - 6:19pm

Too bad we can't trade bloggers.

Mon, 03/13/2006 - 6:37pm

Why because you are Mr. Perfect, right Scoops? I bet it is hard being so great all the time. No room for error, right? The best idea is to have a Scoops site with just his opinions, no one can comment. Great read that would be. Looks like he always has the answer.

Mon, 03/13/2006 - 6:39pm

That was Scoops' first post on this entire issue, and I'm pretty sure he was making a joke. Hey, I thought it was funny.

Mon, 03/13/2006 - 7:47pm

A Scoops site...hmmmm. That would be interesting. I could talk about the Komets, politics, world peace, who shot JFK, and tell you why hotdogs come in packages of 10 but the buns come in packages of 8. But being that I am perfect and great as you say, how do you know I didn't think of that already?

It was a joke Ralph. I would not trade any of you guys for the world. Where would we get all of our narrow minded opinions from then?

Hit Somebody!!!
Mon, 03/13/2006 - 7:51pm

From me? Enema Man could give a narrow....well never mind.

Mon, 03/13/2006 - 8:14pm

Basically those you hop from one side of the fence to the other. We win, we rock. We lose and then everyone gets put down and the whole team needs blown up, coach fired, team relocated....ect.
You seem like a super passionate guy who wants more than anything for this team to be the best in the league. Sometimes you go over the top but in some ways I agree with ya. Nothing wrong with being passionate about your team man.

Mon, 03/13/2006 - 8:20pm

Hey Scoops, I like to here what you have to say.....