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Tailing the Komets

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After Saturday's game, Komets coach Greg Puhalski expressed his frustration with the number of "cheap'' penalties his team was taking. The Komets are averaging one fewer power play per game than their opponents, which is often crucial considering the Komets have been skating short-handed and often with four defensemen. They're wearing out on the penalty kill.

``We're taking too many penalties,'' Puhalski said. ``We've got to be a little smarter. We're taking a lot of cheap penalties by not moving our feet. Fatigue can be a little bit of a factor in that regard being our third game in three nights.

``I think it's a mental thing. It's just preparation and being aware of what you need to do. We're just taking cheap little hooks and grabs.''

I have an observation and a question: I've noticed the Komets are getting creamed by hooking and high sticking calls immediately after they've had a two-man advantage. I have no problems with the calls themselves because they were obvious penalties, but the players have to be smarter than that. They have to realize the referee is looking to even things up so they need to be more careful. The other thing I wonder, is it easier for the younger players to adjust to the stricter enforcement than the more experienced players? After all, college hockey definitely calls a tighter game than the pros do.

Another thing is that, like every year, there's a new crop of officials, and it takes time to get to know what kind of game they like to call.

``In defense of the players, it's frustrating on their part because sometimes it's being called and sometimes it's not,'' Puhalski said. ``At times it's tough to make adjustments to that.

``Each official is kind of different on that. You have to see them five or six times, and then you get a feel for what he's going to do.''

But that doesn't explain why the Komets seem to have the same problem every night even if it's a UHL veteran ref such as John Searle or Jim Hawthorne. They certainly ought to know how refs like that call a game.

Posted in: Blogroll, Komets


Mon, 11/28/2005 - 9:07am

I agree. Can you imagine how great our team would be if we had a better power play? It is to the point where I would almost rather us be short handed than to have a power play. This year is weird because unlike previous years, our penatly kill isn't very good.

I liked your article in the paper today. I too, think that we are just missing a little bit of something. I do not think the answer is getting rid of anyone (player, coach, etc). I just think we need 1 person to help the team.

Have you noticed that no one from the other teams really touch Jorde? I noticed that a lot on Saturday. He could stand in front of the net and no one really messed with him. Probably because he came from Danbury and they are known for being mean. Unlike the Komets, who get the crap beat out of them all of the time and do nothing about it in most cases.

A question for you Blake... everyone was very excited (including me) about Guy Dupuis coming back. I have to say I don't think he's been much of a help. I have seen many forwards get around him easily. Perhaps I am looking too much at that.... thoughts?

Mon, 11/28/2005 - 1:54pm

I agree i know dupuis is a great guy but i wasnt thrilled when they signed him or neumeier, i just dont enjoy watching none energetic 40 yr olds play hockey, i thought this was suppose to be a league for young energetic players that like to hit?

Blake Sebring
Mon, 11/28/2005 - 3:37pm

C'mon, you guys surely remember that Guy is a notoriously slow starter, right? The only guys who were ever comparable were Paul Willett and Dustin Virag. Guy had a great week last week, and I think he's starting to come around.

I personally love the way Jorde plays. It's nice to see some size back there that can lower the boom.


Thu, 12/01/2005 - 7:44pm

OK, a couple of points. You had to notice how none of the opponents came near the front of the FW net when Jorde was out there. That's all the players were talking about this week in the locker room. They also talk about how tough he is. We'll see.

As for the coach, you want to get rid of a coach who has won a title here, been to the finals just last year and is coming off back-to-back 50-win seasons, something that has NEVER been done here in 53 years? I know you're frustrated, but let's use a little logic, though I totally agree that when they hit they are a much better team. Funny thing, Puhalski preaches that all the time but you wonder if anybody's listening.

Sometimes it seems like one or two guys hit but not everybody. Everybody hit on opening night and it was impressive.


Fri, 12/02/2005 - 8:47pm

All I'm saying is, they aren't going to fire Puhalski no matter how bad it gets. They'll blow up the roster first, and that's coming very soon. They are lucky in a way that they have so much of the schedule remaining that if they work on new players, they might save the season.