I usually don't like to jump on the Komets early in the season because... well, it's early in the season. It's tough to kick a team when it's down this early, especially since the Komets always seem to bounce back, but Friday night I didn't have much choice.
We're 10 games into the season, and this team isn't any closer to finding out what kind of team it is going to be. Are they a grind it out team? Are they a speed team? Do they count on their special teams? Are they just more physical than everyone else?
How in the world did they think they could win a shootout with Muskegon with Kevin St. Pierre on the sidelines? They couldn't win that way even with a healthy St. Pierre in goal. The only way the Komets have a chance against the Fury right now is if they hit, and they didn't hit anything on Friday night.
Yes, the Komets where short-handed, and that's just tough luck right now. Coach Greg Puhalski and General Manager David Franke signed two players and thought they had two more coming in for Friday's game. One player backed out after he had already committed, and another couldn't make it because his equipment got lost in transit. He'll probably be here in time for Sunday's game. After spending all week at practice with the Komets, defenseman Mike Mendres decided to retire and get a job.
Another spot of bad luck hit in the first period when Dustin Virag broke a skate blade. Komets' equipment manager Joe Franke would usually be all over this, but he is missing two games so he can go to a cousin's wedding. The first time in probably 15 years that Joe misses a game, and this happens? It's fate I tell you. The skate was eventually fixed, but it was a problem because the Komets were already so short-handed.
The most awful things I've seen so far -- besides Jason Kean trying to get off the ice with a concussion -- are that the players don't seem to be getting better and don't seem to be adjusting well to the stricter rules enforcement. I know most fans think referee Shaun Davis called a lousy game, but I only saw one penalty he called that I had a real problem with. Remember, I'm not a fan so I don't watch the game that way. The referees are supposed to call it tighter this and everyone, players and fans included, have to adjust. We better get used to it. How many times can the Komets give up 10 power plays in a game before they start to get it? They've got to play smarter than that.
The Komets do have a ton of injuries, but that's the perfect opportunity for them to pull together and play tighter defense, not try to turn into an offensive juggernaut. That's just not going to work. Maybe the worst thing I saw was that the Komets' veteran players were among the worst offenders at playing poor positional hockey.
I noticed Nathan Grobins was released by Laredo of the CHL, so maybe the Komets will have some interest in him. The tough part for Fort Wayne is that UHL rules require teams to play four rookies, and right now the Komets need both rookie goaltenders to make that quota.
Past Komets teams used to see this kind of adversity as an opportunity to do something special. This team has a huge opportunity the rest of the weekend.