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Tailing the Komets

What do they try next?

Tomorrow's column:

Komets coach Al Sims has tried being positive and then yelling, being consistent with his lines and then changing them up. Now it's probably time to make roster changes, possibly even drastic ones.
After losing all three games over the weekend, the Komets are 2-6-1 and off to their worst start since 1994 when they were 0-8-1. The problems are at the end of the ice they never thought would be a problem when they put the team together this summer as they are scoring a Central Hockey League-low 1.44 goals per game.
``I don't have the answer right now how we're going to get more goals,'' Komets general manager David Franke said. ``It's something we're going to have a lot of intense discussions about this week amongst ourselves.''
Leo Thomas, P.C. Drouin, Derek Patrosso, Brandon Naurato, Kaleigh Schrock, Sean O'Connor and Mathieu Curadeau all scored more than 20 goals last season, and Guy Dupuis scored 14. They combined for 183 last season, but so far have combined for 11 and are on pace for 81.
Over the last two losses, they basically got beat by their opponents' third line scoring key goals. That's what happens when your own first and second units aren't scoring, giving the third liners the chance to make the difference. They've also given up a lot of freak goals, such as the one Friday night against Evansville when the puck hit a skate and deflected up off defenseman Frankie DeAngelis's facemask and into the goal. Those are also magnified when you're not scoring as you should at the other end.
The Komets rank fourth in the CHL with 34.5 shots on goal per game, but opposing goaltenders have a .958 save percentage against them. That usually means no one is getting in front to distract the goaltender or battle for rebounds. No one is consistently payng the price to score.
``Adversity usually brings out the best in people,'' Sims said. ``We have a lot of players who haven't been through this, and everybody has to has to find a way out of this. There's no magic potion. We need to score goals, and until we start scoring goals, things aren't going to change. We're going to make changes. We can't continue with the same group if they are not going to get it done."
There's no way to pinpoint one problem that needs fixed. Are they too old? This lineup is significantly younger than last year, and the two oldest players -- Dupuis and Drouin -- were the leading scorers heading into this weekend. Are they too slow? The fastest forwards on the team -- O'Connor, Schrock, Chris Francis and Curadeau -- have two goals.
Are the systems wrong? They've already changed them up once.
They don't even have a slew of injuries to blame because they've been almost perfectly healthy.
One of the problems now is the Komets may need to get rid of proven scorers who are struggling to bring in rookies who have potential but are unproven. Big defenseman Steven Delisle starts practice today after getting sent down from Springfield of the American Hockey League, and rookie forward Neil Musselwhite is expected to play Friday against Arizona.
To make roster room, it's likely two players will have to leave.
Besides getting someone in front of the net, there seem to be two major problems.
Everyone seems to be working as individuals instead of as teammates. Most skaters want to carry the puck up the ice but they rarely give it up on the rush so everyone else has to slow down and watch them. About a dozen times Saturday night against Missouri, the Komets put themselves offsides by trying to make a move to get around a defender instead of passing to a teammate. When they did get into the offensive zone, they'd fire almost as soon as they crossed the blue line with no one in front and no chance at a rebound.
There's also an obvious opportunity for individual leadership. There are plenty of leaders in the locker room, but somebody has to step up and lead on the ice, filling the role Colin Chaulk had last year. Chaulk could be bull-headed, but he made sure everyone did what he wanted them to, what they were supposed to do. Plenty of players talked during the preseason about wanting the chance for leadership this year. Somebody has to be aggressive and take that role.
Mostly, they simply have to score.
``We've got to quit wasting great goaltending efforts and put the pucks in the net,'' Franke said. ``We'll just have to figure it out. We've got a lot of hard work to do this week."
Posted in: Komets


Sun, 11/14/2010 - 4:25pm

# KometKrazy Says:
November 14th, 2010 at 3:45 pm

Maybe with a new D-man and danko coming back soon, Warner can finally get the boot. Lets don

Sun, 11/14/2010 - 4:35pm

Sorry I meant to say 5 of next 6 are at home. And does anybody remember during the victory ceremony after the game last year against Flint when Franke said we are experiencing the 'Golden era of Komet hockey'? Now its a new year and new league. That 'Golden Era' has lost some luster. But I honestly feel we can get it back. This team needs to come together and play as 'One Team'. And please put the biscuit in the net. Its all I want for Christmas. And some wins wouldn't hurt either.

mr snufflupugus
Sun, 11/14/2010 - 5:28pm

Pick a starting goalie and stay with it...
Goodbye PC, Goodbye Warner, Goodbye Guy
Trade Curadeau for a front of the net scorer that can deflect point shots and will take the abuse needed to be in that position.

Sun, 11/14/2010 - 5:29pm

Some people keep talking about getting rid of Warner (my wife included) but defense is not the problem. I'm not sticking up for him or making excuses but the problem lies with the forwards who are not scoring goals, not the defense.

Bringing in different D-men and cutting D-men is not going to solve the problem. Might as well ditch a goalie or two and bring in someone different. The goalies aren't supposed to score goals and a good offensive D-man is great but that's not the issue now, is it? Our forwards aren't scoring and that's the problem. If anyone gets cut/replaced it needs to be forwards, IMO.

just a fan
Sun, 11/14/2010 - 5:39pm

Fort Wayne 11/14/10 Cianfrini, David (D) waived
Fort Wayne 11/14/10 Francis, Chris (F) signed contract

Sun, 11/14/2010 - 5:55pm

Guy's not going anywhere. While he's not the lights out stud of the past, he has adapted his game and is doing just fine. One of few that can actually score a goal too.

Sun, 11/14/2010 - 6:20pm

All I am saying about Warner is that we keep bringing in D-men and if any of them stick then Warner needs to go. He is our worst defenseman. Makes too many stupid mistakes. And Curadeau has been a bust so far. Too bad Syro wouldn't come out of retirement. I don't care if he didn't play much D. At least he got in front of the net and scored the garbage goals that we could use right now. And I would like to see Francis bury one once in awhile also. Has the speed but nothing to show for it so far.

Sun, 11/14/2010 - 6:36pm

Francis has played 5 games and is a minus 6. He is selfish. He is not what we need. I don't care how fast he is or is suppose to be. Chaulk and Shaf had a combined 86 assists in the regular season last year. We need a center that can pass the d### puck.

Sun, 11/14/2010 - 6:41pm

Who is Francis suppose to pass the puck to? The guy who is still on the other side of the blue line?

Blake Sebring
Sun, 11/14/2010 - 7:16pm

Knock it off with the Rudenko jokes. They are just going to get you suspended on here. And they're not even funny.

Hit Somebody!!!
Sun, 11/14/2010 - 7:32pm

This team needs 2 things:

1) A topline Center who is the QB of the offense on the special teams and who can set-up your most skilled players, as well as play both ends of the ice.

2) A Power Forward who will camp out on the door step, redirect shots and passes, and take-out the trash by sweeping it into the net.

You add those 2 pieces then you readjust the lines accordingly and this team starts to role.

Let me just insert a couple of those players names for sake of argument, as I am not saying those are the exact guys that come in, but lets just say they are for fun:

Chaulk, Syro, Curdy
Leo, PC, OC
Francis, Patrosso, Naurato
Schrock, Rechlicz

Cescon, Guy
Phillips, DeAngelis
Rodger, Delisle

Let's Roll!!!!

Sun, 11/14/2010 - 7:33pm

This article says the Komets need to do a lot of the things that some people on here were either told they were "full of crap" for posting or that their suggestions would "never happen" by all the experts. Maybe they weren't and they will? How the puck turns...

Hit Somebody!!!
Sun, 11/14/2010 - 7:49pm

Good Point RK.....well said.

Sun, 11/14/2010 - 8:31pm

Thats a good looking lineup Hit, now how do you fit them all under the cap???

Blake Sebring
Sun, 11/14/2010 - 8:59pm

No, someo of you are still full of it.

There's no way any AA team could afford that lineup. I'll have whatever he's havng.

Sun, 11/14/2010 - 9:02pm

Who is Francis supposed to pass to? Goon #1 or Goon #2?

Again, why are Rechliz and Legault both on the roster. They've combined for 1 goal in their last 100 games... The team needs scoring, how do they help?

Let Legault go.

Hit Somebody!!!
Sun, 11/14/2010 - 9:32pm

Ok, I was just dreaming....kill me SuperFan.

I don't see you having any great ideas.

Where you gonna find a power forward at? Everyone wants one of those every year. They don't exactly grow on trees.

Tom Needham
Sun, 11/14/2010 - 9:38pm

The only Komets without negative +/- are the two goalies.
Seems this league might be a bit more competitive than management anticipated. Time to check the waiver wire in other leagues?

Mike sharp
Sun, 11/14/2010 - 9:57pm

I think a good skating, puck moving defenseman would be great as well.We have no #1 skilled puck moving stud D man back there. And don't come back with Dupuis. He is in NO WAY a puck moving d-man. He is at best a number 3 D man and the fact that he is leading the defense is saying a lot to how anemic we are....

Sun, 11/14/2010 - 9:59pm

My question is why have guys like Cianfrinni and Fletcher been cut while Legault is still on the team??? At least the first 2 mentioned can skate... Especially Fletcher, he was the only guy consistantly hitting...

Sun, 11/14/2010 - 10:07pm

How did the "AA" team afford the same team the last 3 seasons?

Mike sharp
Sun, 11/14/2010 - 10:31pm

Well the cap was higher in the other league. It's about 2k less in this league, depending on how you look at it....

Sun, 11/14/2010 - 11:29pm

That's what happens when you can set the cap

Andy Sherman
Sun, 11/14/2010 - 11:55pm

Yes agreed, but when the IHL started, they had NO credibility as a league. What guy wants to play in a 6 team league?? The only way to lure decent veteran talent was to have a higher cap, so you could pay them more, and also they could pay mortgages of married guys who had houses in Canada or other places NOT in the city where they played. The got this is ADDITION to the housing they got in the city they played.....So that was a big selling point of the league for players.

Mon, 11/15/2010 - 1:08am

Who stepped up to lead the team on the ice while Chaulk was out in early 2009? The team had started playing fairly well by the time he returned. I remember thinking that P.C. was praised for his leadership at the time.

Mon, 11/15/2010 - 8:14am

That was in the IHL. I know you know this, but this is the CHL. Totally different leagues. Guys like PC and Guy thrived in the IHL and so did Chaulk. I'm not so sure Chaulk would do anything in this leauge, that's probably why he left. People are catching on, finally. Time for management to make hard fast decisions. Like the player, doesn't matter, if he's not producing, he's not producing. Doesn't matter if he was a swell guy for the past three years. This year, ain't happenin'.

Mon, 11/15/2010 - 10:28am

Hurtful as it may be, the thinking must be that it is not personal, it is business. Right now, we are going out of business.

Blake Sebring
Mon, 11/15/2010 - 10:49am

Yeah, shame on me. I don't happen to think alleged murder is something to make jokes about.

Mon, 11/15/2010 - 10:59am

Are you having a one-way conversation? Who is talking about alleged murder, or are things deleted? I'm more lost than usual!

Mon, 11/15/2010 - 12:15pm

RK - he is likely removing the other posts due to content.....