You can read Monday's column here.
Great article, Blake! You really capture the frustration and bewilderment of the fans. Let's hope the K's can turn it around come playoff time.
As an outsider, it is impossible to tell whether the the root cause of the team's perofmance is internal (player/player, player/coach, or coach /player animosity and dissention), poor player ability and performance, a lack of sound leadership, or a combination of the above. Irregardless of the ultimate cause though, it is apparent that there are major problems with this team and it is not one that you want to repeat with next year. There are definitely some bright spots and some younger players that you would like to bring back, but there are also a whole lot of players that are not performing as they should and need to go. Sims and his coaching staff has not been able to contol this problem over the last few years, and management needs to look at this culpability too.
The bothersome aspect of the Komets' player personnel problem is that some of players that have been cut by the team have performed extremely well after they transitioned to a different venue. What is it about the Fort Wayne environment that is preventing players from performing like they should? Whether the Komets stay in the CHL or move to the ECHL next year, a thorough examination of the entire team situation is definitely required.
Blake, the other day you titled a thread "Ridiculous". In the first sentence you changed things a little by describing them as "pitiful" Your gist for this thread is the word "sometimes". Wow!! You hit the nail on the head perfectly.
I'm going to say something here, and I have no proof of it, but by watching every period of every game this year I'm beginning to think there is trouble in the locker room. The reason is that by now everyone should be playing the system that Al Sims demands. We're 60 games into the season and by now every forward should be used to the things that Sims wants to "see" on the ice. Every forward on this squad has been here all year long. ( In fact I believe the only change up front all year was the releasing of Danny Lapointe ). I can think of three or four forwards who have continually strayed from the pack. With the injuries, and since Al Sims seems to like to mix his lines anyway, just one guy on a line not in sync with the others can really mess things up.
Too late now. Franke could have changed things up but for some reason didn't think it was necessary although for the longest time and in different spurts this season, the Komets could score only two goals a game. So it is what it is. Too bad.
Here are some things I'd like to see for the rest of the season:
1) Komets quit taking so many penalties late in the game.
2) Get Colin Chaulk out of the face-off circle. For some reason everyone is in "love" with him taking face-offs. He loses many more than he wins. There are a couple of others who would be more successful but rarely get the chance. Not sure why he was "annoited" the face-off guy, but the time has come to realize how important face-offs are.
3) Get rid of the skits before the opening face-off. Nothing more embarrasing than to make fun of the opponent and then lose the game to them.
4) To Larry the P.A. guy. Please Larry, do not play the goaltender song until much later in the game. The crowd really does get loud and respond with the chant, but they get equally quiet when the other team puts it on the Komets. Let's wait until the game is a little more decided, OK? Also, just a suggestion, turn the music down when you are making scoring announcements. The speaker system isn't all that good and most of the time we can't hear what you are saying. Treat it like you do when you want us to direct our attention to the ice to watch some car come out. During a commercial it gets stunningly quiet. Thanks.
5) Wendy was correct when she stated that shootouts were not part of the playoffs, but I think her statement, "I know no one takes shootouts real seriously" is incorrect. The CHL standings takes them seriously and for the lack of shootout success, the Komets may find themselves without home ice advantage for the second round of the playoffs.
6) I applaud Al Sims' honesty when he stated the Komets were not built for shootouts. I do question his reasons for making it public.
7) I'd like to see twister and his buddies quit with the warm up antics. They look foolish, sometimes let out some questionable language, block the view of others who might like to see the opponent warm up, and have absolutely no effect on the outcome of the game. The act is getting old. Have some respect for the people who are behind you. If you want to wiggle your butt to the twist every now and again, more power to you.
8) RunningKomet, where are you? I haven't seen anything from you in a long time and I hope everything is OK.
I'm probably not going to be real popular after this post. But, I call them as I see them.
Well, saying "no one" takes shoot-out results seriously is obviously a blanket statement. I do, but I know I'm in the minority there. Talk about something that will get you burned at the stake!
Wasn't it just last year that Al was saying how having home ice in the playoffs was actually a disadvantage? Nevermind that he was saying having home ice was extremely important just a couple of years before that... [rolls eyes]. But it is true that the location doesn't make as much difference as you'd think. After all, both the Mudbugs and the Boston Bruins won their championships in game 7 on the road last season.
Hey Blake! I wanted to wish your folks a very happy 50th anniversay! I saw their picture in the newspaper, and other than the fact that the names were right, I was pretty sure it was your family just from looking at them. I can really see you in both of them but especially your mom. She has your smile. :)
It is amazing how some "fans" are treated a little different than others. I am sure anyone else that was standing up cussing out Gens and flipping him a double bird would have been kicked out rather than cheered!
Wendy, check your email please.
Blake, who absorbs the cost of the broken plexiglass panel in the penalty box that Boucher broke with his goalie stick at the end of Saturday night's shootout? Boucher, the Komets, or the Coliseum?
I'm sure in that situation it will be the Komets, and Nick will likely be fined as well, but we'll never hear about it.
Wendy, it wasn't my intention to have you feel like you were "burned at the stake". As you know, the shootout was first greeted with excitement as a way to break a tie. However it became obvious that it is poor way to determine the outcome of a hockey game. Major league baseball doesn't have a home run derby to determine games tied after nine innings. Football doesn't have a longest field goal contest when games are tied. It is here, and until they change things, we have to accept it, don't we. I like the way it used to be in the old "old" IHL. If the game is tied after 60 minutes, resurface the ice and play a 10 minute sudden death period. Whoever scores first gets two points, loser none. If it is still tied after 10 minutes, both teams receive one point.
Thanks Hoss. You perfectly understood my point and you also captured the spirit of my comment. You may be correct. Maybe they are "special". They don't act like adults, they act like children. Not "special children", though. "Special children" have more manners, and demonstate way more acceptable behavior. Maybe they are practicing to be spectators at some professional wrestling show.
I'm getting real tired of Nick Boucher's antics. The Coliseum will definitely charge the Komets for the pane and the Komets better charge Boucher for the entire cost. He needs to learn how to grow up. Just a continuation of his crap.
I think it is evident that the K's will fly to the ECHL. Most of this roster will be looking for jobs.
Here is who I would keep. Smith, Auger, DeAngelis, Rizk, Thorne, B. Molle, maybe Henley. No one else from the present team. If a CHL player isn't under contract for next season, the Komets should be evaluating everyone they saw this year and last. I would cherry pick the league. This won't be popular and wouldn't even matter if Evansville goes to the ECHL too, but I'd take a close look at Gens. He plays with an attitude.
I took a look at the transaction page for today and didn't see where Kromm signed any "proven scorer". He had mentioned this in an article Thursday or Friday in the Evansville CourrierPost. Maybe tomorrow. We'll see. At least he is trying to upgrade his roster. Some others could take a hint and try the same thing.
I want to have my cake and eat it too.
Hey Alan, whats wrong with schrock not being on next years roster? Obviously he hasnt scored alot of goals but may I remind you he is on a checking line and gets only 15 min. Of ice time. When he was on chaulks line he scored 5 goals when chris was hurt. I think he would have better numbers if he was with chaulk or smitty. Just a thought.
I didn't mean you, Alan. I just meant that a good way to get ridiculed as a hockey fan is to defend shoot-outs. I've read that players don't even consider it a real loss when they lose that way. I just think it's better than a tie. Ties feel so European. In America, real sports don't end in ties. As for the format, I've never seen it as all that different from a penalty shot. Sure, I'd prefer the playoff''s overtime system year-round. That's what other sports do -- play until there's a winner. As I see it, that's the only acceptable alternative. And don't get me started on the "loser point".
Ac, I read your comment and I'll try to give you my answer ( as poor as it may be). My list was just my opinion, nothing more. There are probably arguments for some other guys too. I left Chaulk off the list. I left Boucher off the list. I left Milam off the list ( but I may reconsider on him). The problem is it is a whole different league with different rules. Veterans are different than CHL veterans and so on and so forth. I wanted to be careful not to do the easy thing and be tempted to bring too many players from this year's squad.
I know that Schrock is not a veteran so he's OK from that standpoint. But to answer your question directly, sure Schrock plays mainly on the checking line. So does Rizk with 19 goals. So does Thorne with nine, at least two shorthanded. The difference between Schrock and Thorne seems to me that Thorne plays significant time on the penalty kill and is a higher skilled player. Schrock is loved here because he is a Fort Wayne boy and definitely is not afraid to throw the gloves down. This makes him popular, no doubt about that. Thorne will scrap too.
I'm not saying Schrock couldn't find a place in the ECHL. I'm just saying if I had to put a new roster together I would probably not consider him. I think it would be easier to find one like him with more skill. That's it. Lots of potential players out there. Many would be happy to get into the ECHL where they are told more scouts are in the stands.
As for Milam. His veteran status works against him and his +/- works against him. He has one helluva shot though. Chaulk seems to be a player where age is catching up to him. It's sad to say that. But the ECHL is a pure development league and the general managers need to be real smart on how they mix the veterans and the youth.
Back to this year. I f Dustin Molle ever does come back, I wish the Komets would consider moving Milam to a forward with a regualr shift. On the power play I would put him back on defense to play the weak side. Let him one time some boomers out front.
The Komets need scoring desparately.
Just my thoughts Ac. Hope life is treating you well.
I respect your opinion and agree with those players, and i might be biased with schrock because he is from fort wayne but i think he plays hard and hustles every game. Thats why he needs to be here. On the other side of the story i think leo and lovell need to retire and benne just needs to go. Chaumont is hit or miss with his game. so you could have pros and cons for everyone.
Blake, you have stated in your WANE interview that you think that the Komets should be the money-on favorite to win the conference title. In light of what you have also said about the Komet's inability to find an identity and decide what kind of team that they want to be, why don't you think that they will continue to self-destruct and lose several of the upcoming games against Dayton, Laredo, and Quad City? As we all know, the Komets tend to play down to lower teams levels.
The Komets' schedule, the IceMen's schedule and I think this team has enough veteran leadership, on the ice and behind the bench, to get things figured out. They have that ability. Now, do they? I also think Nick is due for a hot streak.
I'm right there with you, Ac. We're just expressing some opinions. As far as Chaumont, the only reason I left him off the list is that the ECHL is pretty restrictive on the number of "veterans" allowed. I like Chaumont. He has a nose for the net and he isn't afraid to shoot. We could use more players like that, for sure.
Good points on Thomas, Lovell, and Bennefield.
Wichita and Rapid City are gearing up for the playoffs by making some moves. Evansville is rumored to be bringing in a "scoring" forward very soon.
Rapid City released forward Mike Vaskivou. This year in 54 games he has 13 goals, 24 assists for 37 points. He is a +4. Last year with Dayton he had 26 goals in 65 games and was a +5.
While those statistics are not mind boggling, there are some forwards with worse. Gee, that gives me an idea...no why would the Komets want to change anything?
So, the Komets go to the ECHL next year. Only four veterans can come with them. Who do you bring?
Chaulk, Smith, henley, milam