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Tailing the Komets

Auger is out for the season

The Komets announced Monday that skater Chris Auger is expected to be sidelined for the remainder of the 2012-13 season due to an injury sustained in a home game against Evansville Saturday night, Oct. 20th.

Auger, 24, had started his third pro year scoring a goal and an assist for two points over the first four games of the season.  Last year Auger appeared in his first season with the Komets scoring 28 goals and 59 points in 57 games before tallying 10 goals and 22 points in 18 playoff games en route to the CHL Presidents’ Cup Championship with Fort Wayne.

An M.R.I. was performed and a torn A.C.L. was detected.  It has been determined that reconstructive surgery is necessary and Auger will utilize the remainder of the 2012-13 season to recover.


Mon, 10/22/2012 - 4:04pm

Too bad.  That is what I suspected right away. Hope he recovers well and can play as well as ever. I feel awfully for the kid.

Mon, 10/22/2012 - 4:23pm

Blake, would love to hear both your and the Komets opinion on the following:

As I have watched the Komets over the years I have noticed that, especially over the past few years, that we hesitate to be physical with undersized scorers from opposing teams.  This however hasn't been true of other teams taking liberties with our smaller guys.  How many man-games have we lost due to injuries to our forwards over the past 2 years due to hits, both clean and illeagal?  It has been a tremendous amount.  I don't dispute that these hits and injuries are part of the game.  What I do question is why the Komets seem to be on the receiving end of the injuries the vast majority of the time.

I use the game this past weekend against Evansville as an example.  Even though we are the bigger team physically, the Icemen were consistently very physical with ALL of our forwards.  Especially forcefull hits were put on Auger (a clean hit from what I can tell) and Smith (an illegal hit from behind).  Both Smith and Auger are 2 of the smallest players on our team.  My question is simply this; why during that game did we not forcefully check Todd Robinson into the boards even one time?  Not in response to the hits on either Auger or Smith but simply because checking is part of the game.  I have noticed this trend, especially with Evansville and Robinson in particular, for the past few years against all teams that we play.  Is this a style that Sims teaches or are Robinson and players like him protected under some unwritten rule or code that I am unaware of?  Why do other teams not have a problem with hitting our scorers but we seem to shy away from taking them hard into the boards.  It has been very frustrating over the past few years to watch as a fan.

It is hard to argue with the Komets success over the past years but as Colin Chaulk said during the playoffs a few years back in regards to the physical play; "It is always better to give than to receive". 

Why are we receiving vastly more than we give now?

Mon, 10/22/2012 - 4:45pm

I think Sims has a few more things to teach everyone than how to check someone. How about we stick to getting powerplays and playing defense and not worry so much about why we aren't checking more.

Blake Sebring
Mon, 10/22/2012 - 4:48pm

I'll assume you are not advocating that the Komets or any team make a point of going out to injure opposing players.

I'm not sure that they are. I feel like all four games this season have been incredibly physical, almost as physical as the early 90s with players finishing checks all over the ice. As for going after Robinson, he's not that easy to get to because he's very skilled at what he does. He's hard to hit. You're technically only allowed to hit players with the puck, and he moves it quickly.

These Komets have been quick to retaliate when they think there's been a cheap shot.

You may not remember when Sims had quotas on hits the players had to meet each period, either.  That could never work in today's game because younger players are just not taught the way they used to be in regards to physical play. The rules have also changed to try to take some of the aggressiveness away from the game. Whenever there's a big hit, the referee's first reaction is usually to call a penalty to protect the players. The game has simply changed.

What I think would be the more interesting conversation is about how often these hits are happening and injuries occur since they took out the red line and allowed two-line passes. The speed has definitely increased but so have the injuries because of that.

Mon, 10/22/2012 - 5:03pm

Chris Auger was a big factor in last year's success.

For many of the games, he was an unsung hero and a strong player.   Chris was also the Movember (No Shave November) captain for the Komets fundraiser last year.  That was our first clue that he has natural ability as a leader on the ice, as well as being a smart player.  Hope he takes the year to recover, and then comes back even stronger.

Mon, 10/22/2012 - 5:08pm


In no way am I advocating that we ever go out to intentionally injure anyone.   There is no place in the game for that.  I don't think that I ever gave any indication of that in my post.  I even went as far to point out that the hit on Auger was, in my opinon, a clean hit. 

I am, however advocating that we play as physical with other team's forwards as they do with ours.  Auger was our leading goal scorer last year and they have no problem hitting him.  You can't tell me that Robinson is that much faster or harder to hit than Smith or Auger.   If Robinson was that skilled he would be in the NHL or at least the AHL.   These guys are all professionals and know how to avoid hits as well as deliver them.  The bottom line is that we have opportunities to hit guys like Robinson throughout the game but we will hug them into the boards or just put a glove on them. 

What do you think would have happened if one of our d-men put a low open ice hit on Robinson that tossed him into the air and necessitated him being escorted off the ice?  Well, the same thing that happened when MacMillan hit Bouchard a few years back.......Krom sent out Big-snake and Lawmaster who proceeded to beat up Chaulk and Shafronov.   Again, I'm not advocating that we respond in that manner, even though other teams seem to think that it is OK.  Apparently Kromm succeeded in sending that message, as we have never messed with their scorers again.


As a follow up question, how can the hit on Auger not be called a penalty when he called a penalty on us for a very mild version of the same hip check?

Mon, 10/22/2012 - 5:34pm

Shame about what happened to Auger. I think he could have been a force to be reckoned with, points-wise.