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Tailing the Komets

Komets barely survive toughest stretch of the season


Mon, 01/21/2013 - 3:16pm

Thanks for the article Blake, alot of folks on here moan and whine about how awful the team is...but they don't take into consideration that all of these things are happening...it goes to show that the team is human...and despite all the injuries, sickness and everyday normal life...they are NOT the bottom dwellers in the standing as you would think if you read some of these blogs!

They are playing well as of late...but you can't possibly when every game...they keep grinding and the wins will come!

Let's Go Komets!!!

Blake Sebring
Mon, 01/21/2013 - 4:41pm

All of these problems would get taken care of if they just won at home. It really is that simple.

Mon, 01/21/2013 - 10:01pm

This article does add some much needed perspective.  That being said - every team in the league has call ups, adversity, injuries - etc.  Using these excuses consistenly gets old - as it would in any line of work.  The people that get upset for losses at home are probably primarily upset when effort isn't there.  Attending a Komets game is not a cheap endeavor- most people just want a decent effort for their hard earned money.  I can handle a team losing all year - if it seems they are trying every game.  I have never left games early until this season - and I've left early 2 times. 

kyle hunt
Tue, 01/22/2013 - 7:22am

I believe that everyone relates hitting to effort, if the hitting is not there, neither is the effort. Players "trying as hard as they can" to be out of position, being called for penalties, throwing the puck away, etc. does not relate to effort, but you put a team on the ice that has all those problems but are laying opponents out for being where they are not supposed to be or trying to take the puck, that is what fans call effort.

Primeval Forest Primate (Formerly JM)
Tue, 01/22/2013 - 8:37am

Apparently some teams are better at managing callups, injuries, and illnesses. The Cyclones are adding guys with ECHL expierience, while we're calling up guys from the Federal League (sounds like a traveling prison league). A couple of the fill-ins have been decent, Dunbar, Hoban, and Wheeler. It's just a shame that the Fort Wayne roster is always beholden to returning Vets and Hometown Heros. This is a performance based business, if players aren't cutting the mustard they should be sent packing. But as long as Schrock is outscoring Kishel, I guess we're alright. Seriously, Kishel is the only Komet to play 30+ games that Schrock has more points than. He lags behind 4 defensemen in scoring. He's not agitating or drawing penalties. 

A determination should be made on Chaulk, if he's not going to be back we need to look for a vet to come in and play that can score. 

Tue, 01/22/2013 - 10:10am

Good comments....  Especially those commenting on effort.   I could take losing at home if the manner in which they were doing so made me still feel proud of my team and satisfied in the effort given.  I am always proud of my team as a whole; but on some nights I am not very proud of the effort given, regardless of the outcome... 

Excuses are for loser's.....  IMO...


Wed, 01/23/2013 - 1:09pm

Today, January 23, 2013 is the ECHL All-Star Game.  Traditionally, this is near the middle of the season, which always seems to be a good time to reflect on the season so far  So let's do it (with the understanding that this is my opinion only).

Goaltending-  This is the best part of the Komets' season as of now.  All three have played well and I'd consider this as the strongest part of the team.  Some may point a finger at Effinger, but I'd have to defend him as it seems it's always him who goes on IR. It isn't easy to be off for twenty days at a time and then get thrown into a game.  You don't get consistent in practice.  Boucher is out there, also.  If and when he's healthy enough to play, and if he signs with the K's, some decisions are going to have to be made.  Remember that the only goaltender the Komet team controls is Effinger.

Defensemen- Probably the weakest part of the team.  Young, the last part of the team put together, we  are paying for that now.  Henley gone, ( who would have thought that)?  Still, many people have criticized his play.  Two veterans spots were used on the defense ( Henley and Butler).  Maggio was named to the All-Star team.  While he is young and talented, I don't view him as an all-star. Wheeler seems to have promise, but he hasn't played enough game to make an assessment which would be fair.

Forwards-  Tough to call here.  The team was put together with the idea that goal scoring would not be a problem.  There is certainly talent on the team, but it hasn't equated with the expectations.  Auger's injury hurt.  Every team has injuries, however.

Coaching- I would venture that Al Sims knows more about hockey, coaching etc, than anyone else who comments on this blog.  He knows what he's doing.  Getting players to buy into it is a different matter especially with Norfolk guys coming down from the AHL with their own ideas.  I suppose that each team has that problem, yoo.  Which leads me to the next thought.

Afilliation-  As always this is going to be a mixed bag.  The players get sent here for a reason.  Some get sent here to learn, some to get ice time, and then some may get sent down as a "punishment". It's easy to pick out the guys who are paying attention to the system, skating hard, playing smart. I guess all I'm after from the afilliation is to acquire players who give the maximum effort, whatever that may be according to their skills.  It's only my opinion, but I'm not sure I've seen that from some of the Norfolk guys.

Intangibles- The Komets have scored 126 goals but have given up 144.  Imagine what could be if those figures were reversed?  Penalties have been a killer so far.  I think I read where the Komets are averaging over twenty minutes per game. Simple mathematics would conclude that they are playing shorthanded for a period each game!  It isn't as simple as that, as sometimes a penalty is a necessary "evil", but not at this rate, with so many being taken in the offensive zone. Special teams have been a disgrace with a non-existant power play and a less than steller penalty kill. Finally, ownership must be going nuts.  Whenever the Komets need to have a "big" game, it doesn't seem to happen.  Whenever there is a large crowd, the Komets seem to have a knack for losing.  Last year the attendance per game was 7,770.  This year it is 7,402.  Very, very respectable.  Still, at an average of $20 per ticket, the difference is $7360 of income PER GAME!

With Henley gone, they are playing a "veteran" short. 

I want to see "effort" every game by every player.  I want to see "effort" by the ownership also.  Personally, I'm not seeing the effort on the ice each game or in the front office .  Has the agreement with Anaheim=Norfolk paralyzed the roster moves needed?  Maybe, maybe not. 

Losing isn't the sin, but if they are losing because of effort, that would be the sin.

That is where the K's are at this time.  At least that's how I see it.




Andy Sherman
Wed, 01/23/2013 - 3:08pm

Alan, I think your assesment is pretty accurate.  But could I offer something that in my opinion gets a free pass on many occassions?  Your assesment of our goaltending has been pretty close, but I want to try to make a point. Look at the numbers of our goaltenders:  Reiters numbers are decent, but our other two have sub .900 save percentages and GAA's above 3.00.  That is not good, or even average by any standards.  There are goalies on teams below us in the standings with their goalies above Effinger and Cousineau in the goalie leaders.  Trenton has both above them.  Toledo (although slightly ahead in the standings) as well.  Wheeling, K-Zoo, Elmira, Orlando, and SC Stingrays,  are teams below us in the standings with their goalies putting up numbers that are better than some of our guys.  Yes, our D is average and inexperienced.  I've read many criticize Boucher for years for a bad night or two and say it was time to look for a new goalie.  Last year he carried this team into Janurary and played like league MVP.  You have seen a rookie in Reiter do that at times too.  Even when we sucked during the first season in the CHL, Nick still had better numbers than 2 of the guys we have this season. I guess my point is, while Reiter has played very well, and the other two have at times, I have also seen some stinkers in person at home and also on the road by these guys and wonder if we would be giving Boucher the same benfit of the doubt and free pass...IMO we wouldn't.  To give the goalies a pass, with the numbers they have as a group, is absolving them of any responsiblilty for our poor play at times.  Your goalie is there to make saves, be the last line of defense, and make up for the rest of the team's mistakes.  Some nights while you can't "fault or blame" the goalies, you also cannot say that they made the big saves when we needed them to, to give us a chance to stay in the game.  IMO we simply are not getting enough of those saves at key times during the games.  Our PK isn't very good, but it's a well known fact that your best penalty killer is your goaltender.  I think if Effinger and Cousineau could raise their level of play to Reiter's level on a more consistent basis, we would see improvement in our overall record, our PK, and their individual numbers as a result.  Andy

Blake Sebring
Wed, 01/23/2013 - 3:34pm

I agree with both of you. Andy is correct, Boucher would have been keelhauled by now. As per the goaltending overall, how are those two guys ever supposed to get into a rhthym, a routine with three of them? They can't, and that's not their fault, it's just the way it is. I've seen them go out before and stay after practice to try to get more shots to stay sharp, and it's not working.

I think the Komets also expected to get more defensemen from Norfolk, which was a logical assumption to make. Nobody anywhere at any level of hockey has enough defensemen. If they are any good at all as per size and puckhandling, they move up very quickly.

Let's face it, there are two major problems: You've got to win at home better than this, and how in the world do you make the Nofolk players give a darn about winning here and playing as part of this team? Like I wrote after Saturday's story, you had guys like Rizk, Firman, Schrock, Maggio, Cousineau, Reiter, Butler and company sitting in their stalls 20 minutes after the game with their gear still on, upset because they lost, and you had a bunch of other guys laughing and carrying on because they had already forgotten the game and they were going on vacation for three days. They were already ON vacation. I see that after the home games, too. How do  you make the other guys care when they aren't being paid here, are for the most part only concerned about their stats so they can go back up and are doing their own thing on and off the ice? The guys who have been most successful at that, Brittain and Schaus, have moved up.

Maybe on teams with two affiliations, there's more competition for playing time so everybody toes the line. I don't know.

The Komets need Chaulk back in the worst way, but he'll have to adjust, too.

kyle hunt
Wed, 01/23/2013 - 3:51pm

Show me good goaltender numbers and I'll show you an above average defense when he's out there.

Wed, 01/23/2013 - 4:50pm

Andy, I read your comment and wouldn't even try to argue with you.  My point is just than in the three playing areas, the goaltending has been the best.  If you try to match numbers between the three in Fort Wayne, I feel it can become skewed because not all of them are getting equal time.  I'm not blaming any of them because, to be honest, there isn't any flow to the Komets use of them.  I only brought up Boucher because he is going to get well someday, and when he does, the situation with the goaltenders will be even more confusing.  I'm not trying to laud Boucher.  Just trying to remind people that more decisions are going to have to be made.

Blake, when I read your article stating that some players were in the lockerroom wondering about that game while others were chir[ing about having some time off, I was reading between the lines.  What I was thinking wasn't good.  It sounded as if the lockerroom has been divided and if it has been, the season is in trouble.

As far as comparing the Komet netminders with others from competing teams, I think that is difficult because the team defense from the forwards back to the defensemen, all have a role to play in the numbers.  A goaltender is expected to make a great save once in a while, but you can't strand him without help.  Our defense is porous and has a hard time clearing the crease and making an effective outlet pass.

I don't feel as if the arrow is pointing up at this point in the season.  I see little reason to think that what we've been seeing in games will not continue for the near future. I hope I am wrong, but I trust my judgment.

I'm not sure that Chaulk's presence can change this.  We need a good stay at home defenseman who will patrol the crease and can get the puck up the ice, and a forward with the skill to get faceoffs and good hands to put the puck in the net.  I know it is too wishful to get both.  I also know it isn't coming from Norfolk.  Not both anyway.  C'mon David, sometimes a minor tweak can have major effects.

Andy Sherman
Wed, 01/23/2013 - 7:24pm

I agree with you Blake, and Alan...I think goaltending overall has been pretty good.  On the playing time comment-Reiter has done the best-his numbers reflect that, as do his playing time.  Cousineau has been hurt and when healthy been pretty good.  A few below average games and a few good ones.  Effinger has struggled IMO.  There is no doubt that is is very difficult to get into any kind of rhythm with three goalies in the stable.  I don't know how long the Komets are going to do this.  It makes no sense because it is hurting their overall performance individually and as a team.  I know they are worried about call ups, but welcome to the ECHL.  Kyle, the Komets D was pretty porous for the first 20-25 games last season but they depended on goaltending to make up for that.  There are plenty of teams that flouish because of a great goalie.  Sabres with Hasek ring a bell?  Alan, I agree that while difficult to compare goalies from a different team, it's safe to say that a team like KZoo, probably should not be having goalies w better numbers than ours; that is, unless Martin is that much better than our two lower ranked guys, or our guys are not playing as well.  

Primeval Forest Primate (Formerly JM)
Thu, 01/24/2013 - 10:50am

So Norfolk has the only "bad apples" other teams in the ECHL win with AHL players that might not "care as much". This is a management/coaching issue.