They are 10-0-1 over their last 11 games to lead ECHL at break
It used to be the thought process by bloggers that the season really didn't start until Christmas. Remember those days? If that's true, and after a 21-4-1 start, then there will be some great days ahead, right?
...and after starting the season off so well, with contributions coming from every line, defensemen blocking and clearing pucks, and a goaltender just stoning other teams, how could you think any differently?
But after watching both games, Saturday and Sunday, things need to be worked on (and maybe more mental than physical). Saturday the k's were just completely out-skated. Yeah, they won, but it wasn't an effort to be proud of by a 1st place team against a last place club. On Sunday they started out by skating and hustling and winning the battles for the puck. They were rewarded with a 2-0 lead.
From there on it stunk.
Completely out skated, out hustled, and outplayed. They had 18 shots on goal in the 1st, a measly 1 shot (and it was a goal!) in the second, and 7 shots in the third. A 3-0 lead disappears and it takes a shootout to get the extra point. (How do you only get one shot on goal during a period?)
So the skating stopped, the work ethic vanished, and the lead disappeared.
As the holiday break is among the ECHL teams, this team needs to reflect on its effort. This isn't a "Santa Claus" league (no one is going to give you anything). As a league leader the Komets may have a fireball on the front, but they have a "bullseye" on their back. Each and every game. We learned last year that leads mean nothing. We learned it against Toledo recently and against Evansville yesterday.
As Clark Griswald said in "Christmas Vacation", "Holy sh** where's the tylenol!"
Merry Christmas, everyone.
In my opinion Alan's assessment of the last two games is spot on. I am glad they won both games but it may have been a better team building experience if thay had lost one or both of them. It would have served as a wake up call that they cannot take any team for granted. Hopefully the leaders on this team (Schrock, Martin, etc.) use these last couple games to try and get everyone on board with playing the full 60 minutes.
On another note, Frazee's game winner in the shootout was one of the sickest, dirtiest goals I've seen in a long time. I'm surprized that Komm didn't lose pieces of his equipment after getting turned completely inside out on the fake and drag.
I saw Sunday game as to extreme styles of hockey. First period could have ended with the Ks up 5-0. Seated behind to the left of their goalie, there was two pipes it, one shot that their goalie got the very tip of his glove on to deflect it just over the top cross bar. Then the shot most fans would have thought hit his shoulder, then dropped in front of him, that he killed the play. I thought it had hit the tape knob at the top of his stick. Well, as the lines changed, before the face off I watched he took his catcher glove and hit the tape on the top of his stick.
The second period was a combination of Evensville out played the Ks and the Ks passing was more like trying to make exact passes but slowing down to make it perfect. The speed and crispness that they showed in the first was gone. It reminds me of slowing down so I would not make a mistake. That played into Evensville's trying to pressure the Komets.
The third period was horrible and complete reversal of the first period. I noticed a number of players loosing their footing to cause stumbling or falling down. That cause can come from excusable to non excusable reasons, to which I don't which applies so I'm not state the reasons. The other factor is the Ks trying to play the "protect the lead" style of defensive hockey. That causes Ks to be second to the puck in fear the other guy may get a round them. In zone passing goes sour as players don't jump into breakout mode but remain flat footed.
What happened in all three periods was due to mental thinking over just doing what you have practiced endlessly. The first was just stick to game plan and practissed methods. The second inviolved thinking over just doing. The third was complete case of tired players, for whatever reason, to thinking way to much about everything.
But in fairness, good to great teams win the ugly played games. But too many of them will start to turn to losses as opponents realize they can beat you. This team has been special, let us all cheer and wish the guys the best.
Spot on, ok, Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and a Happy New Year!