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K’s on notice after loss to Wings

December 22, 2018

The Komets have dropped to fifth place in the division, after their 5-3 loss to the Kalamazoo Wings at Memorial Coliseum on Friday night. It was a game that was eerily similar to so many earlier games, so the frustration seems to be bubbling through a bit.

“Plain and simple, we’ve got a few guys who are paid to do a big-time role here that are not getting the job done,” coach Gary Graham said. “It’s time to start applying the pressure here because there are guys who have to start carrying a heavy load and they’re not doing it. We don’t need to mention names, but there are guys who really need to start elevating their play because on a night in, night out basis, if we’re getting outclassed by other teams in terms of individual play vs. individual play, that’s a problem.”

We have to remember, the Komets are going to lose at least one player in short order to the Orlando Solar Bears as compensation for Brady Shaw. But it seems that the rest of the players have been put on notice.

It’s a weird situation; it’s not as if the Komets have been afraid to pull the trigger on trades.

“We know what to expect from these teams. We prepare all week for what they’re going to do,” captain Jamie Schaafsma said. “To me, everyone just has to elevate their games. We’ve got to find a way to be better every night. Each individual in here has to elevate their game and you can’t sit there. It’s not all Xs and Os; that’s not why we’re losing, it’s not strategies. Every man in here has to play their part, win battles, do the little things. All those things add up.

“For me, I just want to see each individual give a little more out there, whether it’s blocking a shot or back-checking or a little harder or get in on the fore-check a little quicker. We need guys to give a little more around here.”

It’s worth noting that the Komets are missing some major pieces in Marco Roy and Phelix Martineau, who are both in the American Hockey League, and J.C. Campagna and Cody Sol, who are injured. But the simple fact is that there are some players who are just not playing two-way hockey and that’s why this team is suffering. The same mistakes are made over and over again, and they’re almost always having to do with: effort after scoring a big goal; getting caught too far up ice; playing defense in transition; or defensive coverage deep in the defensive zone.

Notes: The Komets plan to bring in goaltender Eric Levine today. He was with Quad City of the Southern Professional Hockey League, where he was 2-4-2 with a 2.59 goals-against average and a .931 save percentage. He’s got a lot of ECHL experience, including a game with the Komets in 2014-15. He’ll take over the roster spot of Zach Fucale, who will join Team Canada for the Spengler Cup after tonight’s game against the Toledo Walleye. Lukas Hafner will be atop the Komets’ depth chart.

jcohn@jg.net

      
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