AP NEWS

Komets bemoan defensive problems

February 16, 2019

The porosity of the Komets’ defense has been significant. It’s easy to blame the goaltenders, and there have been some saves over the last two games they could have made, but the blame goes well beyond them.

The blame goes to the entire team : undoubtedly : after an 8-2 loss Friday to the Adirondack Thunder at Memorial Coliseum.

And this isn’t new.

“Too many games this year, especially at home, it’s just been disappointing. And we’ve just got to be better,” defenseman Jason Binkley said. “Everybody’s got to be better : from the goalies on out, everybody. Tonight, it was poor defense. You’re not going to win games in this league with poor defense. It’s on all of us to be better.

″(Coach Gary Graham) is putting lineups together with the guys that we have, so you can’t really put fault on him for anything. As the individuals that come and play every night, and the guys that are in the lineup, we all have to be better.”

Graham added: “There are probably four players that played any type of hockey that we expected them to play. So if you’ve only got four guys going out of your whole group, it’s going to be a challenge.”

Jamie Schaafsma was the only Fort Wayne player to come out with a plus rating tonight. Kevin Gibson was minus-3. Cody Sol, Quintin Lisoway, J.C. Campagna, Mason Baptista and Jake Kamrass were minus-2.

However, I’m not a big believer in that statistic. What I can tell you is there are very few players that I have full trust in when it comes to the defensive zone these days.

That has to change.

“We’ve managed over the last five games to get five points,” Graham said. “We’ve been able to be able to put a band-aid over some of our deficiencies with some timely goaltending and with some good defensive play. What our group has to understand is that we have to be great defensively every night to give ourselves a chance to win every night. We have to be.

“We’re not the scoring team that other teams are. We’re not the fastest team. We have to commit to doing the things. It’s about heart and it’s about will. We didn’t have enough heart and we didn’t have enough will. And once the momentum shifted, after they scored their first goal ... you could tell the air just lifted out of the group.”

(Video from the game is above, including the fights.)

jcohn@jg.net