The Komets have had plenty of shots on goal – more than 30 in six of their last seven games – but not enough of them have been going into the net.
Fort Wayne has only 12 goals and five losses in that span, dropping it into a three-way tie for third place in the seven-team IHL.
Obviously, it’s a concern, left wing P.C. Drouin said. But I’m not overly worried about it because I know the players in the dressing room. I know the kind of talent we have here. It’s a mental or physical barrier, but we’ll overcome it. At least, I hope we will. It should come and when it does, we’re going to score loads of goals.
The Komets (12-8-1) have been shut out in back-to-back road games, something that hadn’t happened to them since 2004.
Their offense ranks fifth with 2.62 goals per game. Last season, it ranked second with 3.79 goals per game.
Drouin said the onus on getting the Komets out of their scoring slump falls to the veterans.
That’s a fair statement, he said. The older guys are usually the scorers. We know it’s here and it’s about getting past this and putting some goals in. This (drought) is not for a lack of effort or talent. But the onus is on us to score and we will. It’s frustrating. We’ve never had such a hard time scoring. We’re just squeezing the sticks too tightly. We need to relax and just play.
The Komets lead the IHL in shots per game with 32.62.
The good news is that left wing Konstantin Shafranov could return to the lineup Friday against Quad City, after missing a month with a concussion. And grinding forward Brad MacMillan will be back from his 15-game suspension for leaving the penalty box to fight.
Haun waiting for punishment
The IHL’s vice president of hockey operations, Brad Jones, has yet to determine the punishment for goaltender Tim Haun, who received a match penalty for a baseball-style swing of the stick toward Port Huron’s Derek Patrosso in Saturday’s 2-0 loss. The swing set off a melee that included a fight between Haun and Icehawks goalie Larry Sterling.
The punishment should come down today.
Fortunately for Fort Wayne, Nick Boucher should be back from his six-week hiatus with a hand injury.
Despite the offensive woes, the Komets’ defense remains solid, ranking second by giving up 2.52 goals per game. The power-play unit ranks third with a success rate of 18.5 percent. The penalty killers rank second at 84.9 percent. Drouin has18 points and is tied for eighth in the league, 22 behind the leader, Muskegon’s Robin Bouchard. Center Leo Thomas leads Fort Wayne with seven goals, ranking him 12th in the IHL. Bouchard leads the category with 19 goals.