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Last updated: December 17, 2009 12:54 a.m.

Komets buzzing at practice

By Justin A. Cohn
The Journal Gazette

There was a lot of buzz at the Komets' practice Wednesday morning over the return of forwards Brad MacMillan and Konstantin Shafranov, plus goaltender Nick Boucher.

MacMillan is coming off a 15-game suspension for leaving the penalty box to fight Muskegon's Jason Lawmaster, tossing aside a linesman along the way.

They don't usually do this, but the Komets conceded that they have lacked the kind of tough-nosed play they needed over the last two weeks, since Blair Stayzer went down with a concussion. Other teams picked up on it and began running their mouths and running the Komets' goaltender.

The belief is that with MacMillan back in the lineup, things will be policed better.

I think that's true and necessary, but the Komets had better hope that MacMillan brings more than just fisticuffs. They need him wreaking havoc in front of the net and creating energy with body checks. The Komets have lost 4 of 5 games and could use some inspiration.

I bet that MacMillan puts on quite a show Friday against the lowly Quad City Mallards at Memorial Coliseum.

As for Shafranov, who has been out a month with a concussion and broken facial bone, the Komets are looking forward to him energizing the offense. I expect he'll play 2 of 3 games this weekend, as they want to ease him back into things.

Boucher needs to just aide the Komets' defense, which has been their strong suit lately. I don't think anyone's worried about how he'll perform. The question will be his durability. After missing six weeks with hand injuries, he'll have to play three games in three nights this weekend.

  • There have been some great stories out of the Quad Cities. Click here to read about the Mallards' thoughts on the future of the IHL and their team. And click here for an opinion piece from Craig DeVrieze.
  • Will the Flint Generals ever be good again? Brendan Savage says now would be good time: Click here.
  • I'm a little late with this, but did you see the rip job by Port Huron's Larry Sterling on the Komets' Tim Haun? Click here. Here's a look at the goalies' statistics. I don't think Haun has looked out of place.