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Ice Chips

  • Komets sign defenseman James Martin
    The Komets have signed defenseman James Martin, who spent last season with the Alaska Aces and won the ECHL championship.
  • Komets sign forward Pistilli
    The Komets have signed forward Matthew Pistilli and reached an agreement with Konstantin Shafranov to be an assistant coach for a second straight season.
  • Former Komet Uhrich dies at 60
    Rick Uhrich, a right wing who played for the Komets in 1974-75, died at 60, according to the Leader-Post, a newspaper in Saskatchewan.
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Sims sending messages to players

I asked Komets coach Al Sims why he benched two-time Cup-winning goaltender Nick Boucher tonight.

"Did you see the second goal? Was that a good goal?" Sims asked.

Of course, my answer was, "No."

Boucher was beaten by Tab Lardner, whose shot from the left boards squeaked between Boucher and the left post in the midst of a 4-1 loss to the Port Huron Icehawks.

Both Boucher and his replacement, Tim Haun, stopped 10 of 12 shots in the game.

"Let's face it," Sims said, "some of the goals that are going (into the net) in our building are not great goals. One or two of those a game and, if you're not scoring, you're going to have problems overcoming it. We need top-quality goaltending."

That's true, but the offense has been stagnant in the last two games, save for a furious 10 minutes in Wednesday's 4-3 shootout loss to Bloomington. Tonight, Port Huron goaltender Adam Russo was tremendous -- he made several saves on shots from point-blank range -- but the Komets must find a way to finish and support the defense. Otherwise, Sims will have to continue leaning heavily on goaltenders put in the unenvious position of having to allow two or fewer goals.

  • Sims was justified in his criticiscm of Komets right wing Brad MacMillan, who was trying to fire up his team by dropping the gloves to fight Jason Kostadine in the third period. Kostadine didn't fight back, took the beating and got the Icehawks a seven-minute power play. MacMillan got 17 minutes in penalties. Not smart. You have to know that the opposing player in that position has nothing to gain by fighting. "That obviously took us out of the game and it's a discipline issue," Sims said. "MacMillan got sucked in by Kostadine, who knew exactly what he was doing. He wasn't going to drop his gloves. We've got to be smarter than that."
  • Note to whoever is running the scoreboard: Maybe there's a time to put a picture of Bozo the Clown next to one of Larry Sterling, or one of Chicken Little next to Mikael Bedard, but it's certainly not when the Komets are losing 4-1. It just looked childish. I don't blame Sterling for going "scoreboard" on you there.
  • Ben Smith will be stepping in for me for the next three weeks minimum, as I have surgery, so thanks to him on that. I recommend continuing to check Ice Chips, of course, and his blog, And Another thing, should be mandatory reading for you. I don't know if there will be much activity on the Twitter page -- www.twitter.com/jgkomets -- until I get back, but the blog posts will continue to feed there. I hope I'll be back for the stretch run down the playoffs, but you're in great hands with Ben.

Justin A. Cohn, pro sports coordinator for The Journal Gazette, has been covering the Fort Wayne Komets since 1997. His reporting includes game stories from home and away, features about the players and personalities associated with the Komets, plus coverage of issues affecting hockey at all levels. A native of Bloomfield Hills, Mich., Cohn graduated from Emory University in Atlanta. He can be reached at 260-461-8429 or by email at jcohn@jg.net.

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