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Match-ups, baby, match-ups

Brendan Savage of The Flint Journal has done his position-by-position match-ups for the upcoming Turner Cup Finals. Click here to read the whole thing.

Mine will be in our preview section in Saturday's newspaper. I will tell you, I didn't give the edge to Flint in a single category. I don't mean this as any sign of disrespect, and I think it will be a close series, with the Komets winning in six games, but I couldn't find an edge for Flint in any particular area.

The two categories that gave me pause were goaltending and coaching.

Flint's Rob Nolan has been spectacular, and he's the biggest reason the Generals are in the Finals. He was a game-stopper against Muskegon in the semifinals. However, if I'm ranking the goaltenders in the IHL, I still have Fort Wayne's Nick Boucher atop my list. And the Komets have the Goaltender of the Year, Tim Haun, on the bench. I just couldn't justify giving the goaltending nod to Nolan, a rookie, when the Komets have arguably the best pressure goalie in AA hockey.

As for coaching, you could certainly make an argument for Flint's Jason Muzzatti, the IHL's Coach of the Year. But he, too, is in his first season. Fort Wayne's Al Sims has won three championships in his career, including the last two.

Of course, deciding a position-by-position match-up and the overall product are two different things. These teams are very close and the statistics are slightly difficult to judge, since Flint was so improved in the second half of the season. Flint also won 6 of 12 from the Komets this season.

But on paper, I find the Komets the better team. It's going to be a great series, though.

Speaking of papers, buy The Journal Gazette on Saturday. Lots of coverage, including further position-by-position analysis.

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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