When the Komets open their best-of-seven Turner Cup Finals series against the Flint Generals on Saturday night, they want to make sure they get off to a good start.
Same holds true for Games 2 and 3 and so on.
Sounds obvious, I know, but the Komets know they've played with fire way too often when it comes to slow starts.
The Komets' successful recovery from a 3-1 deficit in the semifinals against Port Huron was the third time in six years the Komets have had to pull off that feat.
"We've already used up enough of our nine lives," Komets defenseman Danko Mironovic said. "We can't afford to go down again. We can't be playing with fire like that. Right from Game 1, we have to treat it like do-or-die, back against the wall."
Some of the players admitted, they didn't have the necessary urgency early in the Port Huron series. Flint is on fire, having won its last three games, including a 5-2 victory in Game 7 on Wednesday to knock off top-seeded Muskegon. The Komets can ill afford to give the Generals any confidence.
Flint won 6 of 12 games against the Komets during the regular season, so they already have plenty of that.
"I don't want to fall behind 3-1 or 3-0 in this series," Komets coach Al Sims said. "Eventually, the breaks aren't going to go our way. You need breaks to win hockey games. We were fortunate we got the breaks those last three games and it helped us to win the series."
- I will explain in detail why, during our special section coming out Saturday (hint, hint, buy the newspaper), but here are the four key matchups I have for the series: Matt Syroczynski vs. goaltender Rob Nolan; Colin Chaulk vs. Bryan Smolinski; Kevin Bertram vs. Pascal Rheaume; and Leo Thomas vs. Jake Pence. I'd love to read yours, so put them in the comments sections.
- I normally think the references hockey writers use to "Slap Shot" are way overdone. But in this case, Bill Khan is dead on: Click here.
- Ron Rop eulogizes professional hockey in Muskegon: Click here. I've said it before, and I'll say it again -- they are going to hate the junior hockey they're getting there. Not as much as Flint is going to hate the North American Hockey League junior hockey it's getting next season, assuming the IHL doesn't field a team there, too. But I want Muskegon fans to get back to us on this issue in about, oh, seven months, once they've gotten a good taste of the United States Hockey League.
- Remember, Komets star Justin Hodgman joined us on "We've got Game" this week. Click the radio button on the right to listen.