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Ice Chips

  • Komets beat Kalamazoo
    KALAMAZOO, Mich. – In what had become a heated game, Shawn Szydlowski capped a 3-2 overtime victory for the Komets on Friday by stealing the puck in the Kalamazoo Wings zone and then sending a wrist shot past the goal with 49 seconds remaining.
  • Penalty shot foiled, K's tied at 2
    KALAMAZOO, Mich. -- The Komets and Kalamazoo Wings are tied at 2 after two periods at Wings Stadium.
  • Strong start for K's; Tam out for awhile
    KALAMAZOO, Mich. -- The Komets tallied 10 of the first 13 shots on goal, and they had the first period's only goal, as they had a strong first period at Wings Stadium.
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K's must start games better

I will have more on this in the coming days, but the Komets are now in the stretch run of the regular season. There are only 10 games remaining in their inaugural CHL campaign.

The Komets (27-23-6) are tied with Dayton for seventh place in the Turner Conference. Despite their inconsistency, the Komets look to be a sure bet to at least finish in the top eight of the conference and make the playoffs. Evansville, which has eight games remaining, is 14 points back.

Beyond that, where the Komets finish, and who they play in the first-round best-of-five series, is anybody's guess.

How inconsistent have the Komets been? They lost 16 of their first 21, then won 20 of 29, then lost 4 of 5, then defeated Evansville 5-1 on Sunday.

That's just mind-boggling.

There are different philosphies on what the Komets must do to improve down the stretch, and I will spell those out soon, but the biggest seems to be making sure they start the games amped up. The Komets are 16-8-5 when scoring first, 11-15-1 when allowing the first goal.

One player told me recently that the Komets need to form an identity because they lack one. I'd say that's true. There's a ton of talent in that locker room, but I'm not sure anyone can gauge the personality.

  • Still no word out of Springfield of the American Hockey League on whether the loss of Kyle Wilson means the Komets will lose Michael Ratchuk again.
  • Here's proof that plus/minus is a pretty meaningless statistic: Bobby Phillips is a team-worst minus-16, including a minus-5 rating over the last 14 games. Has he not been one of the team's better players in that span?
  • Remember when the Komets were boasting they would have five or six 30-goal scorers? They might not even have one this season. Tab Lardner has the best shot with 27 so far, though three of those goals came with Missouri.

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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