I heard WOWO broadcaster Bob Chase had a stellar interview with Komets goaltender Nick Boucher, which aired in the midst of the Komets' 6-1 loss at Colorado on Friday night.
I tracked down the audio and, boy, it was a great one.
This is a good time to note that, despite the reputations to the contrary, some hockey players are very bright guys. Boucher went to Dartmouth, after all.
Anyway, in discussing the bad start to this season -- the Komets lost 16 of their first 21 games -- and the inconsistencies that still dog Fort Wayne, Boucher told Chase on 1190 AM:
"We've talked about this amongst ourselves, some of the older guys on the team, where last year we could show up some nights and play OK and still win based purely on the fact that teams knew they were playing Fort Wayne and before the puck even dropped, we had a two goal lead and they were partially beaten. ... That level of respect just isn't there (in this league). We've enjoyed it the last few years (in the IHL), but we're going to have to regain that level of respect. Teams won't just give it to you."
Boucher lauded the competitiveness of the CHL, saying, "If you show up with a B-level effort, not an A-level effort, you're going to get beaten."
He also noted that there is a ton more talent available to teams in hockey because of all the teams that have folded. And that will continue to be the case, with more teams folding or going to juniors this summer.
That, coupled with the Komets' lack of preparedness in moving to the younger, faster CHL, may have hurt the Komets this season.
"When you go toward leagues that have bigger emphases on speed and youth, maybe we were guilty of sticking with the same formula we had (in the IHL). Maybe. I don't want to be critical," Boucher said.
The Komets have clinched a playoff spot, though, and Boucher thinks the Komets have a chance at success in the postseason.
"I like our roster," he said. "We have so many older guys who have been through the battles. We've won championships. Teams that don't have experience say it's overrated, but the ones who have experience know how important it is."
That being said, the Komets got throttled by Colorado, and that's a likely first-round opponent. Another possible opponent is Rapid City, whom the Komets play tonight.
No one should feel very good about the Komets' chances after the performance Friday.
Maybe we will feel differently after tonight's game.