RAPID CITY, S.D. -- On the heels of their 5-2 loss to the Rapid City Rush in the opening game of the Turner Conference semifinals Friday night, I've got a series of suggestions for the Komets.
Here's what they need to do in tonight's Game 2:
- Quit playing so passively. The Komets were trapping, dumping-and-chasing and not trying to dictate the action like they did late in the regular season and in the first-round sweep of Bloomington. It doesn't make a lot of sense to me, especially against an offensively gifted team like the Rush. The Komets have to be aggressive against the Rush; letting it set up is just asking to give up a lot of scoring chances.
- Cut down on the penalties. Referee Jon McIsaac didn't call a very good game -- he was way too inconsistent -- but that doesn't excuse the penalties Fort Wayne was taking. Rapid City got nine power plays, scoring on two of them. The Komets must stay out of the penalty box. And when they are short-handed, they have to kill the power plays off better.
- Watch the defensive coverage. Too often, players were left unattended in front of the Fort Wayne net. That directly led to Ryan Menei's second and third goals. Again, the Rush is too good to let it have open chances.
- Make smart passes. The ice was bad Friday, and the Komets were making a lot of fancy passes that weren't on the ice. Is it any wonder they had so many turnovers?
- Get Mathieu Curadeau involved. He was the dominant player in the first round and he was barely noticeable Friday. Get him out there, early and often, and get him fired up.