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K's lineup may still be 2 short

When the Komets play host to the Arizona Sundogs on Friday night, they will have to play at least one man short of a full 18-player lineup for the third straight game because Nick Boucher must serve the final segment of his four-game suspension from the CHL. (Really, it will be the fifth straight game Boucher has missed since he was tossed so early in last Friday's 5-4 loss to Bloomington.)

We know that captain Colin Chaulk (concussion symptoms) won't play this weekend, with his earliest return date being Tuesday, general manager David Franke said. Defenseman Dustin Molle (groin) is also expected to remain out.

Now Brett Smith, the Komets' leading scorer, has a shoulder injury and will be a gametime decision.

If Smith doesn't play -- though I think he will, despite not practicing today -- and Jesse Bennefield (leg) isn't able to play, the possibility exists that the Komets could remain two men short.

Again, I don't think this will happen. It sounds as if Smith will gut through at least until Chaulk comes back, and that Bennefield will be able to go, but he's also got some family issues going on that could take him out of the mix.

The further good news is that Bryant Molle's three-game suspension for wailing on Ryan Palmer is over.

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