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What's wrong with the Komets?

The Komets are on a 1-2-4 slide, including tonight's 5-2 loss to the Quad City Mallards.

How on earth is Fort Wayne still atop the Turner Conference? With the way they've been playing, and with Evansville having lost 8 of 10, Rapid City might just steal the thing.

The Rush is one point back of Fort Wayne, though it has played one more game than Fort Wayne and Evansville.

(Here are pictures from the game.)

So what's wrong with the Komets? Here are the three big things I'm seeing.

First of all, they are terrible in their own zone. They keep passing it laterally, when they should be moving it vertically. And when they do want to just chip it out, they seem just incapable of doing so.

That's on the players.

Secondly, the Komets always run the same systems and make the same plays with the puck. They are so predictable, in where they will set up their offense, where they will shoot from and when they will be passive or aggressive. Quad City knew what they were going to do all night.

That's on the coach, who I gushed about Tuesday.

Finally, the last 10 minutes of the game were striking. The Mallards were winning every battle, playing with intensity and going after it. As they should have been, since they're gasping for playoff life. But shouldn't the Komets have been equally as passionate? It seemed like they wanted to get home. And the funny thing is, the Mallards had a lead. And when the Komets have those leads, they tend to let down.

That's on the leadership in the locker room.

What do you think is wrong?

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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