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Ice Chips

  • From hospital (job) to hockey
    Komets forward Mike Embach had an interesting offseason job and is now expected to be a top point producer for Fort Wayne.
  • K's looking to improve
    The weekend was just two games against the same team.
  • The resurrection of Schrocky
    Check out today's story on the Komets, who are off to a 2-0-0 start this season. We explore how and why the captain, Lincoln Kaleigh Schrock, has looked so good, so far this season.

Henley, hitting and conspiracies

It is an old argument.

When you looking to punish an incident on the ice, do you judge only that act? Or, do you look at it and compare it to other acts. And do you take the player's track record into account.

On its own, I don't have a huge problem with the Brent Henley suspension for kneeing Collin Circelli in Game 4 of the Turner Conference semifinals. I would have given a fine because I don't see it as intentional, I think you can argue it was almost a clean hit and Circelli had the puck.

However, after looking at the hit several times, I can see why the suspension was handed down. (Click here to see it, at the 4:00 mark.) Knee-to-knee hits are something they are trying to cut down on in hockey.

But -- and this is a BIG but -- there is just no consistency with CHL discipline.

You cannot, not for a second, tell me this was a suspendable act but this hit from Game 1 -- click here to see Jeff Kyrzakos hitting Brett Smith -- wasn't worth even a fine.

While the Komets are going to be without one of their top players, Henley, for a third game of this series, and they will have to play with only 17 men, they aren't in awful shape. I'm assuming David Starenky will be able to return if the Komets want to put a physical presence back in the lineup.

Psychologically, this could begin to become an advantageous situation for the Komets. It is starting to have a Komets-vs.-CHL feel, isn't it?

I don't typically believe in conspiracy theories, but the commissioner of the CHL, Duane Lewis, was at the first two games of the series and the league didn't come down particularly hard on the Rush for some bad hits. Then the CHL dropped the hammer on Henley, who is, admittedly, a repeat offender.

Whether or not it's true, I'm sure this is beginning to become a topic in the Komets' locker room: The CHL doesn't want a team probably departing for the ECHL to win. Meanwhile, the Rush appears to be sticking it out in the league, especially with Denver coming into the CHL.

Have you seen this?

Again, I'm not saying there is a conspiracy, but teams look to funny things for motivation and this could help the Komets mentally. Maybe.

As for Game 5 tonight at Memorial Coliseum -- remember, it starts at 6 p.m., not the usual 5 p.m. Sunday start -- I don't expect the Rush to be a team to go down easily. Joe Ferras is a terrific coach and there is a lot of heart on that team.

This will be a good game. The Rush would love nothing more than to make the Komets get back on the bus for the 1,100-mile trip back to South Dakota. The Rush thinks the pressure is on Fort Wayne: Click here.

The Missouri Mavericks, who haven't played since Monday, would probably like there to be a Game 6, too.

Speaking of physical play, make sure you read this: Click here.

And in case you missed this blog entry -- click here -- I think you will enjoy it.

Elsewhere, check out what happened in Amarillo of the North American Hockey League: Click here.

Back in the CHL, Wichita eliminated Rio Grande Valley. And Texas is up 3-2 on Allen, with Brad Fogal getting the shutout (not Mark Guggenberger, who bested Nick Boucher for Most Outstanding Goaltender).

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