Komets coach Ben Boudreau is pleased with the progression of his team through 10 days of training camp, even if a few days of skating (including two preseason games) were lost because two players tested positive for COVID-19.
“The transition from Day 1 to Day 10 is incredible,” Boudreau said. “We have been stressing that we have to be getting better day by day, and we’ve been doing so. When you see improvements, it’s very encouraging. And as a coaching staff, that’s all we can ask is try to get better every single day as a group. If we’re staying flat all across the board and not getting better, that’s going to be an issue and that’s going to start with us.”
The Komets open their 70th regular season Saturday at Memorial Coliseum against the Wheeling Nailers. Some growing pains are expected in the early games, considering the loss of the preseason and that some players haven’t had any game action in 18 months or so, but the team is feeling particularly good about some facets of the lineup – especially the goaltending of Samuel Harvey, Stefanos Lekkas and Jiri Patera.
“We have three No. 1s in this league, no doubt about it, and they might even be the three best goalies in the league. I’m not even joking,” Stephen Harper said. “We’re going to have a fresh one in there every night and you’re confident any time you have those goalies in the pipes. I’m not even going to worry about that. They’re going to do their thing and we’ll be fine.”
No cuts are expected before Thursday afternoon and I don't yet know if the two COVID-positive players, who haven't yet been named by the team, will be available Saturday.