You will hear much talk in the coming days about how the Komets can come back from a 2-0 deficit against the Allen Americans because they’ve done it before. Fort Wayne was down two in the first round before beating the Cincinnati Cyclones in seven games. That series changed with an 8-0 Fort Wayne victory in Game 3.
While there’s some truth in the comparison to that series, this is almost totally different.
First of all, Allen is worlds better than Cincinnati. Secondly, the Komets had outplayed Cincinnati in its own rink during the regular season, winning 4 of 7 games at U.S. Bank Arena, while Fort Wayne has never played at the Allen Event Center.
So, the Komets have the model for winning to an extent – just as it was heading into Game 3 of the first round, the Komets have to refocus mentally, cut down on penalties and come out with more fire.
But they cannot think this will be anything but an extremely difficult task, after they lost 3-2 in overtime tonight on a Gary Steffes goal.
If there’s something I would focus on, it would be this: The Komets have clearly been the better team in this series when playing at even strength. The Komets have outscored the Americans 4-3 when playing 5-on-5. The problem has been how little 5-on-5 the referees have allowed the teams to have.
Normally, I would think a long layoff to sit there and stew about a 2-0 deficit would be a bad thing. But the Komets really need to get on the ice and work on their systems and polish up what they’re doing.
They’ll probably practice twice before leaving Wednesday for Allen and playing Thursday night.
(Remember, I’m the only local reporter going, too, so keep following all The Journal Gazette’s coverage.)
It will be interesting to see if Allen’s goalie, Riley Gill, is out any length of time. Joel Rumpel is very good, as he showed tonight, but there is a bit of a step down from Gill.
I liked what Garrett Meurs brought for the Komets tonight, after he missed six games, but I bet they put in Paul Crowder for Game 3. Maybe he’ll replace Brett Perlini? That’s a possibility. They’d take a hit in speed, but gain some puck control.