Kenins First North American Goal – Courtesy of @UticaComets
Welcome back to this weeks Comets Militia Weekly Report as
we look into all the latest news in the AHL and that related to the Utica
Comets. So far this week, the Comets have
gone a perfect 3-0 and Jacob Markstrom is looking to break AHL records as he
currently has the 3rd longest shutout streak in league history.
Read past the jump for all the latest news!
So far this week the Comets have won all three games; as a
result they are sitting in first place in the North Division with 13 points in
8 games. They are three points ahead of the Rochester Americans, who are in second with 1 game in hand.
The Comets’ record of 6-1-1-0 has them in first place in the Western
Conference, 1 point ahead of the Milwaukee Admirals who also have one game in
The Comets so far this year have out-scored their opponents
22-9 (+13) while maintaining a -1 shot differential (235/236) mainly due to
score effects. Their Est. Fenwick-Close
suggests the Comets have been a 56.19% team, which puts them in elite
company. That number has greatly dropped
this week, which is a trend we expect, and likely to keep regressing towards
the mean. That being said, it is likely
the Comets are a strong possession team this year.
The Comets PDO is currently sitting at 105.55% which has
actually moved away from the mean and the large part of that is the perfect
play of Markstrom. The Team’s
save-percentage is sitting at 96.19% which is no where near sustainable and will
have to head towards normal sooner than later. The team’s shooting percentage has increased towards the mean as they
are shooting near league average now at 9.36% (9% was last year’s team normal).
On special-teams we are seeing some regressing towards the
mean as their Special Teams Index is at 111.06%. The power-play is running at 14.29%
efficiency whch went 2 for 13 in the last week and rose 5 spots in the
standings to 14th overall.The penalty
kill is first in the league at 96.77% efficiency having gone 12 for 13 this
week. It’s not realistic to sustain that
kind of penalty kill, so expect that to see some sort of regression as team save percentage also drops.
Friday’s, 5-2 Win vs San Antonio
On Friday, the Utica Comets started their week by playing San
Antonio, (affiliate of the Florida Panthers) the former team of Jacob Markstrom. San Antonio controlled the play of this game but
Utica was able to emerge the victors with a score of 5-2 and shots in the
Rampage’s favour 41-21. Utica goals came
from Ronalds Kenins (2x), Nicklas Jensen, Dustin Jeffrey, and Brandon DeFazio
(SH). Assists were credited to Travis
Erhardt, Bobby Sanguinetti, Cal O’Reilly (2x), Dustin Jeffrey, Brandon DeFazio,
Darren Archibald and Peter Andersson.
Dustin Jeffrey and Brandon DeFazio led the team with 4 SOG. Joacim Eriksson was in net and made 39 of 41
stops and earned the first star. Kenins
and DeFazio earned the 2nd and 3rd stars. The penalty-kill’s perfect streak was finally broken and went
6 for 7 while the power-play went 1 for 4.
Saturday’s, 4-0 Win vs Toronto
In a back-to-back game, the Comets played the Toronto Marlies
(affiliate of the Toronto Maple Leafs) at home.
The Comets dominated play, and an onslaught of four goals in the second
period allowed them to win 4-0. Goals
were scored by Alexandre Grenier (2x – after being a healthy scratch), Dustin
Jeffrey and Cal O’Reilly (SH). Assists
were credited to Alex Biega, Bobby Sanguinetti, Henrick Tommernes, Cal O’Reilly
(2x), Nicklas Jensen and Darren Archibald.
Grenier lead the team with 5 SOG. Jacob Markstrom played in net,
continuing his shutout streak and made 27 saves and earning the first star;
O’Reilly and Grenier earned the 2nd and 3rd stars. The power-play went 1 for 5 while the
penalty-kill was a perfect 2-2.
Wednesday’s, 3-2 Win @ Binghamton
In net was Joacim Eriksson, which was a
slight surprise, but one guess is that the Comets want to play Markstom at home
to continue his shutout streak. The
simpler guess is that Travis Green just alternates goaltenders.
Wednesday night the Comets traveled to Binghamton to play
the Senators (affiliate of Ottawa Senators).
This game was much closer in play but Utica lead possession and was able
to walk away with the 2 points in a 3-2 win.
Utica Goals were scored by: Peter Andersson, Carter Bancks and Bobby
Sanguinetti. The set ups came from: Alex
Biega, Hunter Shinkaruk, Brendan Gaunce, Cal O’Reilly, and Wacey Hamilton. Darren Archibald led the team in shots on goal with
4. Joacim Eriksson was in net and made
27 of 29 saves and earned the first star while Bobby Sanguinetti earned the 2nd
star – Sanguinetti has really stood out this week.
- Frank Corrado re-assigned to Utica
- Bo Horvat will be returned to Vancouver this weekend at the end of his two-week conditioning stint.
It was asked last week what is a good metric for SOG/G for
AHL Forwards. A rule thumb is between
2-3 and normal, below 2 is not good and above 3 is really good, especially when
maintained for the entire season. As was the case last year, Jensen and DeFazio continue to be the top shot-generating forwards on the team.
The Utica Comets play three games this week all in upstate
New York. On Friday the Comets play Binghamton in a rematch where Markstrom will look to continue his shutout streak. Saturday sees the Comets head to Adirondack
before heading back home to play Binghamton again on Wednesday.
- Markstrom currently holds the third best AHL
record for a shutout streak, behind only Johnny Bower and Barry Brust, and is only 36 minutes from breaking it. Watch him this week to see if he can do it
- His streak has earned Markstrom the AHL
Player of the Week.
- Utica’s Aud Arena has been ranked as one of the best
arenas to play in, right up there with Madison Square Garden.
- The AHL has hired a Coordinator
of Analytics… unfortunately for fans of fancystats, it’s Business Analytics.