Comets Militia: Down on the Farm – March 13th, 2015

15_0311-Archibald
Courtesy: UticaComets.com

We are back
with this week’s Comets Militia report, where we review all the latest in news,
statistics, rumours, gossip and made up narratives regarding the Vancouver Canucks
farm team: The Utica Comets.

The success of the week was at an average level, but nowhere near the level of success they saw the first three months on the season.  In three games the Comets played this week, including a back-to-back, Utica earned 3 of 6 points as they look towards their first Calder Cup playoffs berth.

Read past
the jump to see what went down.

The Statistics

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Given it is this late in the season, with only 10 games remaining, it would take a sudden crash in performance to see much change in the statistics.  The Comets earned 3 of 6 points this week and have stayed fairly steady.  Where they are seeing any change is in their inability to convert goals.  Despite playing well the Comets cannot score and it reflects in their shooting percentages and their power play.  With 10 games remaining the Comets are only 4 points away from breaking their franchise record and they are currently sitting at a 98.9% chance of making the playoffs.

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Saturday’s 3-2 Win @ Hamilton

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[ Highlights ] [ Comets’ Recap ]

Fairly exciting game to start off the week.  The Comets started with the lead only to have Hamilton score two to take control of the game.  Acton lead the charge to tie up the game, which eventually went to overtime, where Alex Friesen scored the OT winner.  Joacim Eriksson earned a Quality Start and even scored an assist on the night!  Newly acquired Sven Baertschi, skating on the top line with Cal O’Reily and Alex Grenier, continued his point streak.

Saturday’s 2-1 Loss @ Toronto

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[ Highlights ] [ Comets’ Recap ]

The tired Comets traveled the next night to Toronto to face the Marlies and their fatigue showed as the Comets were outplayed against the 29th ranked possession team.  Again, the Comets opted to play Eriksson in a back-to-back, who put up another Quality Start to do his part to help the team but the offence came up short.  Sven Baertschi scored his first goal with the organization on a rare powerplay goal (check it out here).

Wednesday’s 1-2 OT Loss @ Chicago

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[ Highlights ] [ Comets’ Report ]

The Comets came into Chicago with three days off and were not prepared for Chicago as they were massively outperformed.  The Comets were inept in holding on to the puck and even worse were not able to score.  The top line with the newly acquired Baertschi continued to produce as Sven is on a 4 game (6 including his Adirondack games) point streak to start his Comets career.  Joacim Eriksson did his best again to help the team posting another Quality Start but it was not enough to see the Comets win in the single goal Russian Roulette.

Player Statistics

Name Pos GP G A PTS +/- PIM PPG SOG SoG/G Sh%
16 Cal O’Reilly C 60 7 35 42 -5 8.00 0.70 81 1.35 8.64%
24 Brandon DeFazio RW 59 18 19 37 3 70.00 0.63 145 2.46 12.41%
28 Alexandre Grenier RW 51 12 19 31 4 57.00 0.61 126 2.47 9.52%
47 Sven Baertschi LW 40 9 21 30 3 8.00 0.75 82 2.05 10.98%
6 Bobby Sanguinetti D 49 14 15 29 21 12.00 0.59 112 2.29 12.50%
89 Cory Conacher LW 32 5 19 24 -7 32.00 0.75 70 2.19 7.14%
10 Brendan Gaunce LW 59 9 14 23 0 23.00 0.39 129 2.19 6.98%
17 Nicklas Jensen RW 45 11 11 22 -15 29.00 0.49 127 2.82 8.66%
41 Will Acton C 48 12 9 21 -3 28.00 0.44 92 1.92 13.04%
25 Darren Archibald LW 55 8 10 18 6 87.00 0.33 100 1.82 8.00%
8 Alex Friesen C 44 7 11 18 8 47.00 0.41 64 1.45 10.94%
9 Hunter Shinkaruk LW 58 7 11 18 -8 24.00 0.31 120 2.07 5.83%
37 Andrey Pedan D 46 3 14 17 7 114.00 0.37 82 1.78 3.66%
3 Alex Biega D 46 3 13 16 -7 20.00 0.35 83 1.80 3.61%
36 Wacey Hamilton C 31 4 9 13 4 25.00 0.42 42 1.35 9.52%
34 Carter Bancks RW 47 6 4 10 6 42.00 0.21 58 1.23 10.34%
14 Mike Zalewski LW 39 3 6 9 -8 10.00 0.23 50 1.28 6.00%
2 Travis Ehrhardt D 35 3 4 7 -8 22.00 0.20 38 1.09 7.89%
40 Peter Andersson D 45 2 4 6 9 18.00 0.13 57 1.27 3.51%
29 Kent Huskins D 36 1 5 6 5 6.00 0.17 23 0.64 4.35%
11 John Negrin D 26 0 2 2 0 6 0.08 20 0.77 0.00%
18 Patrick Kennedy RW 5 0 0 0 0 0 0.00 7 1.40 0.00%

Nicklas Jensen was scratched this week “to send a message” to the young forward.  People thought this was a thing and wrote blog columns about it worrying.  Travis Green does not give much playing time to the young forwards and when they fail to produce in their limited ice time he is quick to bench them and has done so to other players.  I’m not sure if that’s the best development method – but it’s the best way to achieve Green’s goal: to win.

Goaltender Statistics

Name GP Min GA SO GAA W L OT SA SVS SAV%
1 Jacob Markstrom 26 1538:37:00 50 4 1.95 17 7 2 732 682 0.932
2 Joe Cannata 1 59:00:00 2 0 2.03 0 1 0 24 22 0.917
3 Joacim Eriksson 34 1975:43:00 86 0 2.61 17 10 5 920 834 0.907

Despite the excellent performance as of late from Joacim Eriksson, he is still posting well below league average numbers on the season.  Not a great way to start his second North American season after his success the year prior.

Transactions

A number of activities going on with the AHL Trade Deadline:

  • Pat Nagle has been released from his PTO
  • Jeremie Blain was sent to Kalamazoo (ECHL)
  • Joe Cannata was sent to Ontario (ECHL)

Schedule

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Not a terrible schedule for the Comets this upcoming week.  They do have a back-to-back on the road which is always a schedule loss.  They are playing two weaker teams with the weakest of the two on the second night.  If the Comets wish to try and earn a better seed they will need to strive to earn 3+ points this weekend which could happen when their offence returns.

Extra Reading