I thought I would introduce something new this year and start doing reports based on five players, through five-game segments of the Comets season. I have been getting some feedback in the comments sections of my post-game reports asking for fewer details on the actual games, but for more details on the prospects who are playing them.
Some of these players will fall outside of prospect territory, as is the case with Reid Boucher, but it is hard to discuss the Comets without also talking about the engine that runs the offence there.
I am hoping that this series will help for those who want more info on the prospects, but can’t find the time to read through what has admittedly become a lengthy post-game report. My post-game reports will continue as they have in the past, however, as I also receive plenty of feedback from folks who enjoy the way they have been done up to this point.
I won’t be making any guarantees that these reports will come out after every five-game segment, but I will do them as often as I have time to do so.
The Comets have played five games so far this season, facing off against the Toronto Marlies three times, as well as the Belleville Senators and Charlotte Checkers once each. The club has a record of three wins and two losses to show for their efforts. Richard Bachman has started three games, picking up one win, while Ivan Kulbakov won both of his starts this past weekend against the Toronto Marlies.
The Comets power play sat sixth overall in the AHL, going 6/20 with a 30.0% success rate, while their penalty kill sat tied for 10th in the league, giving up two-goals while being shorthanded 19 times for an 89.5% success rate. The club has also given up four shorthanded goals against this season to lead the league in that dubious category.
The Comets have scored 21 goals so far this season while giving up 19. They also lead the AHL with 88 minutes in penalties. Forwards Brendan Woods and Carter Bancks have combined for 46 of those minutes between the two of them.
Reid Boucher leads the club, as well as the entire AHL with eight goals and one helper through five games. Boucher is doing so while working with a shooting percentage of 40%. That isn’t sustainable, but Boucher has never had a problem scoring in this league. The 25-year-old winger has fired 20 shots on net through five games, has two game-winning goals and four on the power play. Boucher is seeing time on both special teams for Trent Cull’s Comets and has shown well at both ends of the ice.
Second-year forward, Zack MacEwen sits second on the team in scoring with two goals and four assists to give himself six points through five games. MacEwen has lined up with Brendan Woods as his centre for each game so far and the pair has been bringing a physical game, while MacEwen has been putting up points as well. One of MacEwen’s goals came with the man advantage. The big winger has put 10 shots on net, scoring on 20% of his chances. MacEwen has shown a noticeable improvement in his skating and is showing separation speed in all three zones of the ice. TheBigFella hasn’t seen any time yet on the penalty kill this season, but from what I understand, the team does intend to get him some reps there with the hope that he will be able to kill penalties when he makes the jump to the NHL.
Rookie forward, Tanner MacMaster showed well in a late-season audition last year with the Comets and he’s picked up right where he left off. He has played in all five games so far, playing with Reid Boucher on his opposite wing with either Tanner Kero or Cam Darcy in the middle. MacMaster has only put four shots on net, scoring on 25% of his chances so far this season. He has looked like a good fit with Boucher and the two are clicking on the ice. MacMaster has seen his share of time on the power play for the Comets this season but hasn’t yet seen any time on the penalty kill. He sits third in team scoring with one goal and four helpers through five games. MacMaster’s five points have him sitting comfortably in the top-ten in rookie scoring for the AHL so far this year.
Jonathan Dahlen has played in four of the Comets first five games and has three assists to show for his efforts. The winger has seen some revolving linemates but has shown well. He seems to be able to be able to sneak into areas to take passes without being noticed and has been dishing some filthy passes of his own. Dahlen has been getting power-play time but has not seen any action on the penalty kill yet. He has put nine shots on net and two of his assists have come with the man advantage. Dahlen still has some work to do at this level, but he has adapted well to the North American ice so far, and the pace of the AHL game hasn’t seemed to be an issue for him.
Adam Gaudette has recently been called up to the parent Canucks, and he has shown well enough through four games in Utica to have earned that call-up. The pivot has played in all situations for the Comets and has looked great in all three zones. He’s put 11 shots on net, scoring twice and picking up a pair of helpers as well. One of his goals, as well as one of his assists, have come with the man advantage. He has operated with an 18.2% shooting percentage so far with the Comets. Gaudette’s sweet toe drag goal was one that would make Bo Horvat blush. This kid has some hands and a sneaky release on his shot. Gaudette has had Darren Archibald riding shotgun on one wing in each game so far, with a rotating cast of Kole Lind, Petrus Palmu, and Jonathan Dahlen on the other side.
In the next edition of this series, I will look at five different Comets players and will rotate throughout the roster as the season goes on. Please feel free to leave suggestions in the comments section for additional info that you would like to see included in these posts, keeping in mind that analytics is not my strong suit. You won’t be getting piles of charts and graphs in these posts. If the feedback is decent, I will continue on with the series.
The Comets are back in action at 4:00 pm Pacific tomorrow in Utica as the Rochester Americans roll into town for the first time this year. As always, CanucksArmy will have your post-game report following the game.