Utica Comets Pre-Game
Vs Binghamton Devils
Friday, January 18th, 2019
7:00 pm Eastern/4:00 pm Pacific
The 20th overall Binghamton Devils, (New Jersey affiliate) will be in Utica this afternoon to take on the eight ranked Comets for game number 44 of the season. The Devils are showing a record of 19-20-4-0 so far this year, giving them 42 points on the season. The Comets, for their part, will bring a record of 22-17-3-1 into today’s contest, giving them 48 points.
The Devils have gone 5-4-1-0 over their previous 10 games, while the Comets have a record of 6-3-1-0 over that same span. Utica is coming off of a 5-4 win over Syracuse, while Bingo last played to a 1-0 overtime loss to the Hershey Bears. The Comets have gone 11-9-1-0 at home this season, while the Devils have a road record of 7-11-2-0 on the year.
So far this season, the Comets have scored 138 goals while giving up 149. The Devils, for their part, have been outscored by a 144-116 margin this year.
The Devils power play is about as woeful as it gets, sitting dead last after scoring just 23 times while up a man 171 times this year for a paltry success rate of 13.5%. Their penalty kill was a little bit better, sitting 27th after giving up 44 goals while down a man 198 times for a 77.8% success rate.
The Comets power play could use a boost as well, currently sitting 13th in the AHL after scoring 39 times on 200 man advantages for a 19.5% success rate. Their penalty kill was somewhat better, sitting 11th in the league after giving up 32 goals while shorthanded 183 times for an 82.%5 success rate.
Marian Studenic is the current top dog in Bingo with 10 goals and 13 assists, giving him 23 points in 35 games this year. Brandon Gignac sits second with seven goals and 16 helpers to give himself 23 points in 37 games. Michael McLeod rounds out their top three with five goals and 17 helpers, good enough for 22 points in 38 games.
Studenic’s 23 points also lead the Devils rookie group, while Jonathan Dahlen wears that crown for the Comets with 11 goals and just as many assists to give himself 22 points in 39 games.
Reid Boucher is the big cheese in Utica with 17 goals and 20 helpers to give himself 37 points in 31 games this year. Zack MacEwen is currently sitting second as Tanner Kero has been summoned to the parent Canucks. TheBigFella is up to 15 goals and 18 assists to match his rookie totals of 33 points but in 42 games rather than the 66 games that it took him to reach those totals last season. Brendan Gaunce also makes an appearance, slotting in at number three with his 12 goals and 12 helpers, giving him 24 points in 27 games.
In the Comets last game the following players were scratched with an injury: Richard Bachman, (out for the season, Achilles’ injury) Olli Juolevi, (out for the regular season, knee surgery) Jalen Chatfield, (month-to-month, lower body injury) Ashton Sautner, (month-to-month, facial fractures) Brendan Woods, (indefinite, lower body injury) Vincent Arseneau, (day-to-day, lower body injury) Lukas Jasek, (day-to-day, illness). Cliff Watson was the team’s lone healthy scratch last game.
The two clubs have squared off in six games so far this year with the Devils holding a four-games-to-two advantage, outscoring the Comets 20-18 in the process.
The Devils may have some of the worst special teams in the league, but they have had the better luck in this series. The Devils power play has gone 5/21 over the first six games of the series for a success rate of 23.8% in comparison to the Comets power play record of 4/27, which equates to a 14.8% success rate with the extra man. The Devils penalty kill has clicked along at 85.2% in the series, which also bests the Comets mark of 76.2% over the first six games of the series.
Reid Boucher, Michael McLeod, and Kevin Rooney are tied for the series lead with six points each, while Zack MacEwen and John Quenneville have each put up five. Lukas Jasek has fared well against the Devils this year as well, putting up four points in his six games against the club.
Thatcher Demko and Richard Bachman have done the bulk of the work against the Devils this season with Demko showing a record of 1-3 with a goals-against average of 2.54 and a save percentage of 0.898%. Bachman went 1-0 with a goals-against average of 4.04 and a save percentage of 0.826%.
For the Devils, Cam Johnson has gone 2-0 with a goals-against average of 1.52 and a save percentage of 0.953%, while MacKenzie Blackwood shows a record of 2-2 over his four games against the Comets with a goals-against average of 3.27 and a save percentage of 0.880%.
There was some roster news this week as the Vancouver Canucks have summoned Tanner Kero in the wake of a Bo Horvat charley horse. It is expected that Horvat will be able to go and that Kero’s recall is a precautionary measure. Kero has earned a look with the big club after proving to be a solid addition this offseason. Waivers will not become an issue for Kero until he plays 10 games with the club or spends 30 days with the team.
— CanucksArmy (@CanucksArmy) January 17, 2019
The other news that came out of Vancouver since the Comets last played was the trade of defender Michael Del Zotto to the Anaheim Ducks. In return, the Canucks received a seventh-round pick in the 2020 draft, as well as right-shooting defender Luke Schenn. Schenn has been plying his trade with the San Diego Gulls this year, which allows the Canucks to send him straight to the Comets.
Adding Schenn gives the Comets a steady vet who can help calm things down on the backend where they have been hit hard by long term injuries to Juolevi, Chatfield, and Sautner. The Schenn addition also brings the Comets veteran total to six, pushing them one player above the limit who can play in any given game. The coaching staff will have to start working a rotation with the vets once the team is healthy again.
— CanucksArmy (@CanucksArmy) January 17, 2019
Stay tuned for the CanucksArmy Post-Game report following today’s action.