After a near month-long hiatus, combined with a mere two wins for the new guys, i'm back in the saddle. After not being able to provide much of anything that you can't find with a simple google search due to lack of tickets, I finally managed to wander into last night's game between the Utica Comets and Texas Stars.
-This is honestly the first time i have seen this team outplay its opposition this year. Doesn't mean it hasn't happened other places, but i'm willing to bet hefty sums of cash I don't have that the majority of offensive zone time in this game belonged to Utica. The +6 shot differential is a start to proving my point, but just doesn't do the justice that an official time on attack count would.
-By the same token, while the Comets really took it to Texas in this one, the lack of lucky breaks are a microcosm of just how bad the start of the season has been. I counted at least three piped shots last night, a lot of good net-front traffic went to waste with wide deflections, and the goaltender Nilstorp bailed Texas out on several occasions. Add in several shots off the rush going directly to Nilstorp, and you have one goal to show for 60 minutes of rock solid offensive zone play.
-Also, it may be a sign of things to come for an offense that needs improvement, and fast. Although the Comets are second in fewest games played, They have also scored a league-worst 29 goals, tied with Worcester.
-I've seen Ericsson and Cannata an equal number of times, and I don't think there is much of a debate between the two. Ericsson is by far the better goaltender. Better rebound control, better glove, better puck handler, the list goes on. Travis Green seems to think so too, as Ericsson has close to three times as many minutes AND both wins. Makes me scratch my head as to why Cannata started both the home and road openers, in retrospect.
-What a night for Alexander Grenier. Had Utica's only goal last night, and had a chance to finish on multiple other occasions. Displayed an element of surprise on the powerplay that almost got him a second goal as he peeled off the corner opposite the puck carrier, walked to the circle uncontested and the redirect just went wide. Green seemingly fed him the most ice time of any player on the team last night.
-Kent Huskins looks like a great addition. The former Duck and Stanley Cup winner is on an AHL deal, and is an absolutely tremendous backchecker. He's an absolute demon on 50/50 pucks, and a veteran that can bring some of the youngsters like Yann Sauve along.
-Tell me how this happened. Benn Ferriero, who is widely regarded as one of the better two-way forwards in the league, is a -10.
-They'll gladly take David Booth back anytime now. Utica is 2-1 with David Booth around.