MUSKEGON, Mich. -- You can blame this game on the officiating -- Fort Wayne had to kill off 11 power plays, though there were successful on all counts -- or on an uncharacteristic mistake. But these just don't look like the same Komets we saw at the beginning of the season.
Fort Wayne lost 3-1 at L.C. Walker Arena to the league-worst Muskegon Fury.
The Komets had the early lead thanks to a P.C. Drouin power-play goal, but then they started coughing up the puck. Mathieu Curadeau's turnover, and he hasn't had many this season, led to Mark Cadotte's game-winning goal.
Coach Al Sims said he feels like his team has regressed and it's like the start of the season again. With 23 players on the roster and only 19 spots for healthy guys, the Komets are playing for jobs but they're not showing the urgency they should in such a situation.
If the Komets' woes continue through the weekend -- they play at Kalamazoo, Mich., Saturday and Port Huron, Mich., Sunday -- I expect there will be changes.
The thing I notice most is the hitting has just disappeared. Early in the season, the Komets were intimating people through checks and fights. Now they're just kind of, I hate to say it, boring.
The good news is that the Komets could have and probably should have won this game. Isaac Reichmuth was great in net for the Fury.
Here are some other notes:
- Brent Henley should return to the lineup from his knee injury next weekend, general manager David Franke said. Defenseman Sergei Durdin was out with a back injury. Right wing Jason Sessa had a hand injury. Evgeny Saidachev had a knee injury.
- Longtime Fury broadcaster Terry Ficorelli got a deserved standing ovation. Love him or hate him, he's one of the most colorful broadcasters in creation. I must admit, I'll miss his "crankin' and swankin'" calls. He's moving to Saginaw of the Ontario Hockey League.
- Former Komets defenseman Rob Guinn was signed by Bloomington.
- There will be a sled hockey demonstration Sunday at McMillen Arena at 4:30 p.m. Anyone who would like to get involved or learn more about it can e-mail FlyersKevinHughes@yahoo.com.
-- By Justin A. Cohn, The Journal Gazette