The Komets will finish the regular season with three straight games against the Flint Generals. So what should we expect from these games? Good hockey, but not physical hockey.
Even though these teams dislike one another, as Fort Wayne coach Al Sims pointed out, it's unlikely anyone will want to drop the gloves and risk injury in fairly meaningless games. Fort Wayne is locked into the No. 1 seed and Flint is almost set in the No. 3.
This doesn't mean the teams won't play hard. Fort Wayne has been on cruise control for several weeks and wants to make sure it doesn't lose momentum now. Flint had better want to keep improving after a midseason slide, although, if the Generals decide to rest players, that could change things.
Some have the notion that it might be good for the Komets to lose a game before the playoffs, so they realize they're not infallible. Believe me, they already know that. Besides, a loss at this point would do nothing but instill doubt in their minds about what could happen later on.
- Nothing is finalized yet, including who the Komets will face in the first round of the playoffs, but there's a good chance the series will have a 1-1-1-1-1-1-1 format. In other words, Games 1, 3, 5 and 7 would be at Memorial Coliseum. (The first two home games will be April 18 and 20.) I was so busy crying about the travel implications for myself, it took some co-workers to point out the obvious: Doesn't this lessen the value of home-ice advantage? Anyway, nothing's set in stone on this schedule yet, but it's clear the Fort Wayne Freedom having something to do with it because they're at the Coliseum on April 19 and 26.
- Things just get weirder and weirder in Kalamazoo. The Wings fired coach Brian Curran with three games remaining in the regular season on Tuesday. Then general manager Wade Welsh, who has no playing experience, takes the reins. They get crushed 5-1 by Flint, leaving the Wings two points out of the playoffs now, and they announce that Brent Jarrett will now coach the team this weekend. Jarrett was the IHL's MVP in 1982 and hasn't coached pro hockey either.
- Brendan Savage of The Flint Journal has a must-read story about the 3-star awards in the IHL. Click here to see it. Personally, I think the 3-star awards are a great idea, terribly executed, since they're not given out at any arena by objective parties. (No, I've never had a part in any selections at the Coliseum.) More and more, teams like the Komets and Wings, use the stars as a way to interview players on the ice after games. That's fine, but it's disingenuous of the IHL to make on its web site like there's anything scientific about it. Sad, too, because I remember growing up and sitting in the Joe Louis Arena stands with my brother after games, just to see who got the stars. And, yes, I remember times when they all went to the visiting teams' players. Anyway, Fort Wayne goalie Kevin Reiter has gotten the most No. 1 stars in the league with eight.
- The Fort Wayne design-a-logo jerseys auctioned off to benefit Arts United raised $4,721.
- Reminder: On Saturday night, I will be appearing on Indiana News Center's live "Sounding Off" show, talking about the Komets. They will be taking calls and e-mails, so I expect your participation. It will be on 7-8 p.m. on NBC 33 (Comcast 13).
-- By Justin A. Cohn, The Journal Gazette