It took a week, but my ears have finally stopped ringing from all the noise at Memorial Coliseum last week. There was some kinda big event going on there. Oh, yeah, that's right -- a Game 7 triple-overtime victory by the Komets.
Anyway, so I spent some time today going through all the e-mails I hadn't had time to answer during the playoffs. Amazing the things you get a kick out of in retrospect.
Some readers were amazed throughout the playoffs at all the negativity being espoused by other readers throughout the season, especially in what was looking like it would be "a magical conclusion." I'm not sure the Komets' Turner Cup victory was magical, but it sure was amazing to watch. Are there still people out there knocking facets of this team? Still not enough enough toughness?
One reader was incensed at my so-called bias against Kevin Reiter. I still can't believe that one. I think Reiter is a tremendous goalie. I praised him many times. I think Nick Boucher is great, too. After Boucher won the last three games of the Komets' finals comeback, does anyone think coach Al Sims was wrong to call him "the best goalie in the league" a few weeks back, even after Reiter won the league's Best Goaltender trophy?
Still, so many readers come at me with the "why aren't the Komets in the AHL" questions? I get it. I really do. Believe me, I'd rather be covering the American Hockey League. But it makes no sense for the Frankes to do it. They're a huge draw in a league that has very little overhead. Why move up, add all the expense (travel, salaries), and lose control of their own roster, when the attendance would only go up marginally if at all? It doesn't make financial sense.
I got lots of notes about the deteriorating fan behavior at the Coliseum. I've noticed it, too. You know what they say: Do unto others as you'd have done unto you.
I got even more notes berating the Komets, the Coliseum and the league for the 1-1-1-1-1-1-1 series formats. I doubt anyone hated it more than me. I had to do all the driving back and forth. I still think it was dumb. But the Komets must have been laughing all the way to the bank, what with the pivotal Game 7, after coming back from a 3-1 series deficit. And the Coliseum must have made a fortune, too, after smartly leaving the concession stands open. Still, here's hoping someone realizes the wonderfulness of a 2-3-2 format before next April.
-- By Justin A. Cohn, The Journal Gazette