FORT WAYNE – The Komets might be only two points out of first place in the Turner Conference – they are 25-13-2 and behind Evansville – but the feeling right now isn’t one of supreme confidence.
With the trade deadline coming Monday, general manager David Franke said changes aren’t imminent but are being considered.
Coach Al Sims said one needs only to look at the Komets’ recent record – they went 5-6-1 in January – to determine how things are going for the Komets in their second CHL season.
In the last month, to be one game below .500, that’s not acceptable to us or the players, Sims said. We know we have to play better.
Management feels the talent is there, a point that was proved when Fort Wayne won 15 of 18 games heading into January to take over the conference lead.
But last weekend, the Komets won 7-5 and lost 6-3 in Prescott Valley, Ariz., to an Arizona Sundogs team that is 13-22-7 and had been the worst in the CHL.
We took 13 (minor penalties) in one game and eight in the other, said Sims, whose team gave up five power-play goals to the Sundogs. You can’t expect to win when you take that many penalties. We’ve got to be smarter in that department and in the way we play the game.
The Komets play the Quad City Mallards (23-17-1) tonight in Moline, Ill., and play host to the Dayton Gems (15-19-8) on Saturday at Memorial Coliseum.
We’ve just got to play smart hockey, said Sims, adding that the players haven’t been told anyone is in particular trouble of being traded.
We rarely bring that type of thing up with a player.
Notes: After he missed last weekend’s games because he was dealing with a personal matter, the Komets weren’t sure whether they’d use center Leo Thomas against the Mallards. He has five goals and 15 points in 34 games. Franke was incorrect when he said Monday that Brent Henley would be suspended one game for instigating a fight in the final five minutes of a game last weekend. The CHL doesn’t use that rule, which was used in the IHL.