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Will coach pay for this?

The Komets trail the Elmira Jackals 5-0 after one period tonight.

So, basically, this is the fourth embarrassing outing from the Komets in the last eight games.

I'm an Al Sims apologist. I think he's a good coach who gets a bad rap for a lot of things. But this has become so bad I have to believe the team is seriously considering a coaching change for next season.

My sources had told me heading into the season that Sims' job would remain safe on an annual basis, so long as he made the playoffs. I heard something different a couple weeks ago -- that he was going to be back, in deference to his four championships in the last five season -- though it didn't make much sense given path of this season.

But the 8-2 loss to Reading on Wednesday was the most embarrassing performance I've ever seen from a Fort Wayne team in my 16 seasons covering them, and it came at Memorial Coliseum. Tonight's would be worse so far, except the team doesn't have anything to play for anymore.

Except pride.

And, apparently, a lot of these players don't have much.

When you are repeatedly giving up short-handed goals, that's a telling sign to me. I think some of these guys are just trying to avoid injuries at this point.

Fort Wayne has failed to score more than two goals in 36 games this season. It is 0-7 in front of home crowds of more than 8,000. It will have the fifth losing record at home for the fifth time in 61 years.

At some point, right or wrong, that will fall on the coach.

Just for kicks, if the Komets do part ways with Sims, who would you like them to consider? I know everyone assumes it'll be Colin Chaulk, but I don't necessarily see it. The team doesn't typically hire rookie coaches. Even Bruce Boudreau had to go elsewhere for a year before getting the Komets' gig.

I've said before that Bruce Richardson would be the guy I'd chase. And it's worth mentioning that Gary Graham has had a good season in the Southern Professional Hockey League.

Justin A. Cohn, pro sports coordinator for The Journal Gazette, has been covering the Fort Wayne Komets since 1997. His reporting includes game stories from home and away, features about the players and personalities associated with the Komets, plus coverage of issues affecting hockey at all levels. A native of Bloomfield Hills, Mich., Cohn graduated from Emory University in Atlanta. He can be reached at 260-461-8429 or by email at jcohn@jg.net.

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