The prevailing notion in the Komets' locker room after they lost their season opener 4-3 to the Toledo Walleye in an overtime shootout was that Fort Wayne had been the better team Saturday night.
"I like the way that we played tonight, especially for it being our first game and against a very good Toledo team, with a good crop of players back from last season," said coach Gary Graham, whose Komets have only six players back from last season.
"It's nothing to hang our heads about. We played well in front of a big crowd and we out-hit them, out-scoring-chanced them and the stats don't lie. We just didn't get that second point we were looking for."
There's no denying that the Komets had the bulk of the scoring chances and that two Toledo goals were direct result of Fort Wayne gaffes, namely the Nik Pokulok turnover that led to a goal.
But the Komets need to finish better. I saw it in scrimmages, the preseason and now the opener: The Komets get good scoring chances put don't put the puck on net often enough.
(Check out the video recap of the game above.)
Graham said he needs his players to be creating traffic in front of the net better.
Mickey Lang, who had two goals and a goal in the shootout, has really been a revelation so far, no?
"For the majority of the game, I thought we played pretty good," Lang said. "We just didn't capitalize on a few chances and there were a few penalties that were questionable and didn't go our way. But we battled back, tied it up. Unfortunately, we didn't get the win, though."
The Komets hope to have Mike Vaskivuo (groin) back for the next game, this Saturday, against Cincinnati. And they will take a good look at Jace Coyle, the newly acquired defenseman, who should help the offense even more.
The players who stood out to me for Fort Wayne tonight were: Lang, Brandon Marino, Chris Auger, John Muse, John Dunbar and Simon Danis-Pepin.
But some other players need to step up.