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Why Komets lost Game 4

May 19, 2018 GMT

Coach Gary Graham summed up why the Komets lost tonight : 2-1 to the Colorado Eagles : so perfectly.

“It took us forever to get going, for whatever reason,” he said. “Guys had the day off (Thursday), but there are no excuses. We got sucked into playing the game that we hadn’t been playing the entire playoffs and we weren’t our normal selves. We were trying to toe-drag and play the same type of game that they play. We’re not built for that. We’re built for ugly hockey.”

Maybe we shouldn’t be surprised. Consistency has been the Komets’ problem all season. But I really think this was a bit of overconfidence; I saw this one coming a mile away after they were celebratory in the aftermath of the Game 3 victory, after they’d been businesslike for weeks.

Now the best-of-7 series is tied at 2.

“These guys have to keep reminding themselves what’s made them successful this playoff run,” Graham said. “We’re not out-skilling teams. We’re just out-working them and out-willing them. That’s what’s gotten us to where we’re at. As soon as we lose track of our ways and what we’re doing, that’s why we didn’t have success in the first two periods.”

It’s not time for panic mode. The Komets have won big games on the road throughout the playoffs, so all this means is no matter what happens now, the Komets will have to win at least one more in Loveland, Colorado, if they want to advance.

But if they lose Game 5 at Memorial Coliseum on Saturday night, well, then I would panic.

“It’s playoffs and you’re going to face adversity if you want to win a championship. It’s a best-of-3 series now and we don’t lose twice in a row at home,” Shawn Szydlowski said.

To their credit, the Komets didn’t lay any of the blame on the officiating. They blamed their poor showing in the first two periods.

But I feel I have to discuss it. The referees called 6 of 8 power plays in favor of the Eagles. That’s fine. All three in the third period were for the Eagles. That’s fine, too, except at least one of them, the roughing on Marco Roy, was totally unnecessary.

But where’s the consistency? Artur Tyanulin got sticked in the groin seconds before Michael Joly’s first goal, right in front of an official, and there’s no call. Gabriel Desjardins gets knocked out of the game for a long spell by an elbow, no call. By the way, the offender both times was Matt Register.

So are we letting them play or are we not? Tonight, I truly could not tell.

All that being said, there’s one reason this game wasn’t a total blowout: Michael Houser, who stopped about five odd-man rushes in this game and continues to be terrific for the Komets.

jcohn@jg.net