Archive for March, 2008

Fury sign Jeff Nelson

March 31, 2008

This could make things a little more interesting.

MUSKEGON – The Muskegon Fury today announce the return of former MVP center Jeff Nelson, who is signed to a contract though the remainder of the season.“To add an impact player like this at this point in the season is a huge boost for our team” said Fury coach Bruce Ramsay. “He’s going to step on the ice and instantly be one of the top players in the league. This is an incredible addition for our team as we battle for playoff position.”Originally a second-round pick of the Washington Capitals in 1991, Nelson (6-foot, 180 lbs.) has played in 1,061 career games over his 15-year career, including three seasons with the Muskegon Fury. He played 52 games in the National Hockey League, recording three goals and eight assists in time with the Nashville Predators and Washington Capitals. In three seasons with the Fury, Nelson has played in 159 games, recording 63 goals and 168 assists in the regular season. In 29 playoff games with the Fury, he has 6 goals and 21 assists. He was a member of the Fury’s Colonial Cup Championship team in 2004-05. In 2005-06, Nelson was named the United Hockey League’s Most Valuable Player with a career-best 116 points (33g, 83a) in ‘05-06, tying teammate Robin Bouchard for the league’s scoring crown. His 83 assists in ’05-06 are a franchise record. He was a UHL All-Star in both ’04-05 and ’05-06.Robinson, 35, last played last season with Bolzano HC in Italy. He recorded 43 points (14g, 29a) in 32 games while teaming up with Bouchard.

Sunday online sports section

March 30, 2008

You can read our online section, including today’s Komets story here.

Sloppy, sloppy, sloppy

March 29, 2008

But, really, who can complain when they just completed a 13-0-1 month? That’s just remarkable. The defense especially had to be sucking wind playing for the second straight night with five. With all the penalty kills, that had to add up to some tired legs.

Muskegon showed me something by coming back. The Fury played with only three veterans tonight, and they showed some heart. Clayton Pool had the best goaltending performance we’ve seen at Memorial Coliseum this year by an opponent, I think. He was incredible in keeping his team in the game.

You’ve got to appreciate how strong the Komets keep playing when they have virtually nothing to play for. I keep thinking they are going to come out and give up a first goal some night and then just pack it in, but they keep finding ways to come back. It’s pretty amazing, really.

1-1 after one

March 29, 2008

Pretty good first period after a slow start by the Komets. Clayton Pool made some tremendous saves early to keep the Komets off the board, robbing Konstantin Shafranov and Justin Hodgman, but Shafranov finally solved him on a 3-on-1.

Today’s stories

March 29, 2008

The first one can be read here, and the second one based on an observation from coach Sims can be read here.

That’s just crazy

March 28, 2008

Three power-play goals in the third period to come back and win 4-3. Some observations:

 * The Kalamazoo deflection by Kory Karlander at the last second did indeed go in, but time had already expired. Goal judge John Cains said he was pushing the button to signal the goal, but the goal light can not go on after time has expired.

* How about Al Sims running four lines tonight? The Komets had only five defenseman so Sims went with 12 forwards. Sergei Durdin is still out with a neck injury, Kevin Bertram had the flu and Brent Henley is still recovering from his diabetes situation from last week. The Komets will go with the same lineup Saturday against Muskegon.

* That crowd was just like the old days. The fans definitely had a major part in this game. All the players were talking afterward about how loud the building was.

* How big was Nick Boucher tonight? He kept the Komets in the game. He also said two of the Kalamazoo goals went in off the bodies of Komets.

* There’s no way to tell if this is the all-time pro hockey record. There have been more than 40 pro leagues so there’s no way to tell for sure.

* The less said about the officiating the better.

I may be back to update more later.

What a prospect

March 28, 2008

Komets coach Al Sims has a son named Tyler who was the goaltender at Providence College and who recently signed with Reading of the ECHL. He got to play in Cincinnati on Tuesday night where he made 29 saves in a 3-2 loss during his pro debut. You can read his bio here. Sims and his wife Sue were at the game.

Could be a strange night UPDATED

March 28, 2008

Kalamazoo coach Brian Curren had his arm skated over in practice this morning and slashed a tendon. He’s not here tonight but general manager Wade Welsh and Glenn Detulleo will be running the Wings’ bench. Curren did not have surgery today and hopes to be back behind the bench for Sunday’s game against Muskegon.

Komets coach Al Sims isn’t feeling 100 percent, but he’s here.

I finally figured it out

March 27, 2008

I’ve been wracking my brain trying to figure out who this Komets team reminds me of, and it finally hit me last night: the 1991-92 Komets. Like this team, that squad had a large amount of turnover from a very successful squad the year before, and it always seemed to find ways to win. They were never out of any game, and they had tremendous balance and depth. Even some of the players are similar:

Luciano Aquino-Kory Kocur; Colin Chaulk-Colin Chin; Mathieu Curadeau-Lee Davidson; David Hukalo-Peter Hankinson; Scott Shaunessy-Brent Henley; Grant Richison-Kevin Bertram; Mike O’Neill-Kevin Reiter; Chris McRae-Olivier Legault; Terry Marchant-Kelly Hurd; P.C. Drouin-Bruce Boudreau; Guy Dupuis and well, Guy Dupuis; Mitch Woods definitely has some Ian Boyce in him as well, or maybe Darin Smith; Kevin Hansen-Carey Lucyk; Sergei Durdin has some Jean-Marc Richard qualities to his game as well.

That doesn’t hit everybody, but there are a lot of similarities. They also got Pokey Reddick about the same time this team picked up Nick Boucher.

 That was one of my favorite teams to cover because like this one it had a mixture of returning veterans and an amazing crop of younger players who we were just getting to know. That was the year after Robin Bawa, Kevin Kaminski, Max Middendorf, Brian McKee and a few other guys moved on after signing NHL contracts.

 Now, in no way am I saying this team is the same individual talent level as the 91-92 team but some of the personalities and style of play are similar.

Heard today

March 25, 2008

That the Indiana Ice of the USHL have signed a two-year extension on their lease at the Pepsi Coliseum. That means no expansion for the IHL in Indy for at least two years.