Three in a Road
The Utica Comets are coming off of a big 3-game weekend in which they took 2 out of 3 of their games, and splitting a home and home against the Rochester Americans.
This weekend, the schedule won't get much easier as they get set to rack up a lot of miles on the Thruway with three in a row, on the road, against the Syracuse Crunch, Binghamton Senators, and Albany Devils.
The Comets, who came back from a poor outing in Rochester where they fell to the Amerks 7-3, and rebounded to take four points in two consecutive 2-1 victories over those same Amerks, and then the tough Toronto Marlies, north of the border.
As it stands now, Utica sits 10 points back of the 8th and final playoff spot with 26 games to play, meaning that the team will need to continue to find ways to win consistently if they want a chance to extend their season beyond mid-April.
This weekend will be the biggest yet, and could make or break the Comets hopes at a Calder Cup Playoff berth. If Utica can muster three big wins against the Thruway rivals, they will pick up 6 big points, and depending on results from other games, could catapult themselves into the discussion.
However, even with three wins, it doesn't guarantee them a spot in the race, but it would certainly help tremendously.
On the other hand, three (or even two) losses by the Comets this weekend, could leave them looking at what could have been come next week. Losing two out of three would be devastating for a team that has fought so hard to get out of the basement and into contention since their rough start in October.
'Wind out of the sails' would be an understatement there.
And so brings us to this, a rivalry weekend where every shift matters, every goal counts, and every point is essential. After two straight wins last Saturday and Sunday, the Comets need to continue to ride that momentum, and play strong defense in order to keep their seemingly slim playoff hopes alive.
Right now, things may seem bleak...10 back with only 26 to go. However, a lot can change between now and then, and all it takes is one strong weekend to turn bleak into promising.
But first, the Comets will have to get through growing rival, Syracuse Crunch, for the first time at the Oncenter in a big test for the club in hostile territory.
The Crunch will be looking for revenge after the Comets victory on "Pink the Rink" night in front of the Aud Faithful, and this time they will have their home crowd behind them. But Utica has played relatively well on the road this year, and will look for another solid effort in their road blues to set the tone for the rest of the weekend.
Pun intended, its crunch time for the Comets right now, and the team needs to continue to be at their best in order to gain the crucial points they need in the standings.
Biggest weekend of the season coming up for the Utica Comets beginning tomorrow, and we shall see where they stand when Monday arrives. It's time to take care of business.
Three games, six points, and one major run at stake. Let the games begin!