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The Komets whipped Wheeling 6-2 at Memorial Coliseum on Saturday night to end their exhibition game schedule. John Dunbar and Mickey Lang each scored twice.
Afterward, Komets coach Gary Graham talked about the decisions he has to make with his roster and his plans before next Saturday's season-opening game against Toledo.
It was a chance to respond after last night. Before the game, we said good teams don't lose back-to-back games. The guys took that to heart. I think we had a better first period and that was actually big for us to play with the lead and get that positivity going. Tonight you saw more of our lineup. Wheeling wasn't playing a lot of their guys, but I give them credit. The guys that they had over there battled and competed. They had a tough road trip in from Reading last night. We made the most our out of our opportunities... There will be some tough decisions to make and David and I will meet here afterward.
We're going to meet now and we're meeting with every single player tomorrow.
What doesn't go into this? That would be a better question.
There are a lot of different things. You have to fit the pieces of the puzzle. You have the salary cap and trying to find a way to get the best group of guys out of this training camp. I just went in there and told every man-to-man that I appreciate everybody committing to Fort Wayne. It was a great group in training camp, the best I've ever worked with. Everybody was positive, everybody worked hard. WE got better each and every day, and that's all I asked from the guys. Tonight was kind of a summation of everything and it was our best hockey.
We practiced it pregame yesterday and today was an optional so there were new different units. I'll be honest with you, we haven't practiced it much because it's just not something you do a lot during the week. There are a lot of other things you are putting in. You could see the skill of the guys come out when they were moving the puck around. I was yelling for a net-front presence, screaming my freaking head off, and all of a sudden they make like three back-door plays and it was in the back of the net on one of the prettiest plays I've ever seen. I was telling the guys, well, maybe we don't need net-front presence, I don't know. If it's going to look like that, I can live with it.
Every guy went hard tonight. I thought our play without the puck was a lot better. I told our guys that the one disappointing thing about the last two exhibition games was the eight goals in two games because you aren't going to win too many games giving up four goals a game, and we did.
There's just a lot of things we have to work on. Overall talk and communication, putting systems in. We're going to have a lot of video this week, a lot of teaching. Next week is a different kind of training camp and a lot of details in next week's practice.