Usually at this time of the season, the running joke in the Komets' locker room is when will Colin Chaulk start pulling his share of the offensive load or when he'll start earning his paycheck.
Chaulk is a notoriously slow starter offensively, but through eight games this year he already has 10 points -- all assists. Usually it takes him about 15 games to get to 10 points.
``I can't find the net goalwise, but I just have to keep trying to generate things and make the players better around me,'' the Komets' captain said. ``I feel good. I worked hard this summer and tried to focus on getting off to a good start. Maybe the battle mode is up a little more. Every year I struggle, but I feel like I've skated well so far.''
The start is even more impressive considering returning linemate and last year's leading goal scorer Chris Auger has been lost for the season with a knee injury and Chaulk has only nine shots on goal. Komets coach Al Sims even joked a few weeks ago he put Chaulk on for the shootout because then Chaulk would be forced to shoot on net.
As usual, Chaulk is not trying to force the puck on net, but new linemates Brandon Marino and Josh Brittain have been finding the net. Chaulk has also had success on the point of the power play.
``I'm taking what's there,' he said. ``It's been fun to play with those guys. I'll always miss Chris because we have such good chemistry together, but Josh and Brandon are great to play with.''
Chaulk, who ranks third on the Komets' all-time scoring list behind Len Thornson and Eddie Long, usually gets hot around Christmas and ends up averaging about a point per game over the entire season. During 568 games as a Komet, Chaulk has scored 672 points.
Rings are the thing
Komets General Manager David Franke said he's only got three or four more rings to deliver from last year's Central Hockey League championship. He's been able to either deliver in person or mail out rings to all but a few players. He's still trying to figure out the best way to get rings to Bobby Chaumont and Jamie Milam, who are playing in Europe this season.
In fact, former Komet Jamie Lovell visited the team after Saturday's game in Kalamazoo and was wearing his ring. Last week he was named assistant coach of the junior Port Huron Fighting Falcons of the North American Hockey League.
Icing the puck
The Komets played a 10:30 a.m. game today in Toledo. You can check www.tailingthekomets.com for the results, photos and videos. ... There were also morning games this week on Tuesday in Evansville and today at Kalamazoo. ... For the first time since 1999, the Komets actually trail a team in their own league in terms of attendance. Ontario is averaging 8,259 fans after three home games compared to 8,144 for the Komets after four home games. ... The Komets' Brandon Marino ranks fifth in the ECHL scoring race with 14 points. ... Colin Chaulk is tied for third with 10 assists. ... Kenny Reiter leads all goaltenders with a .83 goals against average and .973 save percentage ... Anaheim assistant general manager Bob Ferguson was scheduled to be at today's game in Toledo.