Komets notes: Movie star, Hodgie’s rehab and where the team ranks
As a child growing up in southern California, Komets center Dennis Kravchenko had some interesting experiences, including acting in the film “Stuck on You” as a young fill-in for Matt Damon. The 2003 movie starred Damon and Greg Kinnear as conjoined twins who were forced to do everything together.
Kravchenko stood in for Damon on a pair of flashback scenes depicting the main characters on Halloween and being chased by bullies. Kravchenko and acting partner Colin Kenrick were strapped together into a harness for hours of filming, which might be the only way to make a 9-year-old boy stand still.
“I was a young kid and I wanted to do other stuff,” Kravchenko said. “It was not enjoyable to be stuck next to some random person in this super-uncomfortable harness we were in. We had to get into it, and then get dressed and it took hours. At that time I wasn’t asking about money or anything, but `How long is this going to take? I want to go home.’ I remember I wanted to watch some TV show or something. I was playing hockey and had just started to win a lot of tournaments with my team and was really excited about that. I just had other things on my mind as a 9-year-old.”
He did get to meet and acquire autographs from the film’s stars.
Kravchenko said he acted for four or five years, mainly in commercials and for magazine ads, until his love of hockey took over all his free time. Now it’s so long ago, Kravchenko doesn’t speak about his acting days unless asked.
Justin Hodgman is working on rehabilitating his injured shoulder and hopes to be on track for a return around Christmas. While recovering from a hip injury, the veteran center tumbled in practice a four weeks ago and suffered a broken bone at the top of his shoulder and under the rotator cuff.
“The way it was described to me, it’s not a terrible break, but it’s in a terrible spot to have a break,” Hodgman said. “It takes longer to heal because you can’t immobilize it completely. I’m extremely limited in what I can do with my range of motion. The pain has subsided significantly, but the range of motion is still very limited.”
Generally, the injury takes six-to-12 weeks to heal, and Hodgman can’t skate yet. He is working out at OPS with Paul Zinchenko to rehab the hip injury and trying to work on conditioning. Despite all that, he remains upbeat.
“I’ve had time to deal with it, it’s unfortunate but the boys are taking care of business and I’m just doing what I have to do until I can come back,” he said.
Here are the numbers
There’s a segment of fans crying on social media for the Komets to change coaches. So let’s look at the numbers of the past five seasons, or during Gary Graham’s tenure in Fort Wayne.
In terms of regular season ECHL wins (before this week’s games started) the top teams are: 1. Florida 192, 2. Fort Wayne 187, 3. South Carolina and Toledo 182, 5. Reading 178 and 6. Idaho 177. Over the last four seasons (to include the former Central Hockey League teams), the rankings are: 1. Toledo 161, 2. Florida 155, 3. Allen 148, 4. Fort Wayne 141, 5. South Carolina 139 and 6. Reading 132.
In terms of playoff wins over the four previous seasons (excluding Allen’s 2013 CHL title) the top teams are: 1. Allen and South Carolina 38, 2. Fort Wayne 27, 3. Toledo and Wheeling 23; 4. Colorado 21, and 5. Cincinnati 17. Fort Wayne, Utah, Kalamazoo, Reading and South Carolina are the only teams to make the playoffs each of the last four seasons, and the Komets are the only team to win at least one round each playoffs.
And if those numbers aren’t enough to earn Graham some tenure, changing coaches mid-season rarely works and basically means a team is giving up on the season. That’s essentially what happened here in 1994-95 and in 1996-97, and the last time was to bring in future NHL coach John Torchetti.
Don’t forget the Komets have gone 29-12-6 under Graham over the last four Decembers.
Get ready to throw
The one time it’s appropriate for fans to throw something on the ice will happen Friday when the Komets host their fifth annual Teddy Bear Toss. After the Komets score their first goal, fans will be encouraged to throw Teddy Bears and other stuffed animals onto the ice to be collected and distributed by the Disorderly Bear Den of Good Bears.
The charity group’s mission statement is, “The Disorderly Bear Den of Good Bears of the World has special feelings for children and elderly people and know how a teddy bear helps soften the harshness of this world. Our mission is to put the comfort of a teddy bear into the arms and hearts of traumatized children and lonely adults.”
Icing the puck
New Komet center Logan Nelson lived with the same billet family as Taylor Crunk in juniors. After going to training camp with Rapid City and playing with Norfolk and Orlando already this season, he’s hoping to find a place to stick… Former Komets owner Colin Lister has been selected for the Indiana High School Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame. Lister, who died in 2010, will be inducted Jan. 27 in Indianapolis… Toledo captain Alden Hirschfeld underwent season-ending knee surgery on Tuesday after playing in nine games… With 14 games, including four Wednesday road games, December is the Komets’ second-busiest month of the season. They play 15 games in March… Forward Marc-Olivier Roy has played in two games so far with San Jose of the AHL with no points. Arthur Tyanulin has yet to play for Tucson since getting called up.