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at Bloomington
When: 8 p.m. today
Radio: 1190 AM

Shuffling the line always a gamble for K’s

It is a vicious circle.

The players get frustrated, and sometimes don’t play consistently, because Komets coach Al Sims keeps shuffling the lines.

Sims keeps shuffling the lines when players aren’t producing.

It’s a game that’s been going on for years, but one that has paid off for the most part. Since rejoining the Komets 2007, Sims has won three IHL championships, made the CHL’s Turner Conference semifinals and has Fort Wayne tied for first in the conference at 29-15-2.

And Sims has been jumbling the lines a lot recently.

It paid off in a 4-1 victory over Quad City on Friday, when the line of Colin Chaulk, Chris Auger and Artem Podshendyalov accounted for two goals and six points.

After a 5-0 loss at Dayton on Saturday, Sims was back to putting new combinations together.

The shuffling didn’t work as the Komets lost 4-3 Sunday at Bloomington, Ill.

“As a coach, you just play the odds and hope chemistry develops. That’s what we’re looking for,” Sims said. “As a coach, you have to (do this) constantly, especially if you’re not scoring. If we’re going one or two goals a game, you have to try and mix it up as much as you can and find the right combinations.”

No line combinations were going to make up for the Komets’ penalty problems over the weekend.

The Komets had won four in a row before going 112 minutes, 57 seconds without scoring a goal.

While it’s easy to blame the offense, penalties were the bigger issue in the losses. Fort Wayne was short-handed 13 times, giving up four power-play goals. The Komets were 1 for 8 on their power plays and gave up a short-handed goal to Bloomington’s Jason Dale.

Meantime, the Komets let the Monday deadline to sign players coming back from Europe pass without making a move, a week after they made no transactions at the CHL trade deadline.

Any roster upgrades will now have to come through North American free agency. The Komets plan to bring in at least one player from juniors or college before the playoffs.

Center Leo Thomas, who has missed the last eight games for personal reasons, might be activated for tonight’s game at Bloomington (17-24-5), general manager David Franke said.

Note: A team of Komets’ Legends will face the Detroit Red Wings Alumni on March 10 at 5 p.m., before the current Komets play host to Evansville at 7:30 p.m. at Memorial Coliseum.