UTICA – The Comets have rocketed to a fast start.

The team has won five consecutive games, which constitutes the American Hockey League team’s best start among their seven seasons here. The Comets are one of two teams – along with North Division rival Toronto – to remain undefeated. And, the Comets have amassed a league-most 29 goals — Reid Boucher has an AHL-best eight of them — while allowing 11 to begin the season.

So, yes, there has been some early-season success for the Comets, who have played a fast-paced style thanks to an injection of skill and talent at forward. There have also been key efforts from the defense and goaltending.

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“We’re really happy where we’re at,” Comets coach Trent Cull said Tuesday as the team prepared for games Friday against Binghamton and Saturday at Hershey. "The guys deserve all the credit. They've done a very good job with how they've meshed with each other and how they're finding each other.”

One of the best examples of that chemistry has come from linemates Nikolay Goldobin, Sven Baertschi and Lukas Jasek, who has stepped in at center with the team in need at the position.

Goldobin (nine points) and Baertschi (eight points) have wasted little time making their case to get back to the NHL. Both are among top-10 for AHL points along with Boucher.

“I’m getting some confidence, obviously,” Goldobin said Tuesday. “This league is always hard. There’s a lot of young players who are trying to prove (they can play in the NHL). It is different hockey, so it is hard as well.”

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Goldobin, the 24-year-old Russian winger, was a standout in the Comets’ three wins last week in accumulating a goal, seven assists – with a few highlight plays, among them — and a plus-7 rating. For his efforts, he was the first Comets skater to earn the AHL’s Player of the Week award Monday.

“I wish I could get NHL player of the week. But it is still big for me,” Goldobin said with a smile. “It has only been four games, but hopefully I’ll get a (NHL) call-up or something.”

Goldobin – who is working on his all-around game — said he’s enjoyed playing with Baertschi and Jasek. How has the line found chemistry so quickly?

“I think the good thing is that we’re all Europeans,” Baertschi said with a laugh after Saturday’s win. “We all sort of think the same way. With Goldy, I’ve watched him play and I know what he’s all about. I know where the puck is going to end up. He’s such a versatile player. He can do it all, so it has been a lot of fun playing with him.

“Jasek is really good, too. ... We’re there for him. We’re trying to push him in the right direction, so he can be the best player he can be. It has been outstanding for our line, so hopefully we can continue that.”

Getting their kicks

The Comets took the opportunity to take time away from hockey, taking in an NFL game before the team’s schedule picks up.

On Sunday morning, players and coaching staff hopped on a bus and traveled to Buffalo to take in the Bills’ win over Miami.

“It was nice to hang out with the guys,” Goldobin said with a smile, “and drink water and eat hot dogs.”

Comets went to the Bills-Dolphins game Sunday.
How was the experience?

Goldobin: It was nice to hang with other guys and drink water and eat hot dogs.pic.twitter.com/3W66AxWvrH

— Ben Birnell (@OD_Birnell)October 22, 2019

Wacey Hamilton said the excursion provided a good team-building experience. The team also attended a Carolina Panthers game on a trip to North Carolina last season.

“It was just fun hanging around and not being on your way to work,” Cull said. “I think it has been great. I wanted to make sure we were (getting an opportunity to do) some of those things. I thought it was key for us for everyone to get on the same page together and see each other outside of work. I think it has been effective.”

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The team got to see a rare play when Bills safety Micah Hyde made an athletic play in jumping high in the air to catch an onside kick before returning it for a touchdown to help seal a 31-21 victory. Hamilton said his teammates were “fired up” on the play.

“I don’t think any of the guys had any fun at all,” Hamilton deadpanned Tuesday. “It was fun to watch. Those guys are such amazing athletes.”

Roll call

Forwards Carter Bancks (upper body), Tyler Graovac (leg) and Jonah Gadjovich (upper body strain) were not part of the main practice group Tuesday.

Bancks and Graovac each skated following Tuesday’s team practice. Gadjovich was not part of that group.

Cull said the team will see how each player progresses this week.