Indy Fuel have lost their flame


Logan Flake, Reporter

After what was seemingly a promising start to the season, the Indy Fuel have not only come back down to earth but have come plummeting down into it in a fiery blaze of sadness and disappointment.

The Fuel started the season with a win in their first game of the year. I was there for that game, and it was nice to see them win the home opener as opposed to the terrible choke that occurred in last year’s opening game, in which they gave up four unanswered goals in the 3rd period to eventually lose in a shootout.

The Fuel went on to formulate a stretch that made me optimistic as a fan, earning a record of nine wins, three losses, one overtime loss, and zero shootout losses in their first 13 games whilst going undefeated at home during that stretch. Then, everything changed when the Fuel, coming into the game on a five-game winning streak, walked into Quad City and lost to the Mallards 2-1 on the road.

Ever since that loss to Quad City, the Fuel haven’t been the same. They’ve gone 1-10 in their last 11 games, nine of those losses coming in a row with only one win in between that streak and another loss to stop the bleeding momentarily. They also lost their first home games of the season during this time, in fact losing five home games in a row during this 11-game period.

What was to blame for this abysmal set of games? In my eyes it was the long, unforgiving road trip that the Fuel had to endure at the end of November. That’s where the streak started, and that’s what I feel caused the Fuel to fall apart like they have. They’ve never been a good team on the road even dating back to last year, and this year it isn’t looking any different for them. So far, the Fuel boast a 3-9 record when playing away from Indianapolis, with five of those losses coming in a row as a representation of the span of road games at the the tail end of November.

I think that the Fuel’s schedule also shows us part of the reason why they have lost as many games as they have recently. They played those five road games within the course of eight days in three different states. Sure, you can’t blame the team’s schedule for their god-awful play, but it isn’t hard to see that their schedule hasn’t been kind to them. The fact that the Fuel aren’t a good road team to begin with, combined with the fact that they had to play five road games in a row with little time to rest, makes for a cocktail of defeat for them.

I guess in retrospect I really don’t have that much room to complain. This time last year, the Fuel had the pitiful overall record of 5-14-2-3 that added up to 15 miniscule points and a spot at 7th place in their division. This year, in as many games, they have a 10-12-2 record, which is good enough for 22 points and 4th place in the division. However, if they continue to lose like they have been recently, especially on the road, they won’t be in the position that they’re in now for much longer. The gap is growing larger and larger between the Fuel and the teams out in front of them in the division. Soon enough, the Fuel are really going to start seeing and feeling the drawbacks of losing so many games in a row, and if they don’t put an end to this trend soon, they might dig themselves into a hole that they can’t get out of and miss out on the playoffs again. For the sake of the organization, the rest of the fanbase and my sanity, I really hope that doesn’t happen.