Hartford Wolf Pack tailing off as team approaches holiday break

The Hartford Wolf Pack are in a minor slump as struggles persist in recent weeks against opponents in the North Division. Last weekend, Hartford collected two out of four possible points by losing both games in overtime.

From a standings perspective, Hartford is still on a two game point streak which helps maintain their strong positioning as the club is ranked second the Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference. Entering the final week before holiday break, Hartford has one more opportunity to snap their three game skid (0-1-2).

Related: Rangers prospects heading to WJC

Hartford Wolf Pack Weekly

Brennan Othmann
Hartford Wolf Pack start strong (Photo: John Mrakovcich / Hartford Wolf Pack)

Overtime Struggles

The Wolf Pack have gone to overtime in 6 of their last 8 games, an area where they’ll need to improve. Over the weekend, Hartford compiled 2 additional overtime losses, which brings the group to 5 losses in the extra frame, leading the league in that category.

There have been various reasons why the team hasn’t been able to be successful in OT. Whether it’s not converting on their chances as was the case versus Cleveland, or not supporting their goaltender in Toronto, the Pack need to be better.

Adam Sykora to Play in World Juniors

Sykora, 19, has been loaned to Slovakia to play in the World Juniors which runs from 12/26 to 1/5.

He’s expected to miss approximately 6 games. During that time, veteran Turner Elson will be given an opportunity to join the lineup as he continues to be the odd man out on the roster.

Sykora continues to have a delightful rookie season with Hartford, generating numerous quality chances and becoming more noticeable as the year progresses. He continues to utilize his speed and size well. Sykora also has a feisty aspect to his game, which is great to see. The young forward has registered 3 goals, 8 assists, for 11 points in 25 games to date.

Brennan Othmann Continues to Dazzle

Despite Othmann’s 5-game point streak ending in Laval, the 20 year-old forward continues his development in the AHL. While recording 1 assist over the weekend (against Toronto), Othmann is receiving top tier minutes and being given good opportunities on the power play.

One of Othmann’s stand out abilities has been reading and anticipating plays. It’s showing up in a big way on the stat sheet. With 9 goals and 20 points in 25 games, he’s developing nicely and I would not be surprised if he gets called up as he appears ready for the Rangers and the NHL.

Matej Pekar Provides Great Depth

Signed over the summer through an AHL deal, 23-year old center Pekar is providing good depth when in the Pack lineup. In his fourth pro season, Pekar has experience on the AHL and ECHL level.

The forward began the season with Hartford’s ECHL affiliate, the Cincinnati Cyclones. In 14 games prior to his call up, Pekar collected 8 goals and 4 assists for 12 points in 14 games. Beginning on December 1st, Pekar recorded 3 assists in 6 games and has become noticeable on the 3rd or 4th line.

Pekar brings a dynamic skill-set to Hartford, with great passes and ability to generate offensive chances with his limited minutes. He also brings an edge to his game and has not backed down from opponents, especially in scrums. The center is making enough noise to potentially have his role reconsidered and have a firmer spot in Hartford.

One Timers

  • Veteran Riley Nash recorded 2 assists over the weekend. He records 15 points in the last 13 games. In that span, he has 6 goals and 9 assists.
  • Brett Berard recorded 3 goals in the last 6 games.
  • Karl Henriksson recorded 1 goal and 1 assist over the weekend.
  • The front office brought in 10,109 fans in 2 games over the weekend.
    • In 13 home games, the Wolf Pack have 6 crowds over 5,000.
    • The number of games with crowds over 4,000 brings the total to 8. Two games was close to 4,000 as both were short by 200.

Hartford Wolf Pack Schedule

Hartford will have 1 game prior to Holiday break.

Friday, December 22nd vs Bridgeport Islanders (New York) at 7pm, XL Center

  • This is the 2nd of 10 meetings in the season series. Hartford won the first game in the season series by a score of 3-0 on November 10th. The third meeting will be held on December 30th in Hartford, followed by a fourth meeting in Bridgeport on January 4th.
  • Entering the week, Bridgeport is 7-16-1 for 15 points in the Atlantic Division. That ranks the group 8th (last) in the division and 15th (last) in the Eastern Conference. Bridgeport is 3-7 in their last 10 outings and snapped a 5 game losing streak on Saturday against Charlotte.
  • Islanders prospect Ruslan Iskhakov leads the team in points with 17. Through 24 games, the forward has 7 goals and 10 assists. Kyle MacLean and Dennis Cholowski co-lead 2nd in points on the roster with 14 apiece. MacLean has 6 goals and 8 assists in 24 games. Defenseman Cholowki has 2 goals and 12 assists in 24 games.
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Ricky Milliner is a Hartford Wolf Pack season ticket holder. While growing up, he discovered hockey by attending a... More about Ricky Milliner