Wolf Pack Weekly: Bobby Trivigno makes strong debut, but team skid continues

Bobby Trivigno
Bobby Trivigno (Photo: Kelly Shea / Hartford Wolf Pack)

New York Rangers late season acquisitions, Bobby Trivigno and Maxim Letunov made strong debuts for the Hartford Wolf Pack. Unfortunately, they weren’t enough to stop the team’s current skid.

The Wolf Pack completed last week’s four game schedule and their woes continued. The club dropped each contest in regulation before secured a point on Monday against the Providence Bruins (4-3 overtime loss) to start a new week.

Hartford is 0-2-1 thus far in April and are 2-7-1 in their last ten games. Dating back to February, they are 9-14-3. Highlighted by an awful March where they went 4-8-1.

The gradual decline is cause for concern as they approach the 2022 Calder Cup Playoffs.

Hartford Wolf Pack Watch

For the majority of the season, the team was a shoe-in for the playoffs with one of the top records in the AHL. Today, the club is in the middle tier and fighting to secure a playoff spot, even after the playoffs were expanded (to six teams in the Atlantic Division).

As of Tuesday night, Hartford is ranked fifth in the division with a record of 29-26-6-2 for 66 points (.524). The standings are tight as the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins are in the final spot with 68 points (.523) and behind the Wolf Pack by .1 as standings are based on point percentage.

Scoreboard watching is a must as Hershey is ahead of Hartford, but aren’t out of reach (.538). The Bears helped the Pack by defeating Bridgeport (in seventh), while the Penguins play on Wednesday against Lehigh Valley. The Penguins could potentially move into fifth if they win or secure a point.

Hartford is looking to make the Calder Cup Playoffs for the first time since the 2014-15 season. That is in jeopardy if the club continues their losing ways.

To complete this week, Hartford will face Charlotte for three in a row.

Wolf Pack New Additions

Bobby Trivigno

The 23 year old prospect played his first two professional games last Saturday and Monday. Trivigno is another good addition to Hartford’s roster as the club is struggling for consistency. In his debut, the forward had an impressive outing, showcasing his speed and ability to make stellar passes. Despite Hartford dropping the game by a score of 8-5, Trivigno was impactful in attempt to give Hartford a fighting chance in the contest. The forward recorded two primary assists which helped set up beautiful goals.

The second point of the night was impressive as Trivigno helped the offense with pressure and found Nick Merkley at the right spot.

For his first professional outing with Hartford, the Rangers prospect has looked stellar. In his second game against Providence, Trivigno was held off the scoresheet. Trivigno needs time to adjust but will be key to securing a playoff spot.

Maxim Letunov

Hartford Wolf Pack
Wolf Pack new additions Maxim Letunov and Bobby Trivigno (Photo: Kelly Shea / Hartford Wolf Pack)

After being acquired on the American Hockey League Trade Deadline Day on March 28th, the 26 year-old forward has brought size and versatility to Hartford’s roster. Through four games, Letunov notched two points (one goal, one assist) in a Wolf Pack uniform. Previously this season with the Chicago Wolves, Letunov secured 13 goals and 10 assists for 23 points.

Hartford’s coaching staff has liked Letunov’s play since joining the organization, giving the forward solid minutes. Letunov in the last two games played with Nick Merkley and Bobby Trivigno and the forward line had good looks offensively, along with solid chances against opponents.

Keith Kinkaid Struggles

After a strong start to the first half of the season, the veteran netminder has struggled in recent weeks. The 32 year-old’s decline began in February and he’s unable to make saves consistently.

In fairness to Kinkaid, the defense has as well. For instance, Kinkaid and Adam Huska received less support from the blue line as both goalies faced continual high quality chances (breakaways, two on ones, etc.) in games. The veteran must bounce back before its too late as the playoffs are coming. Earlier in the season, Kinkaid was able to keep Hartford afloat in games and helped them securing points.

Keith Kinkaid is 20-9-2 with a 3.05 goals against average and a .900 save percentage. He’s lost his last three of four starts.

Wolf Pack One Timers

  • Anthony Greco has been held off the scoresheet for three straight games. Currently the veteran recorded 17 goals and 33 assists for 50 points in 57 games.
  • Nick Merkley has points in three straight (two goals, two assists for four points).
  • Ty Ronning’s career high in points is now up to 36 points. The forward collected two goals last Saturday. Ronning compiled 17 goals and 19 assists in 60 games.
  • Zac Jones has points in two straight games (two assists). The defenseman has points in the last 11 of 15 games (four goals, nine assists for 13 points).
  • Maxim Letunov recorded points in the last two of three games (one goal, one assist).
  • Patrick Khodorenko has goals in back to back games. He has points in the last six of 11 games (four goals, three assists for seven points).
  • Veteran Matt Lorito sat the last two games.

Injury Updates

  • Tim Gettinger- He is out day to day and is expected to return later this week.
  • Nils Lundkvist- He returned to the lineup on Monday after missing three games. He was out day to day as well.

Playoff Primer

Check out the latest on playoff positioning here in addition to Hartford’s magic number to clinch a playoff birth.

AHL on the Beat: Ronning thriving as intensity grows for Wolf Pack

Check out the latest article by Patrick Williams on Ty Ronning’s performance.

Hartford Wolf Pack Schedule

Hartford has three games remaining on the docket this week before heading to Canada. The Wolf Pack have nine games remaining overall (two home, seven away).

Thursday, April 7th vs Charlotte Checkers (Florida) at 7pm, Bojangles Coliseum

  • This is the third of six meetings in the season series. Hartford is 0-1-1 against the Checkers thus far. The first two meetings were in Hartford (3-2 loss on 10/30, 2-1 OT loss on 1/12). This begins three games straight against the Checkers.
  • In franchise history, the Wolf Pack have yet to win against the Checkers in Charlotte. Hartford has secured one point in Charlotte all time (In the 2019-2020 season).
  • Entering Thursday, Charlotte is 37-23-4 for 78 points (.609). That ranks the group second in the Atlantic Division and third in the Eastern Conference. The Checkers are 7-2-1 in their last ten outings and have won three straight.
  • Experienced forward Alexander True leads the Checkers in offense with 38 points. In 52 games, True secured 14 goals and 24 assists. Scott Wilson and Cole Schwindt are tied for second on the roster for points at 37. Veteran Wilson secured 23 goals and 14 assists in 63 games. Rookie Schwindt secured 18 goals and 19 assists in 64 games.
  • Listen – Mixlr (Charlotte’s feed). Watch – AHLTV.

Friday, April 8th vs Charlotte Checkers (Florida) at 7pm, Bojangles Coliseum

  • This is the fourth of six meetings in the season series.
  • Hartford is 10-14-4-1 on the road. Charlotte is 20-9-4 at home thus far.
  • Listen – Mixlr (Charlotte’s feed). Watch – AHLTV.

Sunday, April 9th vs Charlotte Checkers (Florida) at 1pm, Bojangles Coliseum

  • This is the final meeting in Charlotte between the clubs. The final meeting will be in Hartford on April 22nd.
  • The Wolf Pack will begin their second Canadian road-trip next week. The group will have three more games remaining on their seven game road-trip. The group will visit Belleville on Wednesday and Toronto on Friday. The trip concludes on Saturday in Rochester.
  • Listen – Mixlr (Charlotte’s feed). Watch – AHLTV.