Wolf Pack Weekly: Hartford Returns Home
Hartford returns home from a two week trip that featured four games away from the XL Center. Four of their next five games will be at home, which would be great if the team was in the hunt for a playoff spot. There are eight games remaining. Hartford is close to becoming “mathematically eliminated” from playoff contention. As we approach another week of action, the Pack will face another challenging match up against the league leading Charlotte Checkers followed by a visit from the Belleville Senators.
Hartford enters the week in sole possession of eighth place in the Atlantic Division as the group’s record is 28-31-6-3 for 65 points. In the Eastern Conference, Hartford is 15th and is 27th in the league.
Another Missed Post-Season
I am anticipating the Wolf Pack becoming “mathematically eliminated” from the 2019 Calder Cup Playoffs this week. The group has 65 points and the maximum points possible are 81 points. Third place Providence and fourth place Hershey have 79 points. Two points for both clubs will effectively eliminate Hartford as the Pack do not own tie breakers against other teams. Providence plays on Wednesday against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and Hershey plays against Providence on Saturday.
Hartford will miss the playoffs for a fourth straight season and six of the last seven seasons. The franchise had made playoffs for 12 straight seasons before missing the post-season for the first time in the 2009-2010 campaign. Since then, the playoff record has dropped. The all-time record for making post-season is 15-6; and that is expected to change, becoming 15-7.
The Door Continues To Revolve
Considering the position where Hartford is currently at, the coaching staff has elected to give players from Maine and the college ranks a chance to play and impress Hartford’s management. There are multiple chances on the roster:
- Ryan Dmowski joins Hartford through an Amateur Tryout Agreement (ATO). The forward joined from University of Massachusetts – Lowell. The 22 year old has played with Shawn St. Amant in the past, reuniting two buddies. In 37 games, Ryan Dmowski notched 14 goals, and nine assists for 23 points. He joined Hartford on March 21st.
- Forward Drew Melanson was returned to Maine from Hartford on March 25th.
- Greg Chase joins Hartford through a Professional Tryout Agreement (PTO) on March 25th. The 24 year old from Maine returns to Hartford for his second stint with the Wolf Pack. In 36 games with Maine, the forward notched 20 goals, and 16 assists for 36 points.
Hartford Near Complete With Mini Series
The group is in a midst of a three game mini series against the Charlotte Checkers. Ironically, the group had this against the Checkers last season as well late in March. Last season, the Pack dropped all three to Charlotte and is 0-2 this season in the three game series. Hartford is still winless in Charlotte, all time. The group is 0-10 in the Bojangles’ Coliseum/Spectrum Center. The Pack will get a final crack against the Checkers on Friday night.
- Ryan Dmowski recorded his first point with Hartford last Saturday in Charlotte. He assisted on Shawn St. Amant’s tally.
- Steven Fogarty recorded both goals for Hartford on Sunday in Charlotte. Check out his beautiful goals here, for his 18th and 19th goals of the season.
- Steven Fogarty is having an impressive year in his fourth season with Hartford. In 58 games, the prospect notched 19 goals, 29 assists for 48 points. He broke his previous record of 22 points in the 2017-2018 campaign.
- Dustin Tokarski got revenge on Hartford as he skated away with a win against his former team last Sunday, stopping 24 of 26 shots. Ironically, the veteran goalie is still contracted with the Rangers.
- Check out the specialty jerseys the Wolf Pack are wearing on this Saturday for superhero night.
Watch Hartford For Free Friday
The American Hockey League Announced that Hartford’s Game on Friday against Charlotte will be streamed for free on the league’s Facebook page. This season, the AHL has streamed one game every Friday to showcase the future stars of tomorrow. You can view here.
The Rangers’ ECHL affiliate, the Maine Mariners, are having quite the season. The group has fought to be in playoff contention and has climbed up to grab a spot in the 2019 ECHL playoffs. Entering the week, Maine is fourth in the North Division with a record of 35-27-2-1 for 65 points. There are two weeks remaining in the ECHL regular season.
Hartford has five games at home and three games on the road. The next road action will occur next Wednesday in Springfield.
Friday, March 29th vs Charlotte Checkers (Carolina) at 7:15 pm, XL Center
- This is the eighth and final meeting of the season series against the Checkers. Hartford is 1-6 in the series, and are winless against Charlotte on the road (0-4) this season. Hartford is 1-2 at the XL Center when facing Charlotte this season.
- Charlotte continues to dominate the American Hockey League, becoming the first team to clinch a playoff spot and lead the league in points at 96. Charlotte’s record is 44-15-7-1. The Checkers are 21-9-2-1 on the road.
- Charlotte has points in seven straight (6-0-1) and are 8-1-1 in their last ten outings.
- Former Rangers draft pick Aleksi Saarela of Charlotte is the leader with goals at 24, and has 45 points in 60 games.
Saturday, March 30th vs Belleville Senators (Ottawa) at 7pm, XL Center
- This is the second and final meeting in the season series against the Senators. Last time out, on October 19th in Belleville, Hartford won 4-3. Hartford was 0-2 against the Senators last season.
- Belleville became impressive after Christmas as the group went from bottom of the North Division to now fighting for a playoff spot, notching points in nearly every game they have played since January. Belleville enters the week tied for fourth place with the Cleveland Monsters. The Senators have a record of 33-27-3-5 for 74 points.
- The Senators have hit a slump recently, going 0-2 and are 4-4-1-1 in the last ten games.