Wolf Pack Weekly: Hartford snaps 7 game losing streak

Hartford Wolf Pack
Zac Jones (Photo: Kelly Shea /Hartford Wolf Pack)

The playoffs are around the corner in the American Hockey League as the journey begins in the first week of May.

The Wolf Pack’s 2022 Calder Cup Playoff outlook has plenty of unknowns. Whether that be seeding to even if they make it at this rate. Their performance in recent weeks have precariously left them teetering and holding on to the last playoff spot (sixth in division).

The club has six games remaining on the docket over the next two weeks. They are off in the final week of the season which will leave them scoreboard watching.

Analyzing the week ahead, the Wolf Pack will have three games remaining to finish their seven game road-trip. The last weekend for the group will have Hartford home in the last two of three games.

Wolf Pack Weekly

Anthony Greco stays hot

The 28 year old veteran continues his solid performance in Hartford in last week’s action. This season, he’s collected 19 goals and 37 assists for 56 points in 60 games. That ranks Greco 19th in the AHL for points. He is also 12th in the league in assists.

Greco’s career high in points is 59 with the Springfield Thunderbirds (Florida’s affilate at the time) in the 2018-19 season. I expect the veteran to set a new career high by the end of the regular season.

In last Sunday’s game against Charlotte, Greco had a terrific outing to help Hartford snap a seven game losing streak. He secured one goal and three assists and was on the scoresheet for all of Hartford’s goals.

The veteran is nearly a point per game player at .93. This dominant performance comes after being held without a point in the last three of six games. Greco does not get held off the scoresheet for long. When he returns, he makes it known.

Greco’s consistent performance is vital to Hartford’s fight for playoff positioning. He has continued to play well despite being moved around the lineup, ranging from the first line to the third at times.

Zac Jones Boosts Blue Line

Hartford wolf pack
Zac Jones and Nils Lundkvist (Photo: Kelly Shea, Hartford Wolf Pack)

The Rangers prospect continues to perform well this season. The defenseman is active on all fronts and has elevated his game this past week.

On the offensive side, Jones continues to be reliable with strong passing and assisting in sequences that resulted in goals. The 21 year old has points in three of the four games played last week (one goal, three assists).

Defensively, he’s shown continual growth too, playing disciplined and being effective against opponents with his positioning, utilizing his hockey IQ well.

Jones has also shown some fight in his game when he dropped the gloves for the first time in his professional career. Jones attempted to spark Hartford after struggling in the first game against the Checkers and held his own.

While also being physical, Jones is still playing both ends of the ice very well and is the most likely call up if the Rangers need a defenseman.

Wolf Pack Win First Game in Charlotte in Franchise History

Hartford’s win against the Checkers in Sunday puts to bed of not being able to win a game in the city. Prior to Sunday’s win, the Wolf Pack were 0-15-1 against the Checkers regardless of the arena in Charlotte (Checkers played in the Spectrum Center from 2010-15 in the AHL).

The win should boost confidence in the group as they were able to fight through adversity and have an outcome that favored them.

The final meeting between both clubs in the six game season series return to Hartford on April 22nd.

Calder Cup Primer

Entering Wednesday’s game, Hartford’s magic number stands at ten. Scoreboard watching is essential as Bridgeport is close in the standings with Hartford. However, the Wolf Pack have the advantage with two games in hand on Bridgeport and both clubs will meet for the final time on April 23rd. Hartford owns the tie breaker against Bridgeport as well.

Another team to watch is the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. Despite being last in the Atlantic Division, the group has nine games remaining. They have work to do, but they have enough games to get close to Hartford’s positioning if they get on a lengthy point or win streak.

Check out the latest updates below.

Wolf Pack One Timers

  • Nick Merkley has points in the last six of nine games (four goals, three assists).
  • Ty Ronning has points in the last three of five games (two goals, two assists).
  • Tanner Fritz snapped his nine game drought on Sunday as he recorded one goal.
  • Patrick Khodorenko has points in the last nine of 14 games (five goals, five assists).
  • Cristiano DiGiacinto has points in the last two of four games (one goal, one assist).
  • Easton Brodzinski has not debuted yet with the Wolf Pack.

Wolf Pack Upcoming Games

The Wolf Pack will go on their second Canadian road-trip of the season, followed by a trip to Rochester, NY.

Wednesday, April 13th vs Belleville Senators (Ottawa) at 7pm, CAA Arena

  • This is the fourth and final meeting between the clubs. Hartford is 1-1-1 against Belleville thus far.
  • Entering the week, the Senators are 33-27-4 for 70 points (.547). That ranks the group sixth in the North Division and ninth in the Eastern Conference. Belleville lost two straight games and are 5-4-1 in their last ten outings. The group lost their last three of five as well.
  • Senators prospect Jake Lucchini leads Belleville in points with 46. Through 64 games, the forward collected 20 goals and 26 assists. Egor Sokolov is second on the roster with points at 43. Through 56 games, the forward collected 18 goals and 25 assists.
  • Listen – CJBQ 800 am (Belleville’s feed). Watch – AHLTV.

Friday, April 15th vs Toronto Marlies (Maple Leafs) at 7pm Coca-Cola Coliseum

  • This is the second and final meeting between the clubs. Hartford won the first outing by a score of 5-2 on January 19th at the XL Center.
  • Entering Wednesday, the Marlies are 34-26-3-1 for 72 points (.563). That ranks the group fourth in the North Division and seventh in the Eastern Conference. Toronto is 6-4 in their last ten outings. However, in the last five games, the Marlies are 2-3.
  • Forward Brett Seney leads the Marlies in points with 49. Through 54 games, Seney collected 16 goals and 33 assists. Defenseman Joseph Duszak is second in points with 48. Through 54 games, Duszak recorded seven goals and 41 assists. The defenseman is ranked second in points among AHL defenseman.
  • Listen – Mixlr (Toronto’s feed). Watch – AHLTV.

Saturday, April 16th vs Rochester Americans (Buffalo) at 7:05pm

  • This is the fourth and final meeting between the clubs. Hartford is 1-2 against Rochester thus far. In the last outing, Hartford secured a 2-1 overtime win at the XL Center on February 12th.
  • Entering Wednesday, Rochester is 33-26-6-3 for 75 points (.551). That ranks the group fifth in the North Division and eighth in the Eastern Conference. Rochester is 4-3-2-1 in their last ten outings and lost their last three of five games.
  • Sabres prospect JJ Peterka leads the Americans in points with 62. Through 62 games, the forward collected 24 goals and 38 assists. Rookie Jack Quinn is second in points with 54. Through 37 games, Quinn secured 25 goals and 29 assists.
  • Listen – 95.7fm The Fan (Rochester’s feed). Watch – AHLTV.