Wolf Pack Weekly: Nils Lundkvist gets Hartford’s offense going

Hartford’s offense returned in spectacular fashion this past weekend to snap a two game skid. The Wolf Pack fell short of sweeping their games by dropping Sunday’s decision in regulation by a score of 6-3.

However, the Wolf Pack managed to collect four of six points to maintain good positioning in the Atlantic Division. These games are becoming more critical as the season progresses with Hartford having 25 games remaining on the docket. Playoff positioning is far from being determined.

This week features three games with action beginning on Wednesday night.

Wolf Pack Weekly: Nils Lundkvist Bounces Back

After recent struggles, which is expected for first year players, Nils Lundkvist played fantastic this past weekend. In addition to providing points to help jumpstart the offense (one goal and two assists), Lundkvist has been solid on the defensive end as well.

Lundkvist has been reliable making multiple strong plays in the defensive zone. He did a great job utilizing his speed, stick, and hockey IQ to frustrate opponents.

Through 17 games, Lundkvist has registered two goals and five assists for seven points. The prospect should continue to develop and gain further confidence in Hartford.

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Nils Lundkvist struggling (Photo: Kelly Shea / Hartford Wolf Pack)

Wolf Pack Watch: In Net

Keith Kinkaid

The veteran netminder continues to have a strong season in Hartford. After splitting the weekend, Kinkaid’s record stands at 17-5-2 for a 2.70 goals against average and a .911 save percentage. Kinkaid has notched one shutout as well.

The veteran is reliable and will give the Pack a chance to secure two points any given night. Kinkaid is a great goaltender to have in the organization.

As trade deadline approaches, it will be interesting to see what the Rangers do. If they trade Alexandar Georgiev, Keith Kinkaid would be a great replacement in New York.

However, the question remains for the goaltending situation in Hartford. They could have a Tyler Wall and Adam Huska combination, but Wall has struggled. Francois Brassard had a good brief stint in Hartford and is currently with Jacksonvile. We shall see what happens in a few weeks.

Adam Huska

The 24 year-old goaltender secured another win for Hartford in his lone start last weekend. In a backup role, Huska has continued to take strides in his development giving Hartford a fighting chance in games.

Despite playing well, Huska struggled earlier in the season. He has now won his last four of seven starts. As Kinkaid is the main goaltender, Kris Knoblauch has done a great job rotating the workload for them both

Huska’s record is now 6-6-3 with a 2.35 goals against average and a .917 save percentage.

Wolf Pack Watch: The Skaters

Hartford’s Captain Extended

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Jonny Brodzinski (Photo: Kelly Shea / Hartford Wolf Pack)

Monday morning had a nice surprise for Wolf Pack fans as Jonny Brodzinski will stay in the organization for another two seasons.

Hartford’s captain joined the Wolf Pack in the 2020-2021 season and has played spectacularly. The 28 year old veteran is a great player to have around. From his offensive abilities to leadership, Brodzinski has brought it all to the table. In fact, the captain is 10 points away from tying his career high in the AHL of 49 points (2016-17 season). Through 36 games this season, the forward collected 39 points which is currently his second best season high.

The extension provides stability in Hartford as the Rangers want the organization to be competitive from top to bottom. The captain returning is already a great start for next season. The Wolf Pack are in good hands with management as they continue to show the importance of having a strong AHL club.

Ty Ronning’s Strong Weekend

The 24 year old forward was buzzing last weekend. In the three in three, Ronning collected two goals and three assists for five points. The experienced forward was monumental in helping to secure the win on Friday against Springfield (3-1). He also help assisted in Hartford’s win on Saturday against Providence (5-2).

Ronning is another good depth forward for the organization. He utilizes his speed and skill, along with the ability to provide the quick breakout from his solid passes. Ronning surpassed his career high in the AHL (last season) of 18. Through 44 games this season, Ronning secured 12 goals and 15 assists for 27 points.

Wolf Pack Special Teams

Power Play

Hartford collected five power play goals last weekend. They had two on Saturday followed by three on Sunday. After a solid power play in the beginning of the season, Hartford tapered off as the season progressed with the man advantage. They have found a recent spark which bodes well for the upcoming games. The power play operates at 19.1%, which ranks the group 19th in the league. The club registered 30 goals on the power play and gave up seven short-handed goals.

Penalty Kill

Hartford had an amazing outing with the penalty kill on Saturday. Providence had eight power play opportunities, which Hartford killed all of them along with pushing back on the Bruins while short-handed. The Wolf Pack are 14th in the league, operating at 81.1%. The club has given up 31 goals on the penalty kill while registering seven short-handed goals.

Wolf Pack One Timers

  • Jonny Brodzinski has points in three games straight. He recorded one goal and four assists. The captain had a three point night (three assists) on Saturday.
  • Anthony Greco has points in three straight as well. The veteran recorded three assists and one goal.
  • Patrick Khodorenko recorded his fifth goal of the season on Saturday. This backhand was a beauty to witness.
  • Justin Richards had a two goal performance on Friday against Springfield.
  • Cristiano DiGiacinto continues to provide grit and a physical presence to the lineup. He dropped the gloves on Friday to provide a spark.
  • Matt Lorito had a three point weekend. The veteran recorded one goal and two assists. Lorito recorded a two point performance on Saturday of one goal and one assist.

Wolf Pack Upcoming Schedule

Entering Wednesday, Hartford is ranked third in the Atlantic Division with a record of 25-16-4-2 for 56 points (.596). You can check the latest standings here.

Wednesday, March 2nd vs Belleville Senators (Ottawa) at 7pm, XL Center

  • This is the first of four meetings between the clubs. The teams did not play one another last season. The second meeting will be on March 19th while Hartford is on a five game road trip. The last two meetings will be in April.
  • Entering Wednesday, Belleville is 23-21 for 46 points (.523). That ranks the group fifth in the North Division and 10th in the Eastern Conference. However, the Senators are 7-3 in their last 10 outings. Belleville also won their last three of five outings.
  • Ottawa’s prospect Egor Sokolov experienced forward Jake Lucchini co-lead the Senators in points with 31. Sokolov registered 14 goals and 17 assists in 37 games. Lucchini recorded 14 goals and 17 assists in 44 games.
  • Listen – Mixr. Watch – AHLTV.

Saturday, March 5th vs Hershey Bears (Washington) at 7:30pm, XL Center

  • This is the fifth of six meetings in the season series. Hartford is 3-1 against the Bears thus far. The final meeting of the season will conclude in Hartford on March 26th.
  • Entering Wednesday, Hershey is 26-19-3-3 for 58 points (.569). That ranks the group fourth in the Atlantic Division and eighth in the Eastern Conference. The Bears are 4-6 in their last 10 outings. They also have lost their last three of five outings.
  • Forwards Axel Jonsson-Fjallby and Mike Vecchione co-lead the Bears in points on the active roster with 34. Jonsson-Fjallby recorded 16 goals and 18 assists in 43 games. Vecchione recorded 12 goals and 22 assists in 37 games. Hershey is without their leading scorer currently as Joe Snively is with Washington.
  • Listen – Mixr. Watch – AHLTV.

Sunday, March 6th vs Bridgeport Islanders (New York) at 3pm, XL Center

  • This is the ninth of 10 meetings in the season series. Hartford lead the season series with a record of 5-2-0-1 against Bridgeport. The final meeting will be in Bridgeport on April 23rd.
  • Entering Wednesday, Bridgeport is 19-23-5-4 for 47 points (.461). That ranks the group eighth (last) in the Atlantic division and 14th in the Eastern Conference. The Islanders are 4-5-1 in their last 10 outings. Bridgeport has lost their last three of five games as well.
  • Vetearn Chris Terry leads the Islanders in points with 40. Through 42 games, Terry secured 17 goals and 23 assists. Forward Otto Koivula is second on the team with points of 36. Koivula secured 10 goals and 26 assists in 43 games.
  • Listen – Mixr. Watch – AHLTV.