Wolf Pack Weekly: A Strong Opening in Hartford
Two weeks are in the books for the Hartford Wolf Pack in this young season, and they’ve started off strong. Hartford finished last weekend winning both of their games. The club is 3-1, and could just as easily be 4-0 had they not blown the lead on opening night against Charlotte. The team has scored the first tally in each of their games, something their “parent organization” could start doing, and it has led Hartford to trail for just one minute all season. The addition of Filip Chytil has strengthened the club offensively, and he had an immediate impact over the past weekend.
Filip Chytil Impact
Since joining Hartford, Filip Chytil has made his presence known. The forward notched three points (1 goal, 2 assists) in Saturday’s win against Springfield. He was dominant and felt comfortable as he adopted to the Pack’s style of play, as well as his linemates. On Friday, his assist was removed after they replayed the situation.
But in both games, he helped the team out by doing the little things. He looks to generate offense, stays in proper position and tries to force turnovers when needed. As Filip Chytil plays more games with the group, he will become stronger and will start producing more and more points. If the Rangers need a call up, and we all know they do, Filip Chytil could be a strong candidate.
- Captain Joe Whitney had a three game point streak coming into last weekend. He recorded four points in three games, but had his streak snapped against Springfield.
- Like Whitney, Adam Tambellini had his three game point streak snapped on Saturday. He had goals in three straight outings, including the shootout deciding goal on October 8th against Lehigh Valley.
- Scott Kosmachuk’s point streak continues. He has points in three of four outings for Hartford, and has been rewarded with top line minutes. He’s generated multiple offensive chances and can move the puck well. Head coach Keith McCambridge was also satisfied with his playing.
“It’s a matter of keeping it simple, not getting fancy. I think myself, personally, I need to say out of the box. We built off last game and we’re going to do it again tomorrow.” – Kosmachuk
This is a guy with some potential and so far it is looking good. The forward has five assists in four games and plays the “set up guy” in offensive situations. His point streak is currently at two games. One highlight from last weekend was his three point night on Friday against the tough Toronto Marlies club. The forward had three assists in the outing.
- Cristoval “Boo” Nieves and Cole Schneider also have two game point streaks. Nieves had three points (2 goals, assist) this past weekend, while Schneider had a goal and an assist.
- Overall, 15 of 19 skaters have recorded at least a point in four games this season.
Chris Nell’s Hot Start
Chris Nell has been the workhorse in net this season. The goalie started in three straight games, winning all three contests, and has played 184:49 minutes in net. In that span, his goals against average is 1.95 with a save percentage of .935, stopping 86 of 92 shots towards him. His strong play in net has rewarded him time in net. He had terrific saves against Lehigh Valley and Toronto, which are both strong American Hockey League clubs. He also performed well against the Springfield Thunderbirds on Saturday, and head coach Keith McCambridge is riding Chris Nell’s hot streak.
Alexandar Georgiev played one game, and that was the first game of the season on October 6th against Charlotte. He will be anxious to play again and should be practicing hard. He may get a chance to play in the upcoming weekend as there is a three in three coming up.
Hartford has three games in three days coming up. They are home Friday, then on the road for the remainder of the weekend. This weekend will push the group as they are playing tough opponents:
- Friday, October 20th vs Belleville Senators at 7:15pm, XL Center
- The Belleville Senators are a gritty team who are not afraid of the rough action, and will wear teams down. Hartford has to play smart against Belleville as the Senators could get into their opponent’s heads.
- Saturday, October 21st @Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins at 7:05pm, Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza
- Despite the slow start for the Penguins, they are the one of the toughest opponents to play. The Penguins have shown shades of dominance against other teams. Hartford has struggled against the Penguins lately, getting swept by Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in the 2016-17 season series, 0-8. This will be the biggest challenge of the weekend.
- Sunday, October 22nd @ Bridgeport Sound Tigers at 3pm, Webster Bank Arena
- This is the first of ten meetings against the in state rivals, who Hartford also struggled against last season. The Sound Tigers are a hard working team that will also stir the pot up if needed. The season series against Bridgeport can get interesting depending on how the rivalry builds up throughout the season.