Wolf Pack Weekly: Three Game Skid Snapped
Hartford enters the weekend with a three-game winning streak, after snapping a three-game losing streak last Friday against Utica. All three victories were in overtime, with Filip Chytil ending the game against Utica and Vince Pedrie on Sunday against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. Then, on Wednesday, Cole Schneider notched the game-winning goal against Utica. After multiple roster moves by the organization, the Wolf Pack have found life after their slump. Let’s check out what is happening in Wolf Pack world.
Entering the weekend, Hartford is 18-20-3-3 for 42 points (.477 point percentage), putting the club sixth in the Atlantic Division.
You may think Hartford is in trouble, and they are to a certain extent. However, the fight for the top four spots for post-season action is within range for the club. The Charlotte Checkers hold the fourth and final playoff spot in the division. They have registered 49 points for a .583 point percentage, with Hartford seven points behind the Checkers. The hill is steep, but not impossible to climb. The schedule has great timing for the Wolf Pack to catch up with Charlotte as the Pack will face the Checkers twice this weekend. Hartford could inch four points closer to Charlotte.
Looking at the teams that separate the Wolf Pack and Checkers, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers are ahead of Hartford by six points for fifth. The Sound Tigers have built themselves room for error. If Hartford can go on a lengthy point streak or winning streak, they would be well in the fight for fourth. The third-place Providence Bruins have 52 points. The Phantoms are in second with 55 points but have a lower Points Percentage (.640 PTS%) than the first place Penguins with 54 points and a .675 PTS%.
Similar to the New York Rangers, Hartford had an injury bug as well, and the Wolf Pack are hoping to regain a few players back in the upcoming weekend. Here are the current players out. Returning players from the injury list include Lias Andersson, Dan DeSalvo, and Steven Fogarty.
- Marek Mazanec – Left the game after falling awkwardly when making a save on Friday. There is no timetable for return. He left with pains on his right leg, putting no weight on it.
- Shawn O’Donnell – Injured in his first game back with Hartford on Friday. Had facial injuries and he should be back shortly.
- Ryan Sproul – He is out after a late injury on Friday. No word on his status.
- Lias Andersson was added to the roster on January 15th.
- Shawn O’Donnell was added to the roster January 18th. The Wolf Pack are looking for more grit in the lineup. Shawn O’Donnell was with the team between 2013-2016, as an old face returns for his second run with the club.
- Chris Langkow was added as another center for Hartford. He played in two games over last weekend. Added on the 19th, and released on the 22nd. The forward spent time in Hartford earlier in the season.
- The Rangers called up Anthony DeAngelo and Dan Catenacci on the 19th, though Catenacci was sent back to Hartford on the 25th.
- Brandon Halverson makes his first appearance to Hartford this season through a call up.
- In addition, Sergey Zborovskiy debuted in a Hartford uniform this past weekend too on the blue line.
Remembering an old Friend
Former Whale forward Andrew Carroll suddenly passed away on Monday at the age of 32. Andrew Carroll played in Hartford in the 2009-10 season and the 2012-13 season. In addition, he played in Greenville in the 2009-10 season and the 2013-14 season. Thank you for the memories and rest in peace.
Game Notes From Wednesday
For the first time in franchise history, Hartford has won three straight games in overtime. Lias Andersson was paired with Gabriel Fontaine and Adam Chapie. The young forward was getting back into the groove. Filip Chytil extends his point streak to three games. In addition, he’s notched points in four of the last five games (2G, 4A). Alexandar Georgiev has won two straight in net as well.
Friday, January 26th vs Charlotte Checkers (Carolina), 7:15 pm, XL Center
- This will be the second meeting of the season with Charlotte. The last time these teams met was on opening night for Hartford on October 6th. Charlotte grabbed the win in the first meeting with a late goal, 5-4. Since then, Charlotte has been a streaky team, surging periodically. The Checkers have floated around the middle of the standings in the Atlantic Division. Both Charlotte and Hartford enter the weekend winning four of their last ten games.
Saturday, January 27th vs Charlotte Checkers (Carolina), 7:30 pm, XL Center
- The game is “Stick it to Cancer Night”. Proceeds from the game will benefit the American Cancer Society.
- Charlotte is 11-9 on the road entering the weekend.
Editor’s Note: AHL playoff seeding is done based on points percentage and not by total points.