[ED: Please give a warm welcome to Ggooglyboogly who has graciously joined Nucks Misconduct as our Wolves contributor.]
Hello again, it’s Ggooglyboogly back with your Chicago Wolves weekly update on Nucksmisconduct.
The Wolves earned a split this weekend; dropping a Friday night tilt with the Milwaukee Admirals and winning Saturday night against the Texas Stars, the team who swept the Wolves in their 6 game season series last year.
The Wolves are currently tied with the Rockford Ice Hogs for last in the Midwest division with 8 points. Their high shot differential and weak offense are both major reasons as to why the Wolves are in last place. The Wolves are getting outshot in each game, the last 5 games the shots have been 34-22, 39-28, 37-29, 48-16 (not a typo), 32-39 all in favor of the opposing team. The good coming out of all of this is that the goaltending has been great during that stretch and the Wolves won 3 of those 5 games. I think the defense has played well, but the shot differential is troubling.
The offense has sputtered, averaging only two goals a game, and with some of the firepower on this team, that is surprising. Darren Haydar sported 27-47-74 totals last year and Marc Mancari had 34-34-68 totals in only 56 AHL contests last year. There are a lot of neutral zone turnovers and when they actually enter the offensive zone, there doesn't seem to be a plan to set up any sort of play. I think their lack of offensive plays points a finger to the system being run, and hopefully it starts to evolve and take advantage of some of the offensive talent on the roster.
Standouts of the week:
Mike Duco - Mike has been a joy to watch on the penalty kill, he's aggressive and disruptive and in my opinion, a large part of why the Wolves’ penalty kill has been so effective.
Bill Sweatt - Sweatt NEVER gives up on a play, even though he gives up a lot of size to the opponent. Saturday night, Sweatt poked the puck past Texas’ D man, skated through his check, got the puck back, fooled the goalie and dished to Darren Haydar for the finish, a pure effort goal.
Eddie Lack/Matt Climie - Both goalies have been outstanding, and without a lot of offensive support, they’ve had to be in order to get some wins .
The Wolves head out on the road and won’t return to the Allstate Arena until November 19th; this road trip is undoubtedly a very important part of the season. I'm hoping they take this time on the road to bond and become closer as a team.
In order to better provide updates, I will be upgrading to a FULL season ticket package rather than the 21 game package that I have now. I find I'm able to pick up on a lot more about the players when I'm at the games. I also get a jersey out of it, so it’s a WIN WIN for all of us!
That’s all for this week, you can follow me on twitter @ggooglyboogly for news and updates during the games.