It feels like it has been ages since we’ve seen the Chicago Wolves. The last time there was an Amtrak Rivalry game was Dec. 26 during the Admirals rough stretch where they lost 6-2 on home ice. Luckily, the season series has favored the Admirals who are 4-2-0-0 against the Wolves this season.
~Middle of the Pack~
The Wolves are 24-18-5-1 (54 points) this season and find themselves in fourth place of the tightly contested Midwest Division. They are 8 points back of the Admirals and have played a game more than the Ads have. Their record currently has them in eighth place of the Western Conference with a tie-break putting them over the Hamilton Bulldogs.
In the Wolves last 10 games they have gone 5-3-1-1 (12 points). They are coming off of a 2 game sweep in Charlotte against the Checkers where they won 4-1 in each game.
There are so many quality scorers on the Wolves this season. Case and point, their main trigger man Ty Rattie is actually fourth on the team in scoring right now with 28 points (17 goals, 11 assists). The top scorer on the team is Pat Cannone with 36 points (10 goals, 26 assists). Second on the team, and leading the Wolves in goal scoring, is Shane Harper with 33 points (21 goals, 12 assists).
In the head-to-head this season the top scorers for the Wolves are none of the names mentioned above: Jeremy Welsh, 6 points (4 goals, 2 assists)… Brent Regner, 5 points (2 goals, 3 assists)… Terry Broadhurst, 5 points (1 goal, 4 assists)… Jake Chelios, 5 points (0 goals, 5 assists).
Curious where the Admirals head-to-head scoring is against the Wolves this season? There are four players all tied for the team lead in the match up: Austin Watson, 4 points (3 goals, 1 assist)… Viktor Arvidsson, 4 points (1 goal, 3 assists)… Mark Van Guilder, 4 points (1 goal, 3 assists)… Brendan Leipsic, 4 points (0 goals, 4 assists).
~Between The Pipes~
The Wolves have been led in net this season by rookie Jordan Binnington. He has a record of 15-9-3-1 on the season with a 2.37 goals against average, 0.914 save percentage, and a shutout. Against the Admirals he has won both times he’s played this season and has a 1.50 goals against average and 0.933 save percentage.
~Learning On The Fly~
A real story tonight will be just how Jaynen Rissling and Jared Nightingale work on the Admirals defense. Interestingly enough, Nightingale’s addition means that the Admirals will have three right handed shooting defensemen for the first time all season.
Nightingale should be able to slot in easily enough, I think. It’s Rissling that I am most curious about as this should be his AHL debut tonight. How will he handle the pace? And will he introduce himself to the team by dropping the gloves? It worked for Anthony Bitetto in his home debut in Nashville last night. Why not?
Expectations for tonight? How will the Admirals defense work with two new additions? Could we be in-store for another offense needing to bail out the defense style game?