Wolves: Scouting the Enemy

(Photo Credit: Ross Dettman)
Jordan Binnington has had a great first full season in the AHL. After the Admirals were shutout what will it take for them to put pucks past him and the Chicago Wolves this afternoon? (Photo Credit: Ross Dettman)

Remember how the Admirals were shutout by the Grand Rapids Griffins 4-0? Welp, while we were all enjoying a day off, the Griffins and Petr Mrázek did it again. They shutout today’s opponents, the Chicago Wolves, 5-0 to push their point streak to 12 games and lead over the Admirals to 6 points.

~Short & Sweet~

The Amtrak Rivals currently have a record of 27-21-5-1 (60 points) which sees them in fourth place of the Midwest Division and ninth in the Western Conference. They trail the Admirals for third place in the division by 6 points and each have played 54 games on the season.

The Wolves are 6-4-0-0 (12 points) in their last 10 games. They’ve lost back-to-back games in regulation, both at home, by a combined score of 10-2. They have a +9 goal scoring differential (149 goals forced, 140 goals allowed). Their power-play at home ranks twenty-second in the league, 13.8% conversion rate, and penalty kill at home is twenty-eighth with a 79.3% kill rate.

~On To The Next Big Bad Goalie~

Jordan Binnington‘s first full season of AHL work has been rather successful. He’s been first choice goalie over Matt Climie this season for Chicago and has earned that role. Binnington has a record of 18-12-3-1 in net with a 2.42 goals against average, 0.913 save percentage, and 2 shutouts.

In the last month Binnington was the work horse in net. He played in all 9 games for the Wolves last month, won 5 games, had a 2.37 goals against average, 0.919 save percentage, and shutout. It’s worth saying though that he started to wear down by the end of February. He lost his last 2 games and allowed 7 goals in those contests. He started yesterday’s game against the Griffins but was pulled after two periods of play.

~Lacking Their Ignitor~

It’s not that Ty Rattie isn’t on the ice but that he hasn’t been playing like himself for nearly two months. Through the 2014 side of the calendar Rattie had 22 points (15 goals, 7 assists). Since? He has only produced 7 points (2 goals, 5 assists) in 16 games.

When looking into his shots per game totals it isn’t as if things are going too wrong but he is falling off a cliff: October, 4.2 shots per game… November, 3.0 shots per game… December, 3.0 shots per game… January, 2.7 shots per game…February, 4.0.

Could be a slight funk. Perhaps he’s playing with a nagging injury? The fact remains that the biggest weapon in the Wolves arsenal right now has flamed out. Comes as no surprise to see the Wolves results coming and going with Rattie’s form, either.

Expectations for tonight’s game? Which team will rebound with a win tonight? What do the Admirals need to do to get their offense back and rolling?

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