Wolf Prowl (Special Weekend Edition)- November 27th, 2011

Patrick Johnston
November 27 2011 12:37PM


Eddie Lack's Wolves are playing back-to-back against the Rivermen this weekend

Apologies for the delay in this week's Wolf Prowl, it was a crazy finish to the term for me. We'll be back on our regular schedule this week.

After a slow start to the year, the Wolves seem to be rounding into form. The offence, which had been misfiring, is now finding the back of the net with regularity. The defence still has some causes for concern, but in general has improved. (Special thanks to friend of the blog Wolfkeeper for his continued efforts in putting highlights up on youtube)

Weekend Wrap

The Wolves closed out their 'road' stretch a week ago Friday , smashing arch-rival Milwaukee 6-3. Their return to the Allstate Arena last Saturday didn't go so well, as they lost 4-3 to the visiting San Antonio Rampage. They also played a mid-week home game vs Texas, bouncing back to win 3-2. Last night the Wolves returned to their winning ways, taking out the Rivermen 5-3.

Standouts

Darren Haydar continued his strong play of late, picking up 6 points in 3 games. He was also +4 against the Admirals. Mark Mancari also had a strong game against Milwaukee, setting up two goals and scoring one of his own. Mark Matheson was +4 in that same game. Kevin Connauton is really firing on all cylinders, he scored a pair of goals and a pair of assists. He also wore an 'A' in Wednesday's game. Adam Polasek picked up a goal in the first period against Texas, his first pro goal. Matt Climie continued his strong play, making 40 saves against Texas and 31 against the Admirals. Anton Rodin scored a beautiful end-to-end goal against the Rampage. Anton Rodin's goal against San Antonio was an end-to-end gem. Jordan Schroeder scored a pair of goals last night, after having gone goalless in the previous five games. Schroeder's 2nd goal was into an empty net, assisted by Rodin. The two youngsters being on the ice in the last minute to protect a one-goal lead is a huge testament to the trust Craig MacTavish has in them.

Lowlights

Haydar, Mancari and Nathan Longpre were all -3 in the loss to San Antonio and Sebastian Erixon was -2. Eddie Lack made his first start in five games in Saturday's loss, but gave up 4 goals on 26 shots. Lack didn't have much defensive help on any of the three goals in Saturday's win. Situational awareness and puck-watching continue to be a problem for the Wolves' defensive corps.

Lineup Notes

JP Testuwide played his first two games of the year, after being recalled from the Central league. Yann Sauve only played in Friday's game. Lack and Climie both made visits to Vancouver to back up Cory Schneider, but neither missed a game for the Wolves. Chris Tanev finally got back into the lineup, and played all three games in the last week. Victor Oreskovich remains injured.

The lineup was juggled quite a bit between the three games, so lines were a complete mish-mash. Once the lineup settles again, we'll give another picture of who is playing with whom. The Wolves are currently scratching EIGHT (!) players per game.

Steve Reinprecht played his first game of the year versus Peoria, setting up two goals, including Mark Matheson's tip on a wonderful power-play slap pass.

The Hunting Ahead

The Wolves have another home game Sunday against Peoria. The Rivermen are 9-10-1-1, and the Wolves (9-6-0-2) are now tied, though the Wolves have four games in hand.

 

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Patrick Johnston is a Vancouver journalist. In addition to regular contributions here at Canucks Army, his work has appeared in The Province, Hockey Now and on the CBC. Check out his blog and other writing at http://johnstonwrites.wordpress.com or follow him on twitter: @risingaction
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