October 15 2012 12:01PM
If the NHL lockout weren't ongoing (with no end in sight, and more games likely to get cancelled this week), Canucks fans would be looking forward to tonight's tilt between the revamped Carolina Hurricanes, and the hometown Canucks. Thankfully, the game won't take place, which is good news for people who hate Semin/Semen jokes.
Unlike the Hurricanes, I'll quit Staaling and preview other entertainment options you might consider in hockey's absence this evening!
October 15 2012 12:13AM
Zack Kassian was a handful in the preseason against Rockford and he was a handful this weekend too. (Chris Jerina/AHL in Photos)
Playing two games in less than 24 hours is pretty standard for the AHL, so Sunday's tilt between the Wolves and the IceHogs might have been expected to be not as energetic as Saturday night's season opener. But it wasn't. In pushing the tempo the whole game, both teams set themselves up for a wide-open, skate-till-you're-gassed third period; it should be no suprise that six of the game's eight goals came in the final stanza. On the whole, the Wolves were better and fully deserving of their 5-3 win, even if it made for a scary finish.
Sunday's game was also a great example of how score effects work. Despite outchancing the IceHogs 17-9 by the time they'd scored their third goal of the game and looking just as dominant, the flow changed course. Rockford carried the play for the rest of the game, picking up 13 chances in the game's final 15 minutes to take the overall total 22-20. Eddie Lack was huge in the third and the forwards found the goal scoring touch that was lacking on Saturday night, get four of their five goals from gilt-edged chances. Oh and Zack Kassian was a monster.
More notes and stuff after the jump.
October 14 2012 10:03AM
Across the Nations this week: the fantasy world some bloggers are living in, what the lockout is doing to careers, the value of a starting goalie, full team previews for every club in the NHL, how a trade 25 years ago is still powering the Pittsburgh Penguins, and much more.
October 13 2012 11:17PM
Eddie Lack was often the 1st star for the Chicago Wolves last season, and he was again tonight.
It wasn't always pretty, actually with the exception of the shootout it was downright difficult to watch, but the Canucks' AHL affiliate the Chicago Wolves won their home-opener on Saturday night over the Rockford IceHogs.
The Wolves deserved the win in Saturday's game, as they out-chanced their opponent 24-14 and 19-12 at even-strength. Until the shootout, however, the Wolves were unable to get to Icehogs' netminder Carter Hutton, who was dynamite through sixty-five minutes, before being beaten soundly by three of four Wolves shooters in the skill competition.
Read on past the jump for a full recap (with a focus on the Canucks' prospects, of course).
October 13 2012 05:25PM
Is it really that funny, Eddie? (Chris Jerina/AHL in Photos)
The AHL kicks off this weekend, and the rosters league wide are swollen by a surplus of talent thanks to the NHL lockout. For the Chicago Wolves, their lineup has been bolstered by the likes of Zack Kassian and Chris Tanev, two players who were penciled in as regulars in the Canucks' lineup. Players on the cusp of 'making it,' like Jordan Schroeder, Eddie Lack and Kevin Connauton are also in Chicago, making for an intriguing fall season for the Chicago Wolves.
All five players are keen to make an impression on their bosses, wanting to show that they don't need any more seasoning and that their NHL-time is now.
To set up tonight's season opener for the Wolves, Paul LaTour joins us to share his thoughts. LaTour covers the Wolves for the Chicago Tribune and has as good a feel for the Allstate Arena-based squad as anyone in the Chicagoland area.