November 18 2012 08:23AM
After the jump, some of the best general interest articles from the Nation Network this week. Topics include (but are not limited to, he said in a lawyerly, small print voice): Justin Schultz, whether older players get worse over the course of a long season (don't break a hip, Ryan), the best bargains in the NHL, Hall of Fame inductees Pavel Bure and Barrie Stafford, the best and worst in jerseys, a player who isn't happy with his NHL '13 rating, and of course the lockout.
November 17 2012 09:40PM
Wolves skaters check out one of the few noteworthy moments - a Guillaume Desbiens fight - on the jumbotron.
Anyone that knows me will tell you all about how fond I am of word play, and let me tell you, the title above was not accidental. There's some things that you just can't unsee, and unfortunately, I get the feeling that this Saturday night tilt between the Wolves and the Peoria Rivermen is one of them.
After two lackluster periods, there seemed to be a potentially exciting finish to the game brewing, as the result was still in question. Those sentiments were quickly erased once the Rivermen locked the game down after netting the go-ahead goal with roughly 10 minutes left.
The Wolves - who lost to this same Peoria team by a 3-2 score in overtime last night - lost for the first time in regulation at the Allstate Arena. As you can tell, I won't sugarcoat things; this game was incredibly choppy, and poorly played all the way around. But some things did happen, and I'll do my best to fill you in on them.
Read Past the Jump for Notes on the Game.
November 16 2012 10:31PM
Zack Kassian's movember stash, Bobby Clarke gap and the hashtags in this all kill me. I'm dead.
The Chicago Wolves have had plenty of rest recently. Call it a scheduling quirk, or call it a different type of "league initiated hiatus" but the Wolves hadn't played a game in nearly a week.
They played on Friday night however, and the rust was evident through forty-eight mostly listless minutes. The Wolves struggled to generate scoring chances or push the attack forward, and were unusually permissive in their own end. Goaltender Eddie Lack bailed his club out repeatedly, but the Wolves still allowed the Rivermen to build a two goal lead and weren't showing much urgency about it early in the third period; a full six minutes into the final frame and the Wolves had yet to generate a single shot on goal.
But the game turned in a hurry. First, Guillame Desbiens knocked a puck out of the air and into the Peoria net; and not thirty second later Kevin Connauton unleashed a shot from the top of the circle that was expertly tipped by Steve Pinizzotto for the game tying marker.
From there the Wolves were all over the Rivermen, handily controlling the proceedings over the balance of the third frame and into overtime. But the Wolves' dominance of the latter ten minutes of the game wasn't enough on this evening. With twenty-six seconds to play in the overtime period, Rivermen winger Phil MacRae leaked like a Revenue Lost Chart through the Wolves defense, and beat Lack with a quick forehand deke to win the game.
Read past the jump for more.
November 16 2012 08:20PM
See that Malkin face? All pissed off and such? Pretty intense. So intense in fact that if you watch these KHL highlights you'll grow 50-75 more hairs on your chest by the time you're done watching them (that goes for you too, ladies). There's other games, too. Watch those also. In fact, I'm not even going to put the Magnitogorsk pack first just to screw with you.
November 16 2012 10:16AM
Billy Sweatt has wheels, on wheels, on wheels.
Having watched my share of Chicago Wolves games this season, the main takeaway for me has been the speed that the team plays the game with. They are quite impressive in their ability to counter-attack, getting the play going in the right direction before the opposition knows what hit them.
The best of the bunch in that regard is Billy Sweatt, who bears a remarkable set of wheels. There have been numerous occasions when he has created a scoring opportunity for either himself or his team, by simply outskating the opposing defenders. He has spent a big chunk of the season next to Jordan Schroeder, whom he has developed a good rapport with dating back to their time together last year.
With the Wolves having a full week off - and Billy having time to kill as his tires get changed - I figured I'd check in with him. In case you had forgotten and would like to refresh your memory, or simply had a plethora of better things to do with your summer and missed it, I chatted with Billy for the first time back in July. Don't worry, the following chat is completely new material.
Read Past the Jump to See What Billy Sweatt Has to Say This Time Around.