Don’t push the panic button just yet….
The Chicago Wolves over the weekend started their season and it wasn’t the way many expected the team to begin. Only picking up a point of four possible is a head scratcher but it’s not the time for calling for the season to be a failure.
San Antonio Rampage
The Wolves began their 18th season in San Antonio and even though only gained a point there was a lot to be excited bout. Yes, they didn’t score in the shootout but with the many options for that lineup, I’m sure it won’t happen again.
The lines looked like this to start off the season but could change (which I'm sure they will) on Friday.
Sweatt - Schroeder - Mancari
Haydar - Davies - Archibald
Duco - Doell - Oreskovich
Miller - Roussel - Clackson
Erixson - Connauton
Polasek - Matheson
Sauve - Friesen
The fans saw the reassurance that Darren Haydar still has the passing skills of old, and if there is a guy open he will find them.
Darren Archibald knotted his first goal in his professional career with a very skilled tip-in from a pass from whom else? Darren Haydar.
Kevin Doell looks to be back to his “happy” place killing penalties and crashing the net to clean up any loose pucks.
The penalty kill overall was spectacular killing out all 6 chances for San Antonio as well as a 2 man advantage early in the 1st period.
- The powerplay struggled only getting one goal out of five chances. Yes it’s early in the season so I wouldn’t like to deep into that stat but they struggled to setup in the Rampage’s zone.-
- Defensive lapses were happening as the Rampage were allowed to enter the zone with very little or no forecheck.
- The team showed some aggressiveness at times and that included Matt Clackson dropping the gloves and overall, were very willing to finish their checks.
- Overall the team showed speed through the neutral zone which is something the Wolves never used or lacked last year.
- The shot blocking was very visible with players giving up their bodies to make sure a shot doesn’t get through.
- Houston had the majority of the team returning so the players already had some sort of chemistry together and it showed scoring 4 goals.
- The Wolves only had 12 shots after 2 periods which showed the Wolves had struggles getting the offense in motion.
- The powerplay again struggled to score and Billy Gardner even mentioned that during a 5 on 3 the team should have entered the zone easily which wasn’t the case.
Overall it was a tough weekend but it was only 2 games. I’m sure over this week things will be tweaked and things from outlet passing, to the powerplay will be worked on. Fans already calling for another disappointing season need their head checked.
The team has a majority of new guys on the roster not to mention a coaching staff that is still trying to work in a system that is different than mostly any player is accustomed too. So I will give this team time to get to know each other better and if they are still struggling in December then we can start the fire and torches.
This week the Wolves travel to Milwaukee on Friday for their first division game and then come back home for the opener against the Texas Stars.