Call of the Wild

Inside the Wolves Archives

Start marking your day book the Wolves Calendar is out.

user-pic
Jane Rickard

I'm nuts just ask anybody.

Unlike our European counterparts who's elite leagues open in the next few days the North American hockey fans still have four weeks to go until the start of action on this side of the pond.

The Chicago Wolves season regular season starts with a three game road series in San Antonio on October 8th,Oklahoma City on the 10th and Milwaukee on the 15th.Saturday. October 16th the Wolves hit home ice to meet old rivals the Milwaukee Admirals after having the road games to shake the dust from their tail feathers. For the remaining days of October the boys are at home facing Abbotsford Heat, Rockford IceHogs, Oklahoma Barons and the Texas Stars.The lone away game is Saturday October 23,against the IceHogs always a good time to be had in Rockford.


The Wolves then spend the next three weeks on the road on their annual "Circus Trip" while the elephants and clowns take over the Allstate. They return on November 20th to face the Houston Aeros, the Lake Erie Monsters on the 21st and 23rd. A quick road trip to Peoria on the 26th  back on the 27th to face Grand Rapids and end the month facing Manitoba Moose.  At this point in the season they have played all but two regular opponents the plus North Division teams with the exception of the Hamilton Bulldogs and the Toronto Marlies.  


Now begins the yearly chant in the West, over the season we will be playing Milwaukee and Rockford 10 games each, Oklahoma City 8, San Antonio and the Texas Stars 6 each, Abbotsford 4.  Intra Division game with teams from the North Division  Manitoba, Hamilton,and Lake Erie 4 games each. We will not see any teams from the mythical East or Atlantic where legend has it due to low travel times between games players sleep in their own beds each night and coaches tuck them in with a cup of coco, marshmallows optional. Yes, teams in these divisions are so geographically close together, with the exception of Hershey these teams can go several years without purchasing plane tickets to travel between games. 


It is past time to roll the boys out of their eiderdown quilts.There is no reason at least some of these Eastern and Atlantic teams can't hop a plane and see and play in the big bad west. In past years at least one team ventured out past the Mississippi,however. for the last two years, none. Both Texas teams rack up the frequent flyer miles just as part of their regular schedules. The rest of the West division has to travel to them.  It is time for the East and Atlantic to help make the American Hockey League a more diverse league and shake the small town bus league image they hold so dear in the East.  Who knows, they may actually get to like room service hot chocolate and the odd long road trip.Coffee cup with whipped cream topping on table, elevated view 


******************************************************************************

Where are they now?


Ex-Chicago Wolf Colin Stewart has inked a one year contract with the Buffalo Sabers. Details of the deal were not revealed.

Wolves Comings and Goings...

user-pic
Jane Rickard

I'm nuts just ask anybody.

A couple of new guys and a few of the old ones...

Freddy Meyer has signed a two -way contract with Atlanta, During his college years he had a reputation as  a bit of a Captain Hook since then he has accumulated groin, and back injuries. He will probably see time in Chicago.

 

IMG_7464.jpg

Mark Matheson #20 in Milwaukee colors, 4/10

Trading blue for maroon, Mark Matheson,inked a contract with the Wolves.  This defenceman scored 17 points last season with the Admirals, sounds good to me!  

Back Again: Patrick Galvin and Jamie Hunt, both looked good last year. welcome back guys.

New Guy: Former Wisconsin Badger Michael Davies.

Peter Maninno  has reached a multi-year contract with Atlanta .

Another Atlanta acquisition Clint Malarchuk, possibly remembered by many hockey fans as the goalie who had his throat slashed during play when he was a Buffalo Sabre.  has been signed by Atlanta as a goal tending consultant.". 

Where are they now???

Brad Larson: Was named Assistant Coach of the Springfield Falcons American Hockey League affiliate of the Columbus Bluejackets.  Good luck to him as he starts his coaching career.

Longtime Wolves Blueliner Brian Sipotz will be playing in Italy this season.  Bonna Fortuna.

 

IMG_1564.jpg

Mike Hoffman keeping order during the 08-09 season.

Classic enforcer Mike Hoffman is going to help Sean McMorrow fill out his dance card in the Elites. Hoffman has just inked a contract with the Belfast Giants, details of the contract were not announced.  The Giants season starts September 11 against the Coventry Blaze for those looking for an early dose of hockey the game will be available on the web here is the link. http://www.giantslive.tv/

The Giants will also be facing the Boston Bruins on October 7th in a friendly matchup game time is 2:00 pm Central time the game is scheduled to be webcast.

 

IMG_1709.jpg

Mike Hoffman and Sean McMorrow now both of the Elites will soon be facing each other in Scotland and Ireland.

 

 

 

This weeks Wolves signings, A Belfast Giant walks among the Wolves!

user-pic
Jane Rickard

I'm nuts just ask anybody.

Chicago  Wolves have announced the signing of three fresh faces from last year.  Earlier this week Patrick Galvin and Jamie Hunt inked their contracts with the club.  Today former Belfast Giant and Rockford IceHog David Phillips signed an AHL contract with the Wolves, no other details were disclosed.

Last year Phillips told ChicagoNow he was impressed with the training regimen of the Icehogs and the physicality of the AHL game. The ice may be smaller in North America but the hits are definitely harder and the pucks faster.  Philips now in his sophomore year in the AHL is adjusting well to both American culture and the NA game. A popular feature during the Rockford games last year were video segments "How would Davy say it?" After one such segment the word kurfuffle became part of Rockford vocabulary. 

IMG_0388.gif

David Phillips on October 14th 2009 in IceHog colors, his first time in the Allstate. Photo Credit: Jane Rickard


Welcome to the Wolf Den Davy.

Revolving Door: Update...

user-pic
Jane Rickard

I'm nuts just ask anybody.

Andre Deveaux,is returning to the Chicago Wolves. Deveaux a center and classic enforcer has spent the last two years with the Toronto Maple Leafs. Welcome back Andre number 13 is waiting for you.
IMG_7961.jpg

Andre Deveaux during the 2008 playoffs in a game against the Toronto Marlies, Deveaux defends Kevin Doell. Photo Credit: Jane Rickard























Atlanta signs two goalies Ondrej Pavelec and Peter Mannino. Pavelec we will not see in Chicago however Peter Maninno has a good chance of a second year in a Wolves uniform.
IMG_0890.jpg

Peter Mannino checks his stick during a mid season game.Photo Credit: Jane Rickard


Wolves Revolving Door, Chapter 2

user-pic
Jane Rickard

I'm nuts just ask anybody.

The last time the Chicago Wolves had their names engraved on the Calder Cup the "Hobbit Line" was front and center. Darren Haydar, Jason Krog and Brett Sterling were a front line that although none stood 6 foot were giants on the score board. Today the Wolves announced that former Captain Darren Haydar has signed a 2 year contract to return to the Wolves. Current Captain Jason Krog is entering his second year of his 2 year deal. Unfortunately Brett Sterling has left for pastures greener and there will be no reunion of the Hobbit line. However, with these two senior talents perhaps a pair of young legs is what the need to make a new line work.


Nathan Oystick, lets see, started the year with the Wolves, was made associate Captain.  In the spring went to the Ducks but stayed playing with the Wolves. Oystick always an emotional player, played his heat out in the playoffs until the Wolves lost in a heartbreaker to the Texas Stars. In June the Ducks bought out his contract and Oystick was looking for a place to skate. We will definitely be seeing one of our favorite blueliners in the Allstate this season, in a Peoria uniform.  Oystick inked his contract with Peoria on July 12th, good luck to him and his family.


Oysty hockey smile

Nathan Oystrick, how can you not love that face, that smile?


Continue reading...

Chicago Wolves Lose to Texas Stars in game 7

user-pic
Jane Rickard

I'm nuts just ask anybody.

 It's morning in Chicago and sleepy Wolves fans are waking up to the reality that the season is over. The Wolves went down in a tough loss to Texas in overtime last night. A painful end to a roller coaster season that started with the firing of coaches, implementing new systems and a team finally finding it's footing in the playoffs.


Only one image this morning as the Chicago branch of Call Of the Wild is still having computer issues. The problem has been diagnosed and the cure should be on it's way later today. Still this one image sums up the game and the season.

100511texpo 515.jpg

While the winning team celebrate at the other end of the ice Chicago Wolves Nathan Oystrick and Peter Manino have a quiet moment to take in the loss and the season

 

 

UPDATED STARS WIN! in OT sudden death

user-pic
Patrick Boylan

I write the Wolves blog for ChicagoNow

100511

Game Seven West Division Finals
Chicago Wolves (5) v Texas Stars (6) OVERTIME

ROSEMONT, ILL--- OVER TIME The Chicago Wolves season came to an end in overtime as Jamie Benn scored his eighth goal of the playoffs, an even strength overtime goal at 15:03, ending a season that saw the Chicago Wolves move to first place in the West Division from last place.

The Texas Stars head to Hamilton, ON to play the Hamilton Bulldogs for the Conference Finals later this week.

**LISTEN TO DON LEVER'S POST-GAME PRESS CONFERENCE**


Continue reading...

Cormier charged in January on-ice hit; faces up to 18 months jail

user-pic
Patrick Boylan

I write the Wolves blog for ChicagoNow

Patrice Cormier, an Atlanta Thrashers prospect playing his rookie games with the Chicago Wolves faces criminal charges associated with an on-ice hit to an opposing player, news reports from Canada say this morning.

The Crown Prosecutor of Rouyn-Noranda, PQ announced Cormier has been charged with assault causing injury, according to the Toronto Star. Cormier, in a January 17th game between the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies and the Quebec Remparts was suspended for what the Canadian papers say was an elbow to the jaw of Mikael Tam.


The blow left Tam quivering on the ice. NHL.com reports Tam suffered brain trauma and several broken teeth. Tam recovered and returned to the ice only to be suspended himself for a blow from behind to another player.

Continue reading...

UPDATED: GAME 7; Everything on line for Chicago Wolves, Texas Stars tonight

user-pic
Patrick Boylan

I write the Wolves blog for ChicagoNow

The Chicago Wolves and the Texas Stars face-off this evening in game seven of their West Division finals series. It is a winner-take-all game.

Temp1.png

As the series started I had given a slight edge to the Texas Stars, expecting the series to go to six games. I pointed to Brent Krahn, the Stars goalie, as a reason for my decision.

But Krahn left game six early on Sunday. He suffered an injury, requiring him to be hospitalized.  [This morning as the Stars took to the ice for their morning skate, Brent Krahn did not skate with the team .]

The injury to Krahn is a real blow. It was Krahn, after all, who stopped a solid Wolves performance in game five, stopping 43 shots on goal, allowing Texas to win 5-3.

Krahn was a star in the Rockford series too, stopping 38 shots on goal in a 4-2 game four sweep of the IceHogs. And he forced the Wolves to sweat through a game two victory, 4-3, stopping 42 shots on goal.


Continue reading...

UPDATED: Chicago Wolves against the Wall; win game 6 2-0 v Texas Stars

user-pic
Patrick Boylan

I write the Wolves blog for ChicagoNow

The Chicago Wolves held a 2-0 lead to win game six of the West Division American Hockey League finals played at the Allstate Arena this afternoon.   The Wolves were backs to the wall in the game as they facie elimination with any loss.


Anthony Stewart (9) found the net in the first period, hammering home a power play goal at 7:32 on a point to point feed from Matt Anderson to Tim Stapleton to Stewart.


The Wolves were unable to connect on five consecutive power plays. The team is 33.3 percent on the power play pre-game through this point in the playoffs. The frustration of the man advantage, four of which faced Climie, showed with a quiet crowd. 


But in the final frame Joey Crabb (6) picked up his own rebound, a loose puck, on an end to end play to make the score 2-0.  


Continue reading...

Texas Stars take 3-2 series lead on Chicago Wolves

user-pic
Patrick Boylan

I write the Wolves blog for ChicagoNow

Led by a hat trick and a point by Jamie Benn, the Texas Stars held a one goal lead into the last minute of play, sealing their victory with an empty net goal to win 5-3 over the Chicago Wolves Friday night at Cedar Park, Tex. The Stars take a 3-2 lead in the best of seven series against the Chicago Wolves into a must win game six and seven (if necessary) at the Allstate Arena starting Sunday afternoon..



Benn, a rookie who played 82 games with the Dallas Stars, was assigned to the Stars at the conclusion of the regular NHL season. His hat trick was never overcome despite the Chicago Wolves outshooting the Stars 46-23.



Joining Benn with a goal was Perttu Lindgren. But it was clearly Brent Krahn, who stopped a Wolves onslaught of shots on goal who deserves major credit for the win.



It was the first game in the series that the Stars had shelled Wolves goalie Peter Mannino from the net.

Texas Stars take playoffs game four 3-2 over Chicago Wolves

user-pic
Patrick Boylan

I write the Wolves blog for ChicagoNow

The Chicago Wolves and the Texas Stars had another one goal game tonight, ending this time in a regulation win for Texas, 3-2.


Brett Sterling scored two goals for the Wolves and was matched by standout rookie Travis Morin, also notching two goals. However the game winning goal came from Dan Jancevski.


It was another match marred by poor on-ice officiating. Standing out was a second period call against the Wolves by Terry Koharski. As the Stars threw their extra man on the ice, two players entered the ice instead of one, penetrating as far as the Wolves offensive zone.


As in previous games special teams played a key roll in the win, with the Wolves taking one of their three power plays and the Stars taking one of their five power plays.


Chicago was unable to put the puck on net in the game. Five shots on goal and six shots on goal being credited for Chicago in the second and third frames. This was particularly an issue for the Wolves during a five minute penalty called against the Stars in the second frame when the team only put two shots on goal and failed to score.


With the loss, the best of seven West Division series is now tied 2-2. The final game in Texas is scheduled for Friday at 7:30 PM. Game six has been scheduled for Sunday at 3 PM and game seven, if necessary, has been scheduled for Tuesday, May 11 at 7 PM.
 

Live blogging game three: Texas Stars host Chicago Wolves

user-pic
Patrick Boylan

I write the Wolves blog for ChicagoNow

The Texas Stars were unable to close a three goal gap, losing 5-3 to the Chicago Wolves in game three of the AHL West Division playoffs. The win gives the Wolves a 2-1 lead in the best of seven series.


Spencer Machacek (5) scored his second goal of the night in the third frame at 7:28, but was answered by Perttu Lindgren (3) scoring his second goal of the night.


It was the first time in the series a decision was reached in regulation play.


The Stars host the Wolves again tomorrow night at 7:30 PM and then Friday at 7:30 PM.


SECOND PERIOD

The Chicago Wolves extended their power play to three for six, doubling up Texas 4-2 at the end of the second frame. The Texas Stars host game three, four and five of the best of seven series. The West Division finals of the Calder Cup Finals.series is tied 1-1.


Brett Sterling (1) gave the Wolves the lead with an even strength goal at 5:11 into the second frame. Nathan Oystrick (2) scored his second goal of the night, a power play goal at 18:32, bracketing the period.


The Stars were using their tough trap defense to force turnovers by the Wolves. However the Wolves, currently ranked number one in the American Hockey League with a 34.3 percent power play, were able to hold the Stars back.


The series is tied at 1-1, with the next three games, including the current game, set for play at Cedar Park, just outside Austin, Texas.


FIRST PERIOD

The Chicago Wolves went 2 for 4 on the power play in the first period, keeping the Texas Stars tied 2-2 in the third game of the West Division finals of the Calder Cup Finals.


Perttu Lindgren (2) opened the scoring up for the Stars at 2:41 of the first period. It was the last even strength goal of the period. Spencer Machacek (4) replied at 5:46 on the power play and Nathan Oystrick (1) gave the Wolves a temporary lead at 8:33 on a second power play, a 5:3 advantage.


The Stars evened up the score with a successful power play at 11:37 by Aaron Gagnon (2).


The Stars were using their tough trap defense to force turnovers by the Wolves. However the Wolves, currently ranked number one in the American Hockey League with a 34.3 percent power play, were able to hold the Stars back.


The series is tied at 1-1, with the next three games, including the current game, set for play at Cedar Park, just outside Austin, Texas.
Continue reading...

Wolves win Dbl OT to win 4-3; Stewart scores GMGoal 12:21 into 2nd OT

user-pic
Patrick Boylan

I write the Wolves blog for ChicagoNow

The Chicago Wolves overcame Referee Kyle Rehman who called off two Chicago Wolves goals, one in the overtime period, to win game two of the West Division playoffs 4-3. Rehman called off a goal that would have been Patrice Cormier first professional goal early in the game claiming he lost sight of the puck and an overtime goal claiming it was kicked in.


Nevertheless, the Wolves were able to overcome poor officiating, evening the series at 1-1 as they head to Texas for the next three games.


The game winning goal was scored 12:21 into the second overtime period as a battle was won for a loose puck by Anthony Sewart (6) for his second goal of the night.

Wolves, Texas enter 2nd OT; Goal in first 25 seconds called off

user-pic
Patrick Boylan

I write the Wolves blog for ChicagoNow

The Chicago Wolves were unable to overcoe Referee Kyle Rehman who called off two Chicago Wolves goals, one in the overtime period, to move into a second overtime period in the second game of the best of seven series.

Rehman called off a goal that would have been Patrice Cormier's first professional goal early in the game claiming he lost sight of the puck and an overtime goal claiming it was kicked in.

The Texas Stars have a 1-0 lead in the best of seven series. The next games are scheduled to be played Tuesday the 4th and Wednesday the 5th and then Friday the 7th, if necessary, at the Cedar Park Center outside Austin.

Texas 2 goal period sends 2nd consecutive game into OT; Tied 3-3

user-pic
Patrick Boylan

I write the Wolves blog for ChicagoNow

The Chicago Wolves gave up a last minute goal, allowing the Texas Stars to score the tying goal, capping a two goal period for the Stars. Fighting in front of the net Warren Peters (2) was able to get a stick on the puck and put it in past Wolves Goalie Peter Mannino with 0:54 remaining in the period.


The Wolves, who lost a one goal lead, could be seen complaining to American Hockey League referee Kyle Rehman about uneven calls as the regulation time ended. In particular, Rehman was held responsible for not calling a penalty on Texas blue liner Garrett Stafford after a vicious if unintended hit on Wolves center Kevin Doell in the first period.


A big early third frame goal by the Wolves kept the Wolves in the lead early in the frame. At 1:32 into the final frame Anthony Stewart put a goal on net that hit the post. Tim Stapleton (3) picked up the loose puck to score on Texas Stars Goalie Brent Krahn. 


The Stars answered at 8:03, Landon Wilson working behind the Wolves net faked Peter Mannino into moving the wrong way, he quickly passed to Andrew Hutchinson (3) in the left circle for the goal.


It was the second consecutive game the two teams had battled into overtime in the best of 
seven series. Texas leads the series 1-0.

Wolves hold 2nd Pd lead 2-1 on Texas; late pd Tx goal dent in solid period of hockey

user-pic
Patrick Boylan

I write the Wolves blog for ChicagoNow

The Texas Stars scored a big late second period goal to come within one of the Chicago Wolves in West Division playoff finals at the Allstate Arena this afternoon.  The Wolves, who scored their second goal at 16:09 (3:51 into the period), were struggling from the loss of Kevin Doell in the game. Doell was injured in the first period, receiving a vicious blow from Garrett Stafford during the first goal of the game. 

Stafford appeared apologetic, according to interviews by Comcast with players, and the Wolves were not retaliating against him. Instead of using four separate lines, the Wolves juggled to keep rotating centers through the fourth line. 

Jason Krog won a key faceoff leading to the Wolves second goal, dishing it back to Ivan Vishnevskiy outside the left circle. Vishnevskiy fired, finding Krog again, who redirected it past Texas Goalie Brent Krahn.

The late Texas goal put a dent into a solid period of hockey for the Wolves, in which they out shot the Stars 15-10.

Wolves take 1-0 first Pd lead against Tx in game 2

user-pic
Patrick Boylan

I write the Wolves blog for ChicagoNow

The Chicago Wolves took a 1-0 first period lead on the Texas Stars in game two of the West Division finals at the Allstate Arena this afternoon. The goal was scored as the Wolves wore down the Texas defense. As the Wolves refreshed, the Texans had to continue to play D into two minutes. 

Spencer Machacek walked the puck behind the Texas goal against resistance. His wrap around was foiled by Brent Krahn. Kevin Doell got the puck and fed it into the high slot, in the process taking a vicious elbow. His pass led to a one-timer by Arturs Kulda (2) who found open net on the glove side of Krahn.

Doell has not returned to play, though he is sitting on the Wolves bench. He looks dazed on the bench, with a clear bruise under his eye. 

Chicago ties game 3 times; OT UPDATE: TEXAS WINS 4-3

user-pic
Patrick Boylan

I write the Wolves blog for ChicagoNow

[UPDATE] Garrett Stafford (2) scored a goal from high in the slot during the power play to win the game for the Stars 2:22 into the overtime period.

The Chicago Wolves battled back three times, tying the Texas Stars 3-3 at the end of regulation in a battle of two similar teams.

As expected, the game is defensive battle, with the Stars setting up a trap defense against the Wolves while the Wolves are using the forecheck aggressively against the Stars.

The Stars are finishing their checks on the ice, making sure to put Chris Chelios, the 48-year-old National Hockey League veteran in their sites during his shifts. That is meant, I suppose, to make Chelios pay a physical penalty every shift which the Stars hope will add up to weaker blue line by the end of the game.

In the final period of play, with the Wolves on the power play, it was Texas winning battles along the boards, burning time by clearing the puck, which cost the Wolves a regulation win.

For the first time in post-season play the Stars were scored on by the opposition tonight during the first period as the Wolves have answered every Texas goal with one of their own. 

The pre-game analysis forecast two teams that were well matched. At the end of the second period the only evidence of differences between these two teams was Chicago was able to recover several icing opportunities from Texas, while Texas has been able to force some turnovers on the Wolves.

The third period saw a decided domination by the Wolves, the Wolves out shooting the Stars 13-5. During the third Texas power play the domination was so complete that Chicago actually outshot the Texans 0:2. However a goal by playoff standout Jaimie Benn (4) sixteen seconds into the period was huge.

Benn's goal was finally answered at 14:25 (5:35 remaining) as Joey Crabb (5) picked up a puck from the faceoff, catching Stars Goalie Brent Krahn by surprise and tying the game for the third time tonight.

Colton Sceviour (1) potted the first goal at 6:34 into the first period, picking up a turnover in front of the Chicago net.

This was answered by Jason Krog (3) at 7:27. Krog five-holed Brent Krahn after receiving a feed from Arturs Kulda.

Patrice Cormier penalties gave Texas two opportunities for man advantages in the first period, neither of which Texas could convert.

Maxime Fortunus (2) opened the scoring in the second period at 1:43. This was not a power play, but happened during a deferred penalty. 

A Wolves second period power play displayed good puck movement back and forth with Anthony Stewart (4) receiving a feed from Nathan Oystrick for a power play goal. The second and third Chicago power plays also displayed great puck movement, but in the second man advantage Chicago was unable to notch a shot on goal.

Chicago Wolves 2, Texas Stars 3 at 16 seconds into the 3rd Pd

user-pic
Patrick Boylan

I write the Wolves blog for ChicagoNow

Jamie Benn (4) scored 16 seconds into the 3rd period, picking up a loose puck for his 4th playoff goal. That is the third time that Texas has taken the lead early in the first period. 

At the end of the second period of play, the game was tied, 2-2, between the Chicago Wolves and the Texas Stars.

As expected, the game is defensive battle, with the Stars setting up a trap defense against the Wolves while the Wolves are using the forecheck aggressively against the Stars.

The Stars are finishing their checks on the ice, making sure to put Chris Chelios, the 48-year-old National Hockey League veteran in their sites during his shifts. That is meant, I suppose, to make Chelios pay a physical penalty every shift which the Stars hope will add up to weaker blue line by the end of the game.

For the first time in post-season play the Stars were scored on by the opposition tonight during the first period as the Wolves have answered every Texas goal with one of their own. 

The pre-game analysis forecast two teams that were well matched. At the end of the second period the only evidence of differences between these two teams is Chicago has been able to recover several icing opportunities from Texas, while Texas has been able to force some turnovers on the Wolves.

Colton Sceviour (1) potted the first goal at 6:34 into the first period, picking up a turnover in front of the Chicago net.

This was answered by Jason Krog (3) at 7:27. Krog five-holed Brent Krahn after receiving a feed from Arturs Kulda.

Patrice Cormier penalties gave Texas two opportunities for man advantages in the first period, neither of which Texas could convert.

Maxime Fortunus (2) opened the scoring in the second period at 1:43. This was not a power play, but happened during a deferred penalty. [Update: the goal is being credited to Francis Wathier (1) now]

On their first power play of the game, the Wolves get good puck movement back and forth with Anthony Stewart (4) receiving a feed from Nathan Oystrick for a power play goal at 6:36.

Series preview: Chicago Wolves v Texas Stars

user-pic
Patrick Boylan

I write the Wolves blog for ChicagoNow

The first-seed Chicago Wolves enter the American Hockey League divisional semifinal playoffs Friday against the Texas Stars. The Wolves downed the fourth seed Milwaukee Admirals 4-3 in a best of seven. Entering game five up 3-1 in the series, the Wolves dropped playoff game five 5-4, losing a three goal lead and game six 5-4 after tying the game.


Wolves Head Coach Don Lever says the team didn't play 60 solid minutes each game.


It was a lesson the Wolves might remember from playing the Stars on December 5th. Then, the sixth-place Wolves faced the first-place Stars. In a televised home game, the Wolves lost a two-point lead only to regain the lead. Despite out shooting the Stars and despite holding the Stars scoreless on eight power plays the Wolves lost the game 5-3.


Wolves Goalie Peter Mannino, with a save rate of 92.1 percent in the regular season, ranked fourth in the AHL. But Mannino is hot and cold. He started every game of the playoffs. But he struggled and was pulled from the net in games three and six.


Backing him is Drew MacIntyre. MacIntyre has stepped in as relief pulling three wins from the cold ashes of a game in the regular season.


Across the red line the Stars will start Brent Krahn. Krahn faced 127 shots on goal leading the Stars to a 15:5 goal advantage in their sweep of  the Chicago Blackhawks' AHL affiliate, the Rockford IceHogs. Krahn is posting a league leading post-season GAA of 1.25 and a save percentage of 96.1 percent.


Wolves Center Brett Sterling returned from injury to play game seven of the Milwaukee series. Sterling blasted through his freshman year as a pro in the 2006-7 season notching 55 goals and 97 points. Sterling has taken to playing in the goal mouth and receives regular beatings from opposing teams for staking that position. Sterling had 56 points in 55 regular season games this season.


Travis Morin started the season slowly for the Stars, but has caught fire in post season play. The center has put up seven points in four games. Jamie Benn is playing his freshman year in the pros. Benn played 82 games for the Dallas Stars this year scoring 41 points. He has put another six on his stats with the little Stars.


At this point, Krahn has been solid in the net while Mannino and MacIntyre have struggled to hold leads. The difference in goal tending gives a tip of the scales towards Texas in a long series.

Wolves Win! Advance to Second Round of Playoffs.

user-pic
Jane Rickard

I'm nuts just ask anybody.

Last night the Chicago Wolves got the job done beating the Milwaukee Admirals 2:1.  At the end of this long series the boys started a new Wolves tradition saluting the fans, very nice!

The next round starts Friday night at 7:30 against the Texas Stars, be there or be square!

IMG_8544.jpg


Chicago Wolves v Milwaukee Admirals; Playoff Game 7

user-pic
Patrick Boylan

I write the Wolves blog for ChicagoNow

The Chicago Wolves jumped to a two goal lead in the first period  of game seven of the best of seven series. The winner of the Wolves v Milwaukee Admirals series faces the Texas Stars in the West Division playoffs.

The Wolves, who held a 3-1 series lead on the Milwaukee Admirals, were forced to a game seven after giving up a 6-0 shutout game three to the Admirals. The Wolves held a 3-0 lead in game five, only to lose the game 5-4.

Game six saw the Admirals hold an early two goal lead, but give it up as the Wolves forced the game into overtime.

A roller coaster season is on the line. On October 18, 2009 the team sported a 1-5 record, bad enough to put the team in last place in the league.  In the next few days the team terminated Head Coach Don Granato, signed NHL veteran blue liner Chris Chelios and hired Head Coach Don Lever to replace Granato.

In his first game on the ice Lever forced a shoot out from the Manitoba Moose. Starting with his second game, Lever began winning, taking ten of the next thirteen games. 

The Wolves slowly climbed from the basement of the league, finally taking fourth place in the West Division on January 16 and first place in the division by mid-February. 

The team was led with strong efforts in net by Peter Mannino and Drew MacIntyre as well as a well-thought-out defensive strategy by Coach Lever. Chris Chelios strengthened the blue line and Tim Stapleton contributed offensive scoring.

Anthony Stewart (3) scored the current game winning goal and opening goal at 7:31 remaining. Picking up a loose puck along the left circle, Stewart found Milwaukee Goalie Mark Dekanich out of position.

This was followed at 6:03 remaining by the second goal. Spencer Machacek worked the puck behind the Milwaukee net to find Kevin Doell (3) in front of the net.

The Wolves held the Admirals to five shots on goal, just two in the second half of the period, which included a Milwaukee power play.

Milwaukee Goalie Mark Dekanich faced 15 shots on goal in the period, giving up two goals.

Milwaukee Admirals (0) v Chicago Wolves (1) Playoff game 4

user-pic
Patrick Boylan

I write the Wolves blog for ChicagoNow

After going four for nine on the power play in action on Saturday, trouncing the Chicago Wolves 6-0, the Milwaukee Admirals went zero for three in the first two periods Monday at the Bradley Center, finally giving up the a goal to the Wolves in the second period.

DSCF5356c.JPG

Chris Mesko displays one of two fish removed from the Bradley Center Ice near the close of the game. Credit: Patrick Boylan

The Wolves leveraged that single goal into a win in a nail biter, taking a 3-1 lead in the best of seven series.

"We still believe in ourselves," Admirals Head Coach Lane Lambert said after the loss.The Admirals have been unable to win a game without taking the opening lead in this series.

The opening goal, by Spencer Machacek (2) at 14:00 into the second frame, was the first Chicago goal against the Admirals in more than 98 minutes.The Chicago Wolves lead the best of seven series 3-1. However the 6-0 spanking by the Milwaukee Admirals on Saturday night had rocked their world.

The winner of the West Division regular season championship, the Wolves were blasted by 47 shots on goal and gave up four of nine power play goals in the Saturday contest.

Continue reading...

Milwaukee Admirals v Chicago Wolves Playoff game 4 Pregame

user-pic
Patrick Boylan

I write the Wolves blog for ChicagoNow

The Chicago Wolves lead the best of seven series 2-1. However the 6-0 spanking by the Milwaukee Admirals on Saturday night has rocked their world. The winner of the West Division regular season championship, the Wolves were blasted by 47 shots on goal and gave up four of nine power play goals.

That loss was a wild swing from the 3-0 pasting Milwaukee received at the Allstate Arena Friday night. And neither of those games resembles the 6-5 Chicago win on Wednesday, in that game Chicago jumped to a 3-0 first period lead before the Admirals had even notched a shot on goal.

The contest Monday assumes significance because a Chicago Wolves win would put the Wolves in a 3-1 position, returning to play in Rosemont on Wednesday. A Milwaukee win would mark a change in the momentum of the series away from the Wolves to the Admirals. Chicago would enter Wednesday's game with the series tied, but also knowing they couldn't put the Admirals away in a road game.
Continue reading...

Gallery 36-Milwaukee Admirals Send Wolves Home Howling, win 6-0

user-pic
Jane Rickard

I'm nuts just ask anybody.

Last night the Wolves simply rolled over and showed the Milwaukee Admirals their soft pink bellies. It was not pretty, it was not a great game to watch for either side. If you are looking for a cause, Chicago came out playing an undisciplined game and let their emotions get ahead of them.By the second period not a single Wolves player was on their game. They were dancing to the Admirals tune.

So both teams have today off, to reboot, refresh, ice their injuries and egos. Tomorrow game four is set for 7:00 pm in the Bradley Center in Milwaukee. Light your hockey candles for a good game, sharp eyed officials and no injuries, better start now.

Gallery sneak peek (20 images):

View the gallery...

Milwaukee Admirals v Chicago Wolves Playoff game 3

user-pic
Patrick Boylan

I write the Wolves blog for ChicagoNow

The Milwaukee Admirals came back after a 3-0 shutout by the Chicago Wolves Friday night at the Allstate Arena to dominate the Chicago Wolves 4-0 after 40 minutes of play. Led by three power play goals and an even strength goal by Hobey Baker winner Blake Geoffrion, the Admirals outshot the Wolves 23- 13 in the second period.

Admirals Head Coach Lane Lambert had complained in game one and two of the seven game series  that the Wolves had been able to play on the emotions of his team. The worm turned 180 degrees as the Wolves' lack of discipline and an outstanding power play performance by the Ads combined with Mark Dekanich's stopping anything thrown at the Milwaukee goal in game three.

"We needed our power play to come up big for us and it did," Milwaukee Admirals Head Coach Lane Lambert said. "It's always a different game when you get the lead. We'll enjoy it for an hour and then prepare for game four."

"Looking ahead," Lambert said, "we've got to turn it up a notch. They'll turn it up a notch."


Continue reading...

Gallery 35-Wolves Shut Out Admirals in Game Two!

user-pic
Jane Rickard

I'm nuts just ask anybody.

Last night the Wolves shut down and shut out the Milwaukee Admirals in game two of the first round of the Western Division of the playoffs 3-0.  Game three will be played in Milwaukee's Bradley center tonight at 7:00 p.m.. The Admirals will be looking to come back from a two game deficit so look for the action to heat up several notches.

Gallery sneak peek (20 images):

View the gallery...

Chicago Wolves v Milwaukee Admirals; Playoff Game 2

user-pic
Patrick Boylan

I write the Wolves blog for ChicagoNow

After giving up three goals on two power plays in the first 12 minutes of the first game of the playoffs, a key to Milwaukee winning this game was staying out of the sin bin. It didn't play out that way as the Admirals and the Wolves combined for six power plays in the first period of the second playoff game and the Admirals once more gave up the lead on a power play goal.

With 1:10 remaining in the period Spencer Machacek (1) (Opening and Game Winning Goal) scored the opening goal, a power play goal, collecting the puck from the corner and walking it in against opposition he sent it over the pads of Admirals Goalie Mark Dekanich.

In a defensive battle that saw Peter Mannino stop 23 shots on goal and Admirals Goalie Mark Dekanich stop 28 shots on goal, it was the little wins on the defense that made the difference, a kickout butterfly stop, a defensive penalty and a stickless center clearing a power play with his glove.

"No one was giving an inch," Wolves Head Coach Don Lever said. "We got a break with that second goal and we didn't back off. We knew they had to back off. When they backed off, we took advantage of it."


Continue reading...

Gallery -33 Round One, Chicago Wolves -v-Milwaukee Admirals

user-pic
Jane Rickard

I'm nuts just ask anybody.

 Game One Playoffs 2010, at the end of 60 minutes the final score was Wolves 6, Admirals 5. The next match up in the series is tomorrow at the Allstate. Game three will be played on Saturday at the Bradley Center in Milwaukee.


Here are some images of last night's opening game in the series.

Gallery sneak peek (9 images):

View the gallery...

Chicago Wolves v Milwaukee Admirals; Playoff Game 1

user-pic
Patrick Boylan

I write the Wolves blog for ChicagoNow

The Chicago Wolves roared to a three -zero lead with the Milwaukee Admirals not even registering a shot on goal after 12 minutes of period one. The early lead was built on the back of four power plays by the Wolves, with two successful power play goals.

"It got away from us," Admirals Head Coach Lane Lambert said about the four power plays awarded Chicago in the first period. "I think what you saw there was a bit of inexperience and built-up emotion." Lambert said the Admirals allowed the Wolves to control the Admirals' emotions.

"There were pockets of the game when we were good and pockets when we weren't very good. I didn't think we were very good in our zone at all. I didn't think our defense were very good at getting pucks and moving forward against their forecheck. We'll have to see how we'll fix that," Lambert said.

"There are things we need to clean-up," Lambert said, noting that the Admirals were not in position during the transition that led to the fifth Wolves goal. 


Continue reading...

Patrice Cromier Inks amateur tryout contract with Wolves

user-pic
Jane Rickard

I'm nuts just ask anybody.

 

That sound you heard this afternoon was the other shoe dropping. Patrice Cromier's team the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League have finished their playoff season thus freeing Cromier from his 20 game suspension. Allowing him to sign a amateur tryout contract with the Chicago Wolves as reported in Call of the Wild Cromier came to the Wolves as part of the Ilya Kocalchuck. Trade.

URL:http://www.chicagonow.com/blogs/chicago-wolves-call-of-the-wild/2010/02/atlanta-changes-paths.html


The 19-year-old Cromier comes with a boatload of baggage. His 20 game suspension was given for an on ice incident involving a hit that sent an opposing player to the hospital with convulsions. It will be fascinating to see how well such a fiery young man will conduct himself during the playoffs. One thing for sure Patrice Cromier will be under my lens however long his tenure with the Wolves.


Playoffs start Wednesday at 7:00, it's interesting already and the first puck hasn't dropped. How can you not love the playoffs?


Chicago Wolves & Milwaukee Admirals Playoff dates

user-pic
Patrick Boylan

I write the Wolves blog for ChicagoNow

Chicago Wolves announce first round playoffs:

  •     Wednesday, April 14 7 PM Allstate Arena
  •     Friday, April 16 7:30 PM Allstate Arena
  •     Saturday, April 17 7 PM Milwaukee Bradley Center
  •     Monday, April 19 7 PM Milwaukee Bradley Center
  •     Wednesday, April 21 7 PM Allstate Arena (if needed)
  •     TBD Milwaukee Bradley Center (if needed)
    Open dates, according to Bradley Center calendar
    April 22
    April 23
    April 25
  •     Monday, April 26 7 PM Allstate Arena (if needed)

Chicago Wolves v Grand Rapids Griffins

user-pic
Patrick Boylan

I write the Wolves blog for ChicagoNow

The Chicago Wolves have secured their post season position, and their opponents Saturday night, the Grand Rapids Griffins, are also securely placed near the basement of the American league. But the Wolves, scratching Chris Chelios and Brett Sterling, played the first two periods like the game would have some import.

In a three goal first period blitz of the Griffins, the Wolves scored two power play goals, bracketing a breakaway goal by Kevin Doell, his 16th of the season.

"Obviously we've had a little trouble scoring goals recently, but we scored six tonight, it was a confidence booster going into the playoffs," Kevin Doell said.

"It was embarrassing to lose like that," Doell said about the 8-1 Friday night loss to first round playoff opponents the Milwaukee Admirals. "It was a clear statement about the playoffs. Both teams are going to be pretty fired up."
Continue reading...

Chicago Wolves Beat Milwaukee Admirals 2-1

user-pic
Jane Rickard

I'm nuts just ask anybody.

Tonight the Chicago Wolves played three full periods of hockey against probable first round playoff opponent Milwaukee. It was an important win, more important still it was a win without star players Chris Chelios and Tim Stapelton who have been with parent club Atlanta. Two regular season games are left; the away game in Milwaukee on Friday and Saturday's home closer against Grand Rapids, then the playoffs begin.


Bring them on!

010407mil-060.gif

Peter Manino gives his all to make as save during the first frame.

010407mil-174.gif

Everyones favorite mascot Skates!

010407mil-353.gif

Fighting near the goal mouth.

010407mil-405.gif

Now that's a hit!


Continue reading...

Chicago Wolves 2 v Milwaukee Admirals 1

user-pic
Patrick Boylan

I write the Wolves blog for ChicagoNow

Andrew Kozek scored the game winning goal at 14:19 into the second period. Kozek had been flattened into the ice by Milwaukee Admiral big man Nolan Yonkman. He dusted himself off, headed to the net, picked up a loose puck to give the Wolves the lead.

"We want to start a roll here," Kozek said. "We want to get that first place so all these games are huge for us. Yonkman got me pretty good, but to get him back was real nice."

Chicagoan Ryan Thang, who was playing for the University of Notre Dame till their season ended, scored the first goal of the game for the Admirals. It was Thang's second professional goal. It happened at 7:32 into the first period.


Continue reading...

Chicago Wolves shutdown Rockford IceHogs 3-0

user-pic
Patrick Boylan

I write the Wolves blog for ChicagoNow

Matt Anderson gave the Chicago Wolves an early lead over the Rockford IceHogs in action at the MetroCentre here tonight.

Anderson's (15) goal, less than 90 seconds into the game was matched by a power play goal by Ivan Vishnevskiy (11) in a shot from high in the slot that went through traffic at 9:29 into the second frame. 

The Wolves made it 3-0 with 2:46 remaining in the third. The power play goal by Spencer Machacek was his 19th.

"There's a lot more structure to our game in the last week and a half," Wolves Head Coach Don Lever said. "Mac's come on in the last week. He's the calmest and most under control he's been all year." 


Continue reading...

Texas Stars Shine Bright Against Chicago- Winning in a Shoot Out.

user-pic
Jane Rickard

I'm nuts just ask anybody.

Headline just about says it all, the Texas Stars won the game at the Allstate last night in a shoot out after 70 minutes of - physical hockey. Tonight the Wolves travel to Rockford and tomorrow it is back to the Allstate to face the Stars again.  The eyes of Texas will be upon the Wolves,  again.


As always here are some images of the game.

Gallery sneak peek (21 images):

View the gallery...

Chicago Wolves 3 v Texas Stars 4 Shootout Final

user-pic
Patrick Boylan

I write the Wolves blog for ChicagoNow

Warren Peters capped a two goal, three point night scoring in a shootout to put the Texas Stars on top of the Chicago Wolves 4-3 in a match at the Allstate Arena Friday.

 The Texas Stars broke a first period stalemate with the Chicago Wolves with a second period power play goal as Warren Peters scored two goals, propelling the Stars to a two goal lead.

"Our guys played real well," Stars Head Coach Glen Gulutzan said. "We're still in the thick of things," Gulutzan said noting the team is pushing to move forward in the standings. "We take lessons for the playoffs every time we play Chicago," he said.

Continue reading...

Gallery XXVI-Let The Second Season Begin! Well, almost....

user-pic
Jane Rickard

I'm nuts just ask anybody.

The celebration has started, The Wolves are in the playoffs.  Last night The Chicago Wolves in defeating the San Antonio Rampage clinched their birth, the next 10 games are for points, pride and the all important who gets to play who first.  Let the Second Season begin!


As always here are the images of the game, for fight fans included are the photos of the Frankie Lessard ( 6' 3" and 235 lb.) and Craig Weller (6'4" and 185 lb.) fight a true battle of a classic enforcer and a young pup.  Last night the pup came out the winner.

Gallery sneak peek (30 images):

View the gallery...

Gallery XXV-Drew MacIntyre Wolves Goalie Got the Job Done Right

user-pic
Jane Rickard

I'm nuts just ask anybody.

Being a goalie is not an easy job, you make a mistake a light goes on and 10 thousand people stand up and cheer.  Well, tonight Drew McIntyre handled all the pressures of his office with style.  He rocked, he rolled and he managed to keep his team in the game all the way to a shoot out win.  


Here you go Drew MacIntyre this gallery of images all taken tonight  is for you.

Gallery sneak peek (18 images):

View the gallery...

Chicago Wolves 3, San Antonio Rampage 2 in Shoot Out; MacIntyre 45 saves steals game from Rampage

user-pic
Patrick Boylan

I write the Wolves blog for ChicagoNow

The Chicago Wolves scored a short-handed goal to tie the game Sunday afternoon at the Allstate Arena. The turn of fortune against the San Antonio Rampage was reminiscent of a short-handed goal Saturday that turned the momentum against the Rampage, allowing the Wolves to come back from a three goal deficit. Sunday seemed almost a replay, with the short-handed goal and superior goal tending allowing the Wolves to take the win in a shoot out.

"Our guys came back well from Saturday night," San Antonio Assistant Coach Mike Pelino said, "but their goalie came up big."

The Rampage put 47 shots on goal against Wolves net minder Drew MacIntyre, causing him to give up two goals.

"That is by far the best goaltending of the year," Wolves Head Coach Don Lever said of MacIntyre's effort. "Mac stole that one for us. It was a very solid performance."

"Every team has different styles," MacIntyre said. The Rampage "wants to put everything on net. The last thing I want is to get too ahead of myself. I just want to get back in net."

The second period short-handed goal, scored by Tim Stapleton (28 at 15:19), was the third short-handed goal by Stapleton this season and the 13th shortie this season by the Wolves. The goal followed a power play assault on the Chicago Wolves goaltender, Drew MacIntyre, in which he turned aside five shots on goal. MacIntyre turned away another shot following the shortie and 30 shots total in the first two periods of play.

Stapleton (29 at 10:19) scored again in the third period. Rampage leading scorer Brett MacLean, scored his 28th (PPG 1st Period 11:07) and 29th (3rd Period 4:28) goals of the year in the game. Stapleton and MacLean are tied in rank at 8th in the league for goals scored.


Shoot Out Results

Shooter

Team

Result

Advantage

Tim Stapleton

Chicago Wolves

GOAL

Wolves

Mikkel Boedker

San Antonio Rampage

No Goal

Wolves

Andrew Kozek

Chicago Wolves

GOAL

Wolves (2)

Kyle Turris

San Antonio Rampage

No Goal

Wolves (2)

Kevin Doell

Chicago Wolves

No Goal

Wolves (2)

David Schlemko

San Antonio Rampage

No Goal

Wolves (2)

Jason Krog

Chicago Wolves

No Goal

Wolves (2)

David Spina

San Antonio Rampage

No Goal

Wolves WIN



The win, and a loss today by the Peoria Rivermen, assure the Wolves of a post season berth.

Notables

Francis Lessard received 15 minutes of penalties this afternoon following a rematch of a Saturday night fight against the Wolves Craig Weller. The cumulative penalties levied against Lessard this season now total 270 minutes, enough to place him third in the league, two minutes behind Louis Robitaillie of the Lowell Devils.

Drew MacIntyre is ranked 11th among goalies, 2.44 GAA, 92 percent save and 19-14-2. Peter Mannino is ranked fourth among goalies, 2.22 GAA, 92.3 percent save and 23-3-0.


Game Notes

1st Period

Brett MacLean (28 at 11:07) scored on the power play. Chicago's penalty kill went one for four in the game, a ranking of 84.4 percent, seventh in the league. Like Saturday night, San Antonio came out hard, firing 12 shots on goal and allowing eight in reply.


2nd Period

The second period brought back memories of the Saturday night bout between the two teams. First, there was a rematch of the Craig Weller versus Francis Lessard fight. Weller landed the first punch, proceeded to get Lessard in a head lock and let loose. The only thing Lessard could do was use his strength to force Weller to the ice so as to end the fight. If the Saturday night fight was a draw, this one clearly went to Weller, although Lessard ended up on top when the dust had settled.

The Wolves penalty kill took a short-handed goal on Saturday night against the Rampage. Sunday afternoon it looked like more of the same. Tim Stapleton (28) picked off a bad pass along the benches and fired from the left circle for the shortie. It was his third shortie of the season, the team's 13th. During this particular power play, the Rampage had thrown everything at Drew MacIntyre, putting five aside before the shortie and another aside after it. MacIntyre was clearly stealing the win from the Rampage.

The game seemed to turn here as San Antonio took a penalty almost immediately after the end of the power play. As Rylan Kaip exited the sin bin he received a pass and made a breakaway on Miika Wiikman. The SAR blue line reacts by drawing a penalty itself.

The Wolves power play has been terrible for several weeks. This afternoon it went zero for three. It is ranked 14th at 17.6 percent efficiency. The Wolves have scored one power play goal in the last nine games.


3rd Period

Brett MacLean scores his 29th of the season and second of the game. This particular goal shows how weak the Wolves blue line is without Nathan Oystrick and Chris Chelios. MacLean wraps around the goal, no one in sight. The puck hits MacIntyre's skate and dribbles into the net.

The first ten minutes of the third shows an explosive Rampage. It is hard to understand just what is holding this team back. They score one goal and put nine shots on goal.

Tim Stapleton scores his second of the game, a pass to him in front and he fires from his knees. Meanwhile, with the refs back turned I begin to watch Slap Shot type games as the Rampage put sticks into the Wolves bench, hitting players on the helmet, then there is a trip during a line change. Despite all this, there are no penalties called for the remainder of the game.


Over Time Period

The wide-open nature of the OT let's the puck move. This is an offensive game in which a simple defensive mistake can be fatal. The Rampage continue to out shoot the Wolves, 3:1 in the OT for a game of 47 shots on goal compared to 30 for the Wolves.


San Antonio starters: Shaun Heshka, David Schlemki, Kyle Turris, Brett MacLean, Alexandre Picard. Miika Wiikman in net (3.74 GAA, 88.2 percent save, 2-4-0).

San Antonio scratches: Al Montoya (G), Ryan Hollweg, Ryan Weston, Jonas Ahnelov, Stu Bickel and Colin Long.

Chicago starters: Brian Sipotz, Spencer Machacek, Patrick Galivan, Kevin Doell, Arturs Kulda. Drew MacIntyre in net.

Chicago scratches: Noah Welch, Reid Simpson, Riley Holzapfel, Greg Stewart, Nathan Oystrick, Scott Lehman, Steve McCarthy and Angelo Esposito.

On ice crew: David Banfield, Judson Ritter and Jesse Pletsch.

Continue reading...

Gallery XXIV Wolves Comeback Against Rampage, Score 6-3

user-pic
Jane Rickard

I'm nuts just ask anybody.

Chicago Wolves pulled up their laces and came back to win last night in one of the most intense  games of the season.  Here are some images of the action .

Gallery sneak peek (21 images):

View the gallery...

Rampage lead Wolves 3:1at end of first period

user-pic
Jane Rickard

I'm nuts just ask anybody.

 

The second period is about to start and the Wolves are playing catch up. Here are some images of the on ice action.

100218sanan 074.jpg

Chicago Wolves 6 v San Antonio Rampage 3; Drew comes in relief for win

user-pic
Patrick Boylan

I write the Wolves blog for ChicagoNow


For the third time this season, Drew MacIntyre has relieved Peter Mannino and held on to allow the Chicago Wolves to tie the game. The case of goalies in relief is more often demonstrated by the record of the Wolves opponents who have dropped 93.75 percent of their points when there is a relief.


After the San Antonio Rampage drilled Chicago Wolves leading goalie Peter Mannino from the net after less than ten minutes of play, chalking three goals, the Chicago Wolves came back with three unanswered goals to tie the game at the end of the second frame.

Continue reading...

Gallery XXII- Chicago Wolves Soar over Houston Aeros in a Shoot Out!

user-pic
Jane Rickard

I'm nuts just ask anybody.

Here are the images of the game...

Gallery sneak peek (27 images):

View the gallery...

The Glow and the end game

user-pic
Patrick Boylan

I write the Wolves blog for ChicagoNow

Sometimes we talk about a player having the glow. Joey MacDonald and Kyle Calder had the glow Friday night. Together they shutdown the Wolves in a rare loss to the Chicagoans in their own building.

As noted in the game notes, the Wolves have only been shutout in two games this season. The loss last night was the team's first home regulation shutout of the season.

What makes this loss even more exceptional was the number of shots on goal that MacDonald stopped: 40. It was also only the third time this season the Wolves have shot 40 shots on goal. When the Wolves shoot more than 35 shots on goal in a game, they generally win, 11-3-0-1 or 76.7 percent.

Continue reading...

Chicago Wolves 2 v Houston Aeros 1 SHOOTOUT

user-pic
Patrick Boylan

I write the Wolves blog for ChicagoNow

A goal in the final minutes of the first period gave the Houston Aeros a one goal lead and the momentum going into the second frame. Nathan Smith won the puck behind the Wolves goal and passed to Duncan Milroy (11) standing in front of the crease. He hammered it in for the goal with 1:52 remaining in the frame.

The Wolves had not scored a goal in more than 120 minutes of play, and had not scored a power play goal in five games. As a result the specialty rank of the Wolves has fallen to 13th in the league, at 18.1 percent.

Continue reading...

Gallery XXI-Toronto Marlies Shut Out Wolves 3-0

user-pic
Jane Rickard

I'm nuts just ask anybody.

 It is a special privilege to see a hockey game with a goalie with that special "glow" the one where nothing can go in the net, everything, absolutely everything goes perfectly. A few examples come to mind, the women's gold medal USA /Sweden in the 06' Olympics. The Swedish goalie was perfection. The Wolves Freddie Bathwater during game 4 of the Wolves/Hamilton Calder Cup semifinals in May 2007, Brathwaite was a wall that night. Tonight the 6819 fans at the Allstate saw Joey McDonald of the Toronto Marlies basking in that golden glow- perfection, it was his night.

Gallery sneak peek (17 images):

View the gallery...

Chicago Wolves (0) v Toronto Marlies (3); UPDATED

user-pic
Patrick Boylan

I write the Wolves blog for ChicagoNow

The Toronto Marlies broke a 16 game home winning streak Friday, shutting out the Chicago Wolves 3-0. The Marlies, the second-lowest scoring team in the American Hockey League, jumped to a 3-0 lead over the Chicago Wolves in the first ten minutes of the second period led by two goals by former Chicago Blackhawks veteran Kyle Calder who scored two goals and was credited with an assist in less than ten minutes of the second period.

The Calder assault on the Wolves broke a scoreless first period for both teams. Calder's first point of the game came as he passed to Tim Brent as Brent crossed the blue line. Brent's (8) shot beat Wolves goalie Drew MacIntyre cold at 1:16.

Calder picked up a loose puck at 3:25 for the second point and his first goal. Calder (9) beat out MacIntyre in a very nice play in front of the crease, holding and letting a wrister loose as he moved in front of MacIntyre. The third point for Calder (10) found him receiving a pass through the crease. His wrister surprised MacIntyre and the Wolves defense at 9:12.


Continue reading...

Chris Chelios Called up by Atlanta!

user-pic
Jane Rickard

I'm nuts just ask anybody.

Chris Chelios, who was recently signed to a two way contract by Wolves parent club the  Atlanta Thrashers. He was then promptly assigned to the Wolves and the local fans breathed a sigh of relief.  Today Chelios got the call from Atlanta, he was waiting for. Chris Chelios been called back to the National Hockey League and the Thrashers.  The 48-year-old blueliner has appeared in 46 games with the Wolves this season, it has been a pleasure to watch a master skater and teacher like Chelios on the ice. 

IMG_9934.gif

Chelios during his first game with the Wolves, File Photo




























































Gallery XX: Wolves Stand Tall Beating Lake Erie Monsters 5-4 in Shoot Out.

user-pic
Jane Rickard

I'm nuts just ask anybody.

It took 70 full minutes of hockey and a skills competition but the Wolves did it again- won in a shoot out.  Winning has become a habit again for the Wolves,like Yogi says, deja vu all over again.


Here is a gallery of the nights fun.

Gallery sneak peek (14 images):

View the gallery...

Chicago Wolves 5 v Lake Erie Monsters (Cleveland) 4 SHOOTOUT

user-pic
Patrick Boylan

I write the Wolves blog for ChicagoNow

The Chicago Wolves used their deep bench to pad their lead to three goals, 4-1, over the Lake Erie monsters in the second period at play at the Allstate Arena. Then, in a turn of fortune, the Wolves gave up three unanswered goals putting the Monsters back in the game. The game was decided in a shootout with Matt Anderson scoring the deciding goal.

Continue reading...

Wolves Hold on to Beat Milwaukee Admirals 2-1

user-pic
Jane Rickard

I'm nuts just ask anybody.

The Wolves battled for 60 minutes against the Milwaukee Admirals last night at the Allstate arena.  Peter Manino had a stellar night in goal for the Wolves and Mark Dekanich was outstanding in net on the other end of the ice.  


With Friday nights shoot out loss and last nights win it keeps the Wolves in first place in the West with 86 points.  Nearest rival the IceHogs with 82 and, last nights opponent Milwaukee in fourth with 75 points.  All these teams are scheduled to play again today. With the regular season in the home stretch  up all games are must wins for everyone.  In the last month the formula is easy, 60 minutes of hockey, stay out o the box, keep injuries to a minimum.  


As always here are some images of last nights fun.

IMG_5161.jpg

Photo Credit: Jane Rickard

Continue reading...

Wolves Beat Rockford Ice Hogs 4-2

user-pic
Jane Rickard

I'm nuts just ask anybody.

Chicago Wolves came out the victors on paper tonight against the Rockford IceHogs.  Indeed they chalked up to points with their win but lost forward Brett Sterling to a broken clavicle in the process.  Tonight the Wolves won the battle, but the campaign to win the the Western Division well, we will know more about that in April.


Here are some images of the game.


Gallery sneak peek (14 images):

View the gallery...

Chicago Wolves (4) v Rockford IceHogs (2) Updated Final

user-pic
Patrick Boylan

I write the Wolves blog for ChicagoNow

The Wolves have struggled this weekend, losing two games in a row, the first time that has happened since December 13th and 18th. Chris Chelios didn't play this weekend. He is in Canada attending the Olympics.

The Wolves are 5-4-1-0 when Chelios is scratched (55 percent). In the same period of time the Wolves are 36-13-1-3 (71.7 percent) when Chelios does play.

Playing against the Rockford IceHogs at the Allstate Arena this afternoon, the Wolves took a first period lead, but struggled, going 0 for three on the power play in the first period, but recovering to one for two in the second period.

Continue reading...

Paul Postma scores hat trick; Drew MacIntyre picks up save in come from behind win; Chicago Wolves 7, San Antonio 4

user-pic
Patrick Boylan

I write the Wolves blog for ChicagoNow

The Chicago Wolves extended their streak to 12-0-0-2 with a come from behind victory over the San Antonio Rampage at the Allstate Arena Sunday afternoon.

Falling behind early, Drew MacIntyre kept the Wolves in the game saving 21 of 21 shots while Paul Postma led the Wolves back with a hat trick. It was the fifth win against the Rampage this season by the Wolves.

Continue reading...

Gallery XVIII-The Wolves Shooting Down Aeros 7-1

user-pic
Jane Rickard

I'm nuts just ask anybody.


Chicago Wolves put in a fine showing of it for former coach Jon Anderson by winning 7-1 last night at the Allstate. Despite Houston's loss the standings are unchanged, Wolves remain in first place and the Aeros still sit in fifth.  However, the posturing for the playoffs has started and Houston, you have a problem.

Gallery sneak peek (18 images):

View the gallery...

John Anderson banner raising at Chicago Wolves game February 20, 2010

user-pic
Patrick Boylan

I write the Wolves blog for ChicagoNow

These are the ceremonies of John Anderson receiving his banner from the Chicago Wolves, Saturday, February 20, 2010, at the Allstate Arena.

Part 1

Part 2

Wolves notes: Chicago Wolves injuries leave thin roster; Levin talks about possible outdoor game for Wolves

user-pic
Patrick Boylan

I write the Wolves blog for ChicagoNow

Pat Galivan was being examined for a concussion at the end of the game. According to Coach Don Lever, the "doctors were examining him" and he hadn't been taken away to the hospital.

Galivan joins a number of other Wolves players out with injuries, leaving the fat looking roster not so fat. Steve McCarthy, Scott Lehman and Angelo Esposito are out for the season. Andrew Kozek is out for the remainder of the week and Nathan Oystrick is out for perhaps two weeks. Riley Holzapfel has a lower body injury.

That leaves Brian Sipotz, Paul Postma, Noah Welch, Chris Chelios, Mike Vernace, Jamie Hunt, Grant Lewis, Arturs Kulda and Ivan Vishnevskiy on the blue line. Chelios has been invited to Vancouver by the US Olympic team and make take part in what's described as an "old-timers" game with other players from the 1983-84 Olympic Games. Chelios said he's undecided on whether he'll take part or not.

On the Wings, the injuries leave Reid Simpson, Anthony Stewart, Spencer Machacek, Joey Crabb, Tim Stapleton and Brett Sterling. Centers still skating are Jason Krog, Matt Anderson, Kevin Doell and Johnny Pohl. The last player under contract in Gwinnett is Chad Denny, a blue liner who filed in as a wing on the Chicago Wolves last season. Denny has scored 20 points in 37 games with the Gladiators this season.

*****

Wolves owner Don Levin was enthusiastic about the Syracuse Crunch v. Binghamton Senators outdoor game held earlier Saturday at the New York State Fairgrounds. The game enjoyed the largest attendance in AHL history and looked was carried live on the NHL Network.

Levin said the Wolves had looked at holding an outdoor game, but that things haven't yet gotten beyond the talking stage. He'd like to include stakeholders from college and other local teams, he said. Don't expect it to happen in Chicago next season.

Chicago Wolves 7 v Houston Aeros 1 UPDATED

user-pic
Patrick Boylan

I write the Wolves blog for ChicagoNow

A banner was raised tonight at the Allstate Arena here to honor Head Coach of the Atlanta Thrashers and former Wolves Head Coach John Anderson. In front of former Wolves players and coaches, the Wolves came out all their guns blazing, sending Aeros Goalie Wade Dubielewicz to the bench under a hail of three goals and then putting another three goals on Goalie Barry Brust in the first twenty minutes of the match.

Paul Postma (6) opened the scoring at 1:27 with a shot in the low slot.

The second goal was scored at 4:15, during a 4:4 Spencer Machacek (13) drove through the slot and beat Dubielewicz with a shot over the pads.

Following a vicious head hit on Chicago native Patrick Galivan, Jamie Hunt (2) scored the third goal on Dubielewicz at 4.29 from the top of the slot.

Galivan was given help to the locker room, Carson McMillan was sent to the locker room with a five minute penalty and a game misconduct for the hit on Galivan and Dubielewicz sat in favor Barry Brust. However the change only slowed the Wolves for moments as Hunt (3) scored his second goal of the night; recovering the puck in front of the crease he faked Brust, putting it over his pads.

Immediately following a Houston power play Matt Anderson (12) went end-to-end, firing from the right circle to make it 5-0 at 16:11.

Houston finally got on the board during a power play, as Maxim Noreau (15) fired a cannonball from the point past Drew MacIntyre at 18:30.

However, the Wolves answered that goal at 19:37. Anthony Stewart tried a wrap-around goal which Brust stonewalled. The rebound fell on the stick of Brett Sterling who popped it in (32) to make the score 6-1 at the end of 20 minutes.

"It was a long game after the first period," Wolves Head Coach Don Lever said. "You know your team is going to back off" and the team only had five shots on goal in the second period, he noted.

The score remained 6-1 into the third period when Machacek (14) scored his second of the night, a wrap-around that he hammered in at 7:21 into the period.

"We're getting goals from guys you don't expect to score," Lever said.

The lopsided score added to the +/- for league leading defensemen Arturs Kulda (38) and second place holder Chris Chelios (35) and increases the lead of Sterling (32) in goals. Sterling's points (54) move him into a three-way tie for eighth for points. The Wolves exit the game on a 11-0-0-2 streak. They are currently 22-3-0-2 in the last 26 games.

"We made some terrible defensive mistakes," Houston Aeros Head Coach Kevin Constantine said. "It would be nice if the goalie made the saves" but it was a defensive failure he said.
 
"At some point you have to change goalies to change the momentum of the game," Constantine said. "But that didn't work for us either in the first period." Constantine said he doesn't coach based on the scoreboard, "there's a certain way you have to play the game," he said.

Waukegan native Robbie Earl said it was nice to come back to play in the Midwest but he was glad his family wasn't at the game to see his team beaten. "Luckily the folks weren't here to see this," he said, "but it is what it is."

Earl, who has 30 games and 13 points, said he keeps working, hoping to advance to play with the Wild, the NHL affiliate of the Aeros.

Chris Chelios Re-Ups and Signs With The Chicago Wolves For Another 25 Games.

user-pic
Jane Rickard

I'm nuts just ask anybody.

No surprises here, Cheli and the Wolves have been happy bedfellows all season.  Now it looks like we will be seeing the master until the end of the regular season and possibly beyond. Careful Chris Chelios they will be screwing your nameplate on your locker soon.

IMG_0272.gif

Chris Chelios at the defense for the Wolves.File photo.


Gallery XVII-Wolves Hang On to Beat Rampage 3-2

user-pic
Jane Rickard

I'm nuts just ask anybody.

Last night The Wolves put in  a solid 20 minute of hockey, 20 minutes of calling it in and 20 minutes of hanging on for dear life.  Still a win is a win and the Wolves are in first place in the Western Division with 72 points. Ahead of the tied Texas Stars and Rockford IceHogs three points behind.  Not bad for a team that was in very different place not so long ago, this glass is definitely half full.




Gallery sneak peek (23 images):

View the gallery...

Chicago Wolves v San Antonio Rampage-- Update 2

user-pic
Patrick Boylan

I write the Wolves blog for ChicagoNow

Chicago Wolves 3 v San Antonio Rampage 2 FINAL

he Chicago Wolves took control of the first period, scoring three unanswered goals on the San Antonio Rampage. The Rampage came back in the second period on a two goal effort by David Schlemko, but was unable to close the gap.
The Wolves have won points in 11 games in a row and haven't lost two consecutive games this season since December 13-18. In the last 25 games the team is 21-3-0-2.
Oak Park native Pat Galivan (2) opened the scoring up at 3:53 into the period redirecting a shot from Arturs Kulda. At 8:10 into the period Matt Anderson came up with the puck after a battle on the right boards. He passed the puck to Joey Crabb in the slot. Crabb (20) held the puck, moving around Rampage Goalie Justin Pogge, he flicked it in from feet away as Pogge went down.
The third goal of the period was an Anderson (10) redirect of a blue line shot by Mike Vernace at 10:56.
"It was a 20 minute game for us," Wolves Head Coach Don Lever said.
 Schlemko (2) scored the first of his two second period goals, a short-handed effort that started when Schlemko broke away. Wolves Goalie Drew MacIntyre refused Schlemko's shot, but rebounded the puck behind the net. Schlemko came up with the puck and faked to Jeff Hoggan in front of the crease.  Schlemko then shoveled the puck in behind MacIntyre at 2:31 into the period.
Schlemko (3) picked up his second goal of the night, finding a loose puck in front of the net, he moved to MacIntyre's left, popping it up and in at 12:39 into the period.
"The short handed goal lifted us," San Antonio Head Coach Brad Treliving said. "We've been playing well," Treliving said, "our guys have been excellent." Treliving said the team is still hoping to get a playoff berth, "you gotta believe," he said.
"We want points in all the games. We're taking a game at a time. Every game is a battle," Treliving said. Treliving said the team had a good road trip. He planned on finishing it off with more points before heading home.
MacIntyre kept the Wolves in the game in the third period, refusing 10 shots on goal. The Rampage received three power plays in the period, but were only able to put two shots on goal during their power plays. A final power play was given to the Rampage with 28 seconds remaining. But even with a 6:4 advantage, the Rampage were unable to score.
"We shouldn't have put ourselves in a position to take a penalty" in the final 28 seconds, Lever said. "Drew (MacIntyre) made some big saves. Our team didn't play well. San Antonio got themselves back in the game. San Antonio has a good team," Lever said. "We played against a team that hasn't lost since our last game against them."
Since replacing Greg Ireland as coach in late November, the penalty minutes for the team has fallen in comparison to other teams. "You can't be in the blocks six to seven times a night," Treliving said.
Treliving said the Rampage couldn't win faceoffs against the Wolves on Wednesday. "We lost 30 seconds on each power play tonight because we lost the faceoffs," he noted.



Live Game Update-Chicago Wolves up 3-0 SanAntoino still in the Hunt.

user-pic
Jane Rickard

I'm nuts just ask anybody.

100218sanan 076.jpg





















Second period is about to start and the Wolves are ahead a tidy 3 points.  San Antoino brought Justin Pogge in goal tonight, last seen in the Allstate  in a Tronto Marlie uniform during the playoffs in 08', things are not going much better for him tonight.

Here are some images of the first period.


100218sanan 009.jpg

Gallery XIV! Wild Night of Rumors, Snow, and oh yes the Wolves Won!

user-pic
Jane Rickard

I'm nuts just ask anybody.

Last night was a wild ride at the Allstate Arena, The snow piled up outside on cars and the wind howled. At the end of the first period break the buzz hit of the Kari Lehtonen trade. Not since Jack traded the family cow for a sack of beans has a trade been met with more skepticism. As Blackberries danced with text messages regarding the trade and weather reports the game went on. 60 hockey minutes later the Wolves emerged victorious, Nathan Oystrick MIA after taking a puck in the jaw and the Rivermen were loading the bus for was going to be a difficult ride home.

All in all it was quite a night for the hardy souls who made the effort for a rare Tuesday night of hockey. Like Dickie Dunn before me I hope the images have caught the spirt of the thing.

Gallery sneak peek (22 images):

View the gallery...

Ivan Vishnevskiy, The new face in town..

user-pic
Jane Rickard

I'm nuts just ask anybody.

You never know just what will fall out or your archives when you shake them looking for a new face on the team.  Last night as the Allstate twittered with the news of the Kari Lehtonen trade.  Everyone wondered just who this new Russian was that Don Waddell traded our fair haired Kari for.  Well with out further delay here are some photos taken on Vishnevskiy's last trip into Chicago in a Stars uniform.


In a post game  interview last night Wolves Head Coach  Don Leaver stated that Patrice  Cormier will not be joining the the Wolves this spring due to his age and suspension .                         

IMG_5376.gif

Vishnevskiy introduces his soon to be team mate to the boards.

IMG_5217.gif

Vishnevskiy #29 lines up for face off against the Wolves.

IMG_5452.gif

OK boys, it's time to kiss and make up!

Couldn't make the game? You get a free ticket! Made it to the game? You get one too!

user-pic
Patrick Boylan

I write the Wolves blog for ChicagoNow

WOLVES FANS, the Chicago Wolves are offering a complimentary ticket to their fans. "We really appreciate the dedication of our fans coming out to tonight's game," Wolves President Mike Polisky said in a news release.

The team is offering anyone who purchased a ticket, used or unused, a complimentary ticket to another February Wolves match. According to the news release, you can take the ticket to the Allstate ticket office, or contact the Wolves ticket representatives at 1-800-THE-WOLVES.

"It's always disappointing when plans are ruined by weather, so we want to make it up to the fans who purchased tickets for tonight," Polisky said in the release.

Oystrick's condition: no one knows

user-pic
Patrick Boylan

I write the Wolves blog for ChicagoNow

Nathan Oystrick left a trail of blood on the ice in the Tuesday game between the Chicago Wolves and the Peoria Rivermen, victim to a puck to the face. He did not return to the game. The following was the conversation following the game between reporters and the team's public relations staff.
Q: "What is Nathan Oystrick's condition?"
A:  "Nathan Oystrick isn't in the locker room."
Q: "Did he leave the building in an ambulance?"
A: "No one knows."
Oystrick's condition immediately became a subject for discussion on the Internet with one site claiming he had a shattered jaw. A Nathan Oystrick was confirmed to have been admitted to the emergency room and later released by Advocate Lutheran General Hospital, Park Ridge, IL.

Worthless or 1st round quality; Wolves pick up Vishnevskiy in Atlanta trade for Lehtonen

user-pic
Patrick Boylan

I write the Wolves blog for ChicagoNow

The big news at the Allstate on Tuesday night was happening a half a continent away. As the Chicago Wolves played the Peoria Rivermen on the Allstate ice, Tweets exploded around rumors that former Wolves goalie and 2002 first round draft pick Kari Lehtonen was headed to Dallas.
At 7:58 PM as the Atlanta Journal Constitution confirmed the Tweets stating Lehtonen had been traded for Ivan Vishnevskiy, a 2006 first round draft pick who has played much of his career with the Peoria Rivermen.
"Worthless," was the summary of a source in the Rivermen when told of the trade at the end of the game. Vishnevskiy played 67 games with the Peoria organization in the 2008-9 season, notching 19 points. After playing five games in the Dallas Stars organization, he was sent back to the Texas Stars where he has played 51 games this season, earning 24 points.

Continue reading...

Wolves dominate 1st period. Lose lead in 2nd Pd. Comeback to win 4-2

user-pic
Patrick Boylan

I write the Wolves blog for ChicagoNow

 The Chicago Wolves doubled up on the shots on goal, went into the period with a one goal lead and had five power plays to just three for the Peoria Rivermen, but managed to lose the lead in the second period to the Peoria Rivermen. They regained it in a third period dominated by the Rivermen, going into the final five minutes with a one goal lead.

Paul Postma put the Wolves ahead after the club had failed to bring its advantage to the scoreboard. Postma took the puck off the faceoff, drew to the left, passed along the blue line to Tim Stapleton on his right. Stapleton gave a one-touch pass back to Postma who fired it to put the Wolves back in the lead with five minutes remaining in the game.

"I think he scored the same goal in a game in Peoria," Wolves Head Coach Don Lever said. Lever said Postma needs to realize he has a powerful shot and to use it more.

Joey Crabb picked up a second goal, an empty net goal, for his 18th goal of the year to make the final score 4-2.


Continue reading...

Former Wolves Captain MacKenzie on trade list?

user-pic
Patrick Boylan

I write the Wolves blog for ChicagoNow

Former Chicago Wolves Captain Derek MacKenzie is listed as trade bait by Patrick Williams, a blogger with The Hockey News. Williams figures the Crunch could easily fall out of contention for post-season play and then MacKenzie would be a "dependable two-way center" for an AHL club on the way to the Calder Cup.

MacKenzie is leading the Crunch with 34 points.

But, if we're talking about players who can help a team win a Calder, why talk about MacKenzie? If you were a GM wouldn't you rather talk to Darren Haydar? Haydar's team, the Lake Erie Monsters, is a huge waste of space for one of the most talented skaters in the AAA. Haydar has 43 points.

Wolves Wilt Under Abbotsford Heat, Lose 3-2 in Shoot Out

user-pic
Jane Rickard

I'm nuts just ask anybody.

The Wolves played 60+ minutes of hockey last night but it just was not good enough. The team remains firmly in fourth place in the western division standings behind the Texas Stars and only three points out of first place occupied by route 90 rival Rockford IceHogs. Three points between first and fourth place, oh yes, the silly season has begun!

IMG_4019.gif

File photo, 11/27/2009






















The next home game for the Wolves is an unusual Tuesday night game against Peoria. Puck drop is at 7:00 p.m. hockey on a Tuesday night, what could be better?

IMG_3552.gif

File Photo

"We tried everything we can"

user-pic
Patrick Boylan

I write the Wolves blog for ChicagoNow

Ilya Kovalchuk is gone. The Atlanta Thrashers announced today that negotiations with the star had broken down after the team claims Kovalchuk turned down a $101 million 12 year deal. Thrashers General Manager Don Waddell said in a news conference Thursday night. "Unfortunately we couldn't reach a deal. Now we have to turn the page."

Atlanta Thrashers v New Jersey Devils

The breakdown of months of negotiations led to trading Kovalchuk and defenseman Anssi Salmela in a "rent a star" deal with the New Jersey Devils that will bring the Thrashers Johnny Oduya, Niclas Bergfors, prospect Patrice Cromier and a 2010 first round draft pick.

"We want you, our fans, to know that throughout the negotiation process, the Thrashers organization remained committed to offering Ilya a contract that exceeded those of the league's best and highest paid players," Waddell wrote. "If we had met Kovy' ultimate demand, we would have jeopardized our ability to build a competitive team around him," the statement said.

Phil Foley of the examiner.com blogs said the deal came together starting Sunday, as Waddell scouted the Los Angeles Kings v New jersey Devils game. At the time, Foley reports, the Devils weren't interested in Kovalchuk. But Devils GM Lou Lamoriello entered the bidding Monday and quickly outbid the Kings.

The deal fell into place, according to Foley when the Devils agreed to include Cormier. Cormier, 19, captain of the Canadian 2010 World Junior silver medal team, was suspended for the remainder of the regular season and the playoffs by the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) following a hit that the league described as "dangerous and intolerable." It was his second notable suspension.

The discussion is that Waddell will try to place Cormier with the Chicago Wolves this season. Waddell said the Thrashers hoped to play Cormier next season, "we look forward to having Patrice join us in the near future," Waddell said in a statement. Waddell told NHL On the Fly that the Thrashers would look at moving Cormier after his junior team was eliminated from the playoffs. A late night e-mail to the American Hockey League to ask if the league will honor the QMJHL suspension has not yet been answered.

The trade comes about a week before the February 12th Olympics trade freeze. The final NHL games before the winter Olympics start happen on February 14th. The NHL will not play during the Olympics. A small trade window will open in March 1-3, after the close of the Olympics.

2009 Memorial Cup - Rimouski Oceanic v Drummondville Voltigeurs

The AHL is not taking a break for the Olympics.

In action last night against the Abbotsford Heat in Abbotsford, BC, the Wolves won 3-2. The game winning goal was scored by Matt Anderson with just 98 seconds remaining on the clock. The win put the Wolves just one point out of second place in the West Division, two points out of first place with games in hand on two of the teams ahead of them.

The Wolves play the Heat in Abbotsford again tonight, game time is 9:30 Central, with a Comcast carrying the game and the game broadcast over Internet radio and Internet PPV. A win could put the team in a tie for first place in the division.

Chicago Wolves fall in shootout after coming back from two goal deficit against Hamilton Bulldogs

user-pic
Patrick Boylan

I write the Wolves blog for ChicagoNow

The Hamilton Bulldogs took a two goal lead, but saw the Chicago Wolves tie the game, sending it to a shootout. The top team of the Western Conference held the Wolves to just one goal in the shootout for the win over the largest crowd this season at the All-State, 15,532.

The attendance is the largest since April 11, 2009 when the Wolves hosted their final game of the season against the Rockford IceHogs. The attendance trend indicates the Wolves could have a very good year, despite the report by USAToday that minor league hockey teams have lost attendance. Seven of the top ten home crowds in the previous season came after January 1st. The Wolves have an average crowd this year of 7,305 so far this season, compared to 7,316 overall last season.

Season

Average Attendance

2009-10 * to date

7,305

2008-9

7,316

2007-8

7,474

2006-7

7,830

2005-6

7,932

 

Continue reading...

Kari Lehtonen-The King Returns!

user-pic
Jane Rickard

I'm nuts just ask anybody.

Kari Lehtonen returned to the Allstate last night from Wolves parent club the Atlanta Thrashers, in the second of a four game conditioning assignment.  It was his first appearance before a Chicago crowd on this trip north to shake the rust off after back surgery.

Welcome back Kari! For those who were kept home by the weather here are some images of the game.

IMG_4777.gif

Kari Lehtonen, Wolves uniform, Thrashers mask, looking good.

IMG_4538.gif

Spencer Machacek #8 looks up to find himself examining the boards.



IMG_4726.gif

Spencer didn't want to be introduced to the boards, thank you very much.

IMG_9626.gif

It was a physical game, however Lehtonen was well protected by Wolves defense.

IMG_9522.gif

Classic Kari

IMG_9854.gif

Chris Chelios showing passion on the ice.

IMG_9622.gif

First period, Kari still shaking the rust out, yet looking better.

Chicago Wolves down Houston Aeros 5-2; Kari Lehtonen tired but looking better

user-pic
Patrick Boylan

I write the Wolves blog for ChicagoNow

After an uneven start, the Chicago Wolves went on to dominate the Houston Aeros, scoring five goals to the Aeros two tonight at the Allstate Arena. Jason Krog scored three points in the win, and Brett Sterling scored two goals.

During a power play Tim Stapleton fed the puck from high in the slot to Jason Krog in the left circle. Krog's shot caught Wade Dubielewicz sprawled across the goal mouth. It was only Krog's ninth goal of the year.

"Stapleton made some good moves," Aeros Head Coach Kevin Constantine said, "he's less a shooter and more a playmaker. We went down on him. I should have worked with the guys more to deal with him."

Continue reading...

Chicago Wolves Roast Griffins 5-1

user-pic
Jane Rickard

I'm nuts just ask anybody.

Tonight the Wolves got back to restarting a win streak by defeating the Grand Rapids Griffins 5-1.  It was a good night for Wolves fans and a good night for photography. please enjoy the gallery of the game.

Gallery sneak peek (18 images):

View the gallery...

Chicago Wolves pluck Grand Rapids Griffins 5-1

user-pic
Patrick Boylan

I write the Wolves blog for ChicagoNow

The Chicago Wolves jumped to a three goal lead over the Grand Rapids Griffins in the first period and didn't look back, winning the game 5-1. Joey Crabb scored two goals and Tim Stapleton one goal and one assist in the first 20 minutes.

It was the 12th and 13th goal of the year for Crabb. It was the 22nd goal of the year for Stapleton. Stapleton climbed into third place in the AHL for goals, trailing teammate Brett Sterling by one goal for second place. Stapleton has scored points in seven consecutive games, the longest current streak for the team.

Crabb's first goal was scored at 4:11. Stapleton's goal was scored at 8:44. Crabb's second goal was scored at 16:27.

"Stapleton's line has been hot for the last few weeks," Wolves Head Coach Don Lever noted. "We're trying to play with consistency." After the Peoria loss, which broke a seven game winning streak, Lever said the team talked about how it didn't play the way it should have.

Continue reading...

Wolves Plucking Griffins for First Period Snack..

user-pic
Jane Rickard

I'm nuts just ask anybody.

The score is a lopsided 3-0 Wolves at the start of the second period, with luck the crowd will get to see a hat trick tonight by #15 Joey Crabb who notched 2 of the goals in the first frame. It has been a physical game with one Wolf so far being helped off the ice. Second period promises to be a rough and tumble affair. Referee Shaun Davis is going to have his hands full!

100124grif 100.jpg

Kari Lehtonen returns to Chicago Wolves; Wolves lose 5-4 to Peoria Rivermen

user-pic
Patrick Boylan

I write the Wolves blog for ChicagoNow

Where was the old Kari Lehtonen? The man defending the Atlanta iron is just not the same, letting in soft shots and "funny" bounces.
Kari Lehtonen in goal

Kari Lehtonen defends the Wolves goal in an earlier conditioning assignment. Credit: Jane Rickard


The Wolves dropped a game to the Peoria Rivermen 5-4 at the Carver Arena. Chris Chelios wasn't on the ice.

That seems to be a crucial factor in Wolves losses. When Chelios doesn't play the team is 1-3. When Chelios does play, the team is 22-10-1.

I'd have to describe the blue line in front of Lehtonen as historically light. Both at the Wolves and later in Atlanta, Lehtonen has been the factor that kept his team in the game. He would face forty or fifty shots in a game. That's unacceptable, but Lehtonen survived.

Last night, Lehtonen stopped 32 shots. Facing 37 shots isn't acceptable. It shows weakness in the blue line. Facing 37 or more shots on goal has only happened to the Wolves ten times this season, ten of 44 games. Since Lever has been behind the bench this has only happened six times, six of 38 games.

When the team faces that many shots, its overall record is 3-6-1 while its record under Lever is 2-3-1. In other words, keeping the shot off the net is critical to a win. At least part of the reason the Wolves lost by one goal has to be laid at the feet of the blue line.

Karila, The Epic of Kari Lehtonen refreshed my memory, softened last night by a large glass of good stuff, of what had happened. The first goal Lehtonen let in was the "funny" bounce, a shot from the RED line along the left boards by Bryce Lampman. Two other goals bothered me, the Cracknell goal.

Chris Porter took a shot from the point, Adam Cracknell, standing outside the paint put some wood on it and deflected it in. Granted, this is a tough shot to stop, Porter's cannon shot was already moving and Lehtonen had to judge the deflection.

The other shot that bothered me was the Drazenovic goal. Nicholas Drazenovic took a shot from the slot that deflected in off of Lehtonen's own stick.

Lehtonen is assigned to the Wolves for two weeks. Peter Mannino is expected to start in goal in a game this afternoon against the Grand Rapids Griffins.

Karila has a summary of Lehtonen's injury history.


Peoria Rivermen Stop Wolves Roll 5-4

user-pic
Jane Rickard

I'm nuts just ask anybody.

Last night the Wolves winning streak of 7 games came to an end on Peoria ice, losing to the Rivermen 5-4. Despite being on the losing side Wolves remain in 4th place. Hanging on in a "Texas sandwich"  ahead of 5th place Houston by 1 point and out of 3rd behind the Stars by 3 points as of this morning. 


 At 3:00 p.m. today the Wolves will hit the ice at the All-state Arena to take on the Grand Rapids Griffins.  Be there or be square.

IMG_4127.gif

File Photo

Chicago Wolves Winning Streak Now at Seven

user-pic
Jane Rickard

I'm nuts just ask anybody.

Chicago Wolves traveled to Milwaukee's Bradley Center last night with business on their minds, and got the deal closed.  At the end of 60 minutes of hockey with the Admirals the Chicago boys boarded the bus with a 6-3 win and 2 precious points in their pockets.  Now they are firm owners of 4th place in the Western Division and 1 point out of 3rd place. Tonight as the 3rd place Texas Stars play the North Division Lake Erie Monsters you can bet the eyes of Texas will be upon the Wolves Peoria Riverman game tonight.

IMG_4023.gif

Wolves Riley Holzapfel defends goal from Milwaukees from Mark Santorelli while Drew MacIntyre tumbles into the goal behind them. File Photo


Gallery XIII- Robert Gherson, Goalie with a 1000 watt smile!

user-pic
Jane Rickard

I'm nuts just ask anybody.

There are some players that make there mark by scoring goals.  If a goalie by being the iron man or woman in the crease stopping pucks and making impossible saves.  If you are a back up goalie, the teams official second banana you work your magic in subtle ways until called on the ice. Then and only then you don the cape and become the super hero and save the day, it's a tough job.

Robert Gherson came to the Wolves in 2007 as part of the goaltending team with Ondrej Pavelec. Gherson became Pavelec's back up, starting in goal when the young Czech needed a rest.  To this photographers eyes when riding the pine Gherson's most obvious assets were his 1,000 watt smile and his constant encouragement of team mates. In January of 2009 Gherson was loaned to the East Coast Hockey League's Utah Grizzlies. Where he played 10 games, winning 5.

 According to the Hockey Data Base he is not actively playing at the professional level at this time. Whatever Gherson  is up to these days, only the best to him and that smile that lights up an arena.

Gallery sneak peek (23 images):

View the gallery...

Chicago Wolves Now Own 4th Place

user-pic
Jane Rickard

I'm nuts just ask anybody.

The Chicago Wolves won their 6th consecutive game moving them into sole ownership of 4th place.  The Peoria Rivermen fall into 5th place now behind by two points. Both teams having played demanding schedules this week  managed to play 60 minutes of respectable hockey despite looking tired from the opening moments .  It has often been said that a hockey season is a marathon not a sprint. Last nights game after Peoria being scheduled to play four games in the last seven days and Chicago five, is a powerful example of the marathon  aspect of the game and midseason conditioning  and training shows.


This week marks the all star break, for many fans it is the highlight of the season.  Congratulations to Brett Sterling who will be representing the Wolves this year in Portland, safe travels to the fans traveling to Maine for the festivities.


Here are some images of  the game.

IMG_4125.gif

Brian Sipotz leads the charge into the Peoria defensive zone.IMG_8728.gif

Anthony Stewart and Tim Stapleton  move into the Peoria defensive zone, Peoria's Nicholas Drazenovic struggles with a defensive move by Stapleton.IMG_3956.gif

Peter Mannino takes a quiet moment to focus during a TV time out.IMG_8812.gif

Bret Sterling shows why he is flying to Portland this week to represent the Wolves. He never stops trying, he plays like a  badger, always getting his nose in for a goal in unexpected places. 

IMG_8749.gif

Bidding on the Police and Fire sweaters came to a close at the end of the 2nd break. This bidder came in to bid in the closing seconds a common bidding tactic. Proceeds from the auction went to Wolves Charities.



Chicago Wolves head into All-Star break on 6 game streak; Defeat Peoria Rivermen 3-1

user-pic
Patrick Boylan

I write the Wolves blog for ChicagoNow

The Chicago Wolves won their season high sixth consecutive game this afternoon, over the Peoria Rivermen 3-1. The win puts the Wolves in sole possession of fourth place in the AHL West Division, up from sixth place just five days ago.


Matt Anderson scored the opening goal from his knees at 3:40 into the first period, for his sixth goal of the year. The game winning goal was scored by Tim Stapleton 19 seconds into the second period. Stapleton's goal puts him in a three-way tie for third place with 19 goals this season, just behind the Wolves only All-Star, Brett Sterling, who leads the league with 22 goals.


"Stapleton is playing above AHL standards," Wolves Head Coach Don Lever said.


Wolves goalie Peter Mannino was not played by the team till October 31st. He had only played five games by December 1st. As a result, his stats were not considered by the league in its listing of top goalies until after today's game. His play puts him in third place for goals against average with 1.94, second place for save percentage with 93.8 percent and 20th place for wins with a record of 11-3-0.

Continue reading...

To the victor goes 4th place.

user-pic
Jane Rickard

I'm nuts just ask anybody.

 2nd period is about to start and both teams are coming out of the box looking at 4th place if they come off of the ice with a win tonight. The pressure is on and the Wolves and Rivermen are up to it tonight!

011011marlies 487.jpg

Peoria Rivermen return for third time this month

user-pic
Patrick Boylan

I write the Wolves blog for ChicagoNow

The Chicago Wolves end their two game trip to Texas having moved to fourth place, four points out of first place with a game in hand, from sixth place and eight points out of first place, with two games in hand.


Led by a string of five wins, four over divisional opponents, the team is rolling into the league's All-Star break on a wave. The game, Sunday, against the Peoria Rivermen will be the third game this month against Peoria. As discussed in our review earlier in the week of the Rivermen under Rick Wamsley, in general the team is struggling to find its feet.


The exception is the power play. Overall the Rivermen are putting 22.7 percent of advantages in, second in the league. When the team is adjusted for its five games of experience under Wamsley, however, the power play climbs to 47.6 percent, which leads the league.


The Rivermen's have struggled to put it together since Wamsley replaced Davis Payne, winning two games, and neither of them against divisional foes, they also won a point in a shoot out loss to the Wolves.


Since the game against the Rivermen, a week ago, the Blues have added Derek Armstrong on a conditioning assignment, Yan Stastny and Sebastion Dahm.


The Wolves are likely to be tired on Sunday. This will be the fourth game played since Wednesday morning. The situation isn't much better for the Rivermen, who have been bused around Lake Michigan, having played the Milwaukee Admirals on the tenth in Peoria, the Grand Rapids Griffins in Grand Rapids on the 15th and the Rockford IceHogs in Peoria tonight.


Have I ever written how useless I think the AHL All-Star game is? I probably haven't. The game, taking place somewhere, else features one Chicago Wolves player: Brett Sterling. But that's not why I don't like this bloodless and useless exhibition. YAWN!


Good luck to all the All-Stars.

Three coaches, one division

user-pic
Patrick Boylan

I write the Wolves blog for ChicagoNow

The blog will not be looking deeply at the San Antonio Rampage, though the Chicago Wolves defeated them in a close 5-3 win last night and play them again tonight. The SAR are one of three AHL teams to have new coaches this season.

The Peoria Rivermen changed coaches when their parent club, the St. Louis Blues, terminated the Head Coaches contract there. That brought Rick Wamsley to the Rivermen earlier this month.

Greg Ireland received the axe in San Antonio in November as a Thanksgiving week present. Ireland, the former coach of the Grand Rapids Griffins, was replaced by Ray Edwards.

While in Chicago, the Wolves relieved Don Granato and called on Don Lever.

Continue reading...

Chicago Wolves 7, Milwaukee Admirals 2. 3 goals in 67 seconds sinks division leader.

user-pic
Patrick Boylan

I write the Wolves blog for ChicagoNow

 

The Chicago Wolves scored three goals in a period of 67 seconds, within seconds of a franchise record set in 1996, to defeat the Milwaukee Admirals 7-2 in an unusual morning game today.

The first goal was notched at 9:57. A fast transition from behind the Wolves goal allowed the Wolves to bring the puck up to Tim Stapleton on a breakaway. He puts it top-shelf on Mark Dekanich for 1-0 lead. It was his 17th of the season.

The second goal happened 47 seconds later at 9:10. A give and go comes up from behind the Chicago end to find Chelios open in front of Dekanich. Chris Chelios puts it in, his fifth of the year.

Still trying to catch-up on the previous goal, the third happens in 14 seconds, at 8:54. From the other side of the circle Riley Holzapfel finds a five-hole open. It was the fourth by Riley Holzapfel. Bye-bye to Mark Dekanich as Chet Pickard takes over the duties in the pipes.

"There is no excuse," Milwaukee Head Coach Lane Lambert said, "we got out-shot, out-hit and out-competed today." The Admirals, suffering from injuries and player call-ups needed their line guys to standup. Lambert said it wasn't a goalie issue but a "problem with the guys with small sticks."

"They took the wind from our sails. And our players let us down," Lambert said.


Continue reading...

Milwaukee Admiral Preview: Big, tough vulnerable

user-pic
Patrick Boylan

I write the Wolves blog for ChicagoNow

As quickly as a Texas snowstorm, the Texas Stars are melting in the sunlight of away games. Replacing them as top dog in the Western Division are the Milwaukee Admirals.


The high level look at the Admirals shows the team will be entering the match Wednesday morning on a four game winning streak. Plus the Admirals do well on the road, earning 28 points in 24 games, with a record of 12-8-1-3. Or, to put it another way, only 15 teams have a better HOME record than the Admirals away record.


Their GF/GA ratio is ranked fifth in the league.

The Chicago, San Antonio and Peoria GF/GA ratios need to be adjusted to look only at the time since the new coaches of these teams took over. In fact, the Peoria coach hasn't had enough time to show trends in any particular measure. San Antonio's GF/GA remains unchanged at .92. But Chicago's increases to 1.2.


Continue reading...

Wolves Topple Marlies 3-2 in OT

user-pic
Jane Rickard

I'm nuts just ask anybody.

Chicago Wolves carried the game tonight despite battling their way through in Coach Don Levers words a "very physical" game filled with "dirty hits" indeed it was a wild game.  Early in the first period Wolves blueliner Paul Postoma was lost to what has been described as a lower body injury.  Postma was driven into the boards behind the Chicago goal, upon arising he appeared to be in obvious pain as he made his way to the bench.

Thumbnail image for IMG_8082.gif

Paul Posatma gingerly makes his way to the bench after being introduced to the boards by one of the Marlies.


Continue reading...

Chicago Wolves comeback to win in physical game; beat Toronto Marlies 3-2 OT

user-pic
Patrick Boylan

I write the Wolves blog for ChicagoNow

It took 38 seconds for the Toronto Marlies to prove to the Wolves they had better take them seriously. 38 seconds till they used their speed to check the puck away from the Wolves, capture the puck, and for Stefano Giiliati to hammer it home.

Taking control of transitions, poke checking and breaking away, the Marlies threw the Wolves off-balance in the first ten minutes of the match Sunday, not once, but twice, three times in the first period. It would be a busy day for Drew MacIntyre. By the end of ten minutes, the Marlies had a shot advantage of 4-1 over the Wolves.

For the remainder of the first period the Wolves tried to get back on track after the Marlies attack.

Continue reading...

Marlies Giving the Wolves a Work Out Tonight!

user-pic
Jane Rickard

I'm nuts just ask anybody.

Indeed it has been a hot time in the Allstate tonight, the last 40 minutes of hockey have been well worth the price of admission. Score? Marlies 2-1 with dance at the end of the second.


Here are a nibble of the action..

Thumbnail image for 011011marlies 252.jpg
011011marlies 311.jpg

Wolves Turn it on Win 3-1 over Peoria Rivermen

user-pic
Jane Rickard

I'm nuts just ask anybody.

If you have recovered from last nights excitement here are some images of the win.


Today at 3:00 PM the Wolves will face off against the Toronto Marlies. Wolf Tim Stapleton will be facing his old team from the frozen north.  Wolves fans will also be seeing a face from the past, Andre Deveaux will be in a Marlies uniform.  Can we hope for a hot time in the Rosemont tonight?IMG_3482.gif

Peoria bench reacts to a shot on goal by Jason Krog.IMG_7883.gif

Peoria Nettie Ben Bishop, he had a long night last night.IMG_7891.gif

Jason Krog and Peoria's Bryce Lampman have a "bonding" moment on the ice.IMG_7907.gif

Action at the Peoria creaseIMG_8067.gif

Last night's well attended post game skate.


Chicago Wolves pick up 4th win this season over Peoria Rivermen

user-pic
Patrick Boylan

I write the Wolves blog for ChicagoNow

In a battle between the second-ranked power play and the sixth-ranked penalty kill, the Chicago Wolves came out with a 3-1 win led by Johnny Pohl's two goal night.

Kevin Doell is continuing to light up the opposition. He scored the first goal of the game. He has a string of ten points in the last 12 games.

Continue reading...

Chicago Wolves -V-Peoria Rivemen Taste Of the Game

user-pic
Jane Rickard

I'm nuts just ask anybody.

2010-01-08_0026.gif

2007-04-03_0367.gif

Young fan dresses for the game.

Peoria crease,as Jason Krog closes in for a goal attempt. 

 As the the game progresses into the second period both teams are still scoreless. The predictions of a physical game have to fruition. Both teams have come out for each shift meaning business. This is going to be a great game to watch unfold.


Here are some images of the first period action.

 

2007-04-03_0195.gif

The action around the Peoria crease was hot and heavy during the long shifts of the first period.

Previews: Peoria Rivermen under new coach are dynamite; Toronto Marlies calling it in

user-pic
Patrick Boylan

I write the Wolves blog for ChicagoNow


The Peoria Rivermen return to the Allstate Arena tonight, their second visit this month. The change of coach in the NHL St. Louis Blues meant a change in coach at the Peoria Rivermen too. The Chicago Wolves punished the new coach, Rick Wamsley, with a 3-2 shootout win last Saturday.


Wamsley, who was formally introduced to the team on Thursday, went on last night to spank the Toronto Marlies with four power play goals in a game at Peoria's Carver Arena last night. More on that in a moment.


"I was (so nervous) in the Chicago game that when I got to the bench I felt like I was gonna puke, to be honest,'' Wamsley told the Peoria Journal Star, "I saw No. 18, saw (Cam) Paddock on the jersey, but I thought 'Jay McClement,' because that's who wears 18 for the Blues. It'll be a few games before I know what I have here.''


The Rivermen lineup continued to change during the week, so the new coach isn't dealing, yet, with a stable game card. Adrian Veideman, a blue liner, has been suspended after he left the team to play in Germany for the Iserlohn Roosters. Also, Ben Bishop, who played in Chicago last weekend, has been bouncing between the Blues and the Rivermen this week. The last word on Bishop, as I write this, is that he is back with the Rivermen and can start Saturday against the Wolves.



The Friday night game between the Rivermen and the Marlies was spectacular. It isn't that often that the final goal is NOT an empty net goal when an empty net is present and every goal, by both teams, was scored on the power play.



The 4/6 special teams effort gives the Rivermen a 22 percent power play, good enough for second best in the league. By the time the Rivermen return here next week we'll begin measuring how the team is doing under Coach Wamsley, but with a start like this, the team will top the league, adjusted for the new coach.



New coaches are either hot or cold. They also have a period of time when it isn't clear what is happening as they go from hot to cold or from cold to hot. Wamsley's only been around for a week, two games, and it is still unclear, but the signs for him are good, if you're a Peoria fan. This is the third game for Wamsley and the 37th game overall for the team this season.


Continue reading...

Chris Chelios Arrested for Driving Under the Influence December 28th.

user-pic
Jane Rickard

I'm nuts just ask anybody.

Chicago Wolves defenseman and former Chicago Blackhawk Chris Chelios has been charged with DUI, speeding and improper lane usage for an incident on December 28th about 4:00 am. near the intersection of Blackhawk Drive and Ogden Avenue.  

Chelios has been assigned a court date of February 1st at the Dupage Circuit Court in Wheaton.


http://www.chicagobreakingsports.com/2010/01/chris-chelios-arrested.html

Photo: Chris Chelios' booking photo (Westmont Police Department)Chelios.JPG

Preview: Chicago Wolves v Hamilton Bulldogs; the return of Don Lever

user-pic
Patrick Boylan

I write the Wolves blog for ChicagoNow

The Chicago Wolves take on the Hamilton Bulldogs at the Copps Coliseum in Hamilton, Ontario Wednesday. The 6:30 PM game will be broadcast live on Comcast 100. There will also be Internet coverage available through both pay per view, Canadian station Talk 820 and free Internet radio.


The game marks the 29th contest behind the bench for Head Coach Don Lever. He returns to Hamilton, a town he led to the Calder Cup in 2007 as Head Coach of the Hamilton Bulldogs (2005-9). His record of 39-24-2-0 behind the Bulldog bench is second only to Claude Julien (2000-3) 33-6-3-3. However Julien was unable to bring a Calder Cup home to Hamilton.


This is the second match-up of the two teams this season. The previous game, October 17th, was the last game coached by Don Granato and was a 4-5 loss at home.


Lever's record this season is 17-10-0-2, or 35 points. The Wolves remain in sixth place in the Western Division despite an impressive ratio of goals favoring the Wolves 94/78 (1.21) since Lever took the reins. In addition, the Wolves have a very good penalty kill under Lever, 114/129 (88.4%), although the power play is relatively average, 20/119 (16.8%).

Continue reading...

Wolves Torpedo Rivermen 3-2 in Shoot Out!

user-pic
Jane Rickard

I'm nuts just ask anybody.

Chicago Wolves played like a team  defeating scrappy Peoria  in a 3-2 shoot out.  The game was made all the more dramatic by the newly minted Riverman Head Coach Rick Wamsley who had assumed his duties only moments before the game. Peoria and the Wolves meet three more times in January this will be an opportunity to see a team and coach  learn to work together in mid season.


As always here are some images of the action .

IMG_3293.gif

Special edition sweaters saluting Chicago's finest are being auctioned off for Wolves Charities and Police and Firemen's Foundations. Bidding continues until January 17th, bid often bid high for a good cause!

IMG_7145.gif

Calling all Girl Scouts! Last night was Girl Scout Cookie Kick Off an all day event by the Wolves to help the Scouts get off to a great start with their sales campaign this year. 

IMG_7184.gif

First period action at the Wolves goal mouth, Peter Mannino in goal.

IMG_7316.gif

When you consider that Coach Rick Wamsley basically walked on the ice and started to coach the game he and his team did well. Of course the Wolves took advantage of errors..

IMG_7365.jpg

Closing seconds of OT, Peoria nettie Ben Bishop struggles.

IMG_7502.gif

Having won the game the Wolves celebrate among themselves. For a moment it appeared as if the team was going to salute the record crowd as the Blackhawks and Chicago Steel do after each game. However, they did not and went directly to the tee shirt toss then retired to the locker room. 

Chicago Wolves 3 v Peoria Rivermen 2 Shootout

user-pic
Patrick Boylan

I write the Wolves blog for ChicagoNow

The Chicago Wolves spoiled new Peoria Rivermen Head Coach Rick Wamsley's debut, winning a shootout 3-2.
The first goal was scored late in the first period. A powerplay shot from the slot was stopped by Wolves Goalie Peter Mannino. But Mannino dropped the puck and it was hammered home by Nicholas Drazenovic, his ninth of the year. Shots on goal for the period were 12 for the Wolves, 11 for the Rivermen. The Wolves had no power plays. The Rivermen were 1 for 2 on the power play. Rivermen power play goal was sixth power play goal in five games.

Stapleton's breakaway in the first period, during a Peoria power play, showed he has real wheels.


Continue reading...

Chicago Wolves v Peoria Rivermen pregame notes

user-pic
Patrick Boylan

I write the Wolves blog for ChicagoNow

With personnel changes in St. Louis, the effect will likely be felt on the ice at the Allstate Arena. NHL St. Louis Blues Head Coach Andy Murray, known for a testy personality, has a record of 17-17-6, disappointing for a team expected to be headed to the playoffs. He was terminated earlier today.

Replacing Murray is Davis Payne, the Head Coach of the Peoria Rivermen. Called on to fill the bench in the American team is Rick Wamsley. Wamsley, named to the position apparently on an interim basis, has never headed a coaching position before, although he has been an assistant coach.

According to sources at the press dinner, the coach arrived at the Allstate Arena about 6 PM, about an hour before game time, meeting his players for the first time just before the game.


Continue reading...

Gallery XI- Wolves Shoot Down Houston Aeros 5-1

user-pic
Jane Rickard

I'm nuts just ask anybody.

It was not a good night at the office for Houston Aeros nettie Anton Khudobin.  Not that with facing 24 shots on goal he had a busy night, his own team couldn't stop running into him.  On the other end of the ice Peter Mannino faced 23 SOG and remained unbruised by his teammates. 


It was a great night for photos and a bad night for goalies in green. Pass the ice packs and prepare for tonight's game in Rockford Anton... 

Gallery sneak peek (17 images):

View the gallery...

Houston phones it in, Chicago Wolves pick up 5-1 end of year win.

user-pic
Patrick Boylan

I write the Wolves blog for ChicagoNow

The Houston Aeros called it in; it was a 5-1 rout by their old IHL foes, the Chicago Wolves. The Wolves, struggling to maintain a .500 record entering the game. The Wolves, hanging on to their sixth place in the Western Division kicked ass and took names.


From the first period to the last, Chicago dominated the game. “If we could (capture tonight’s effort), it would be nice,” Head Coach Don Lever said. “Everybody was on board. We’re not a .500 hockey team,” he said, noting the team’s record going into the match. “We need to play with this consistency” every night.


Winning is always fun. Here's how last nights fun broke down. The Aeros put just four shots on goal in the first period of play, in the next ten minutes, they managed to locate the vicinity of Wolves Goaltender Peter Mannino just one more time, failing even then to penetrate his leathers.


IMG_3150.gif

Houston goalie, Anton Khudobin dodges a teammate in the crease during the second period.

Mannino, who is 6-2-1 this season, is now on a two game win streak and has stuffed Houston in both contests with them this year. Pity poor Anton Kudobin, 9-9-1, he looked helpless out there, flopping around while his team gave up transitions, passes and generally passing for doormats. With the game tied 0-0, despite the meager shots on goal of Houston, The first goal of the game was scored 2:12 into the second period as a pass was picked off in the Aeros defensive zone and found Andrew Kozek in front of the paint. It was Kozek’s sixth goal of the season.


Then Nathan Oystrick floated an off-speed shot at Kudobin with 5:46 left in the second frame. What should have been an easy stop found a hole in Kudobin and fluttered in. It was Oystrick’s third goal of the season and put the Wolves in the lead 2-0. It was such a soft shot, either it took a funny bounce that couldn't be noticed from the press box, or Kudobin was fooled by its lack of speed.


The Aeros woes continued in the final frame as Tim Stapleton picked the pocket of the Aeros seconds into the frame, firing a shot from the left circle high into the crossbar for his fifteenth goal of the season. Jean-Michel Daoust broke the Aeros drought with a five-hole goal on Peter Mannino at 6:44. It was Daoust’s 12th goal of the season.


The Wolves’ penalty kill, ranked fifth in the league at 87.9 percent, found Joey Crabb during a third period clear. Crabb moved up the right boards by the team benches. Crabb’s resulting short-handed goal, his second of the season and seventh goal overall, put the Wolves in second with nine short-handed goals this season.


This blog keeps looking at how the season has been following the ascension of Don Lever to the bench. The penalty kill, adjusted for just the game's Lever has coached, is 89.8 percent, ranking it second in the league to the Hershey Bears. Definitely one of the highlights of the season.


An empty net goal by Anthony Stewart, his seventh of the season, with less than three minutes remaining put the score at 5-1.


It was the 23rd AHL game for veteran NHL blueliner Chris Chelios. Chelios had a two point night, bringing to 16 his point total for the season. The Wolves have turned around their season since signing Chelios, to 15-10-0-2 since signing Chelios from 1-5 prior. The team is 14-8-0-2 when the vet plays, and 1-2 without him. The team announced it had agreed to a 25 game extension of the professional tryout with Chelios earlier this week. (The story for the Tribune had pre-game stats for Chelios).


“Chelios is bringing years of NHL experience to the ice,” Lever noted. “He’s very good with the young players.”


Wolves’ goalie Mannino is 6-2-1 this season. Mannino, who previously faced the Aeros November 15th, chalking up a win then against his opponent Wednesday, Anton Kudobin, 9-9-1. Mannino’s last win was December 26th versus the Grand Rapids Griffins. Mannino stopped 22 shots on goal for the win. Kudobin stopped 21 shots for the loss.


Aeros Winger Jon DiSalvatore was unable to continue his four-game goal streak. He had tallied five points during the streak which started December 18. The Aeros continue this three game road trip with a call at the MetroCentre for New Year's Eve and then play at the Bradley Center on New Year's Day. They have completed half of their home season already, 20 games.


The Wolves face the Rivermen on New Year's Eve, at the Carver Arena. An unusual morning game is planned at the Allstate at 11 AM, January 13 against the Milwaukee Admirals.

Gallery VIII- Chris Chelios

user-pic
Jane Rickard

I'm nuts just ask anybody.

 I was asked about a month ago by another photographer if Chris Chelios was difficult to photograph. The answer is easy, no.  Just look where the action is and you will find him there in the thick of it.  Cheli's body language and line on the ice are so distinctive you don't need to look for a number or name you can spot him net to net by his skating style.  These last 22 games have been a pleasure and I look forward to every game ahead and every shot ahead of this great skater and defenseman.

Gallery sneak peek (30 images):

View the gallery...

Gallery VII- Chicago Wolves -Milwaukee Admirals 12/19/2009

user-pic
Jane Rickard

I'm nuts just ask anybody.

Some games everything just goes right and the photography Gods are in house.  Saturday was one of those nights, here are some of the best of the best.

Gallery sneak peek (13 images):

View the gallery...

Which Chicago Wolves player is the subject of a The Hockey News Poll? VOTE

user-pic
Patrick Boylan

I write the Wolves blog for ChicagoNow

It should be printed on our LAZ's parking meters as the city moto: vote early, vote often. The Hockey News, is holding a poll this week that features a key member of the Chicago Wolves: Chris Chelios. What the heck, have your say, have it several times.

Will Chris Chelios play in the NHL again? Yes or No?

Follow the link above to go to the poll.

"It's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog." Mark Twain

user-pic
Jane Rickard

I'm nuts just ask anybody.

That's Chicago's Brett Sterling, Mr. Tenacious, equal parts badger getting his nose into tight spaces where only the bravest seem to go. Triumph the Insult Dog, pure agitator and scoring threat. That's, Sterls got to love him #29.


Last night Brett Sterling was the sole shining light for Chicago against Cleveland in a bleak 7:3 loss with his two goals. Here are a few images of Sterling doing what he does best, fighting the odds and proving powerful things come in small packages.

IMG_3574.gif

Chicago's Brett Sterling fights to control the puck and remain on his skates against the Texas Stars.

IMG_3575.gif


IMG_3577.gif

Totally stuffed under a Star, Sterling is still trying to get the puck into the net.

IMG_1333.gif

Sterling snow storm.

Texas Stars Shine, Chicago Wolves Lose 5-3

user-pic
Jane Rickard

I'm nuts just ask anybody.

It didn't take long for the winning streak to snap. Last night the Wolves despite an early 2 point lead during the first period snatched defeat out of the jaws of victory ultimately going down for the count 5:3. This team is on the second dip of a roller coaster season. I just a few games it will be start to climb consistently or time to sign the lease on the basement. The Wolves pack their bags for a four game road trip ending with a home game in the 19th at the Allstate. Time enough to leave distractions in Rosemont and start to think as a team.


Here are some images of the game.

IMG_2274.gif

Toys for Tots had a great night on Saturday with Wolves players wives and the Marines working together for sick kids.

IMG_5147.gif

A first period pile up at Wolves goal started after a "friendly" face wash between players.

IMG_5217.gif

The line up for a face off Ivan Vishnevskiy, Sergei Korostin and in front Mathieu Beaudon.

IMG_5303.gif

Brett Sterling same face off third period.

IMG_5341.gif

Scott McCulloch and Josh Gratton battle it out during the third period.

Chicago Wolves drop 2 goal lead in back and forth loss

user-pic
Patrick Boylan

I write the Wolves blog for ChicagoNow

The Chicago Wolves dropped a two goal lead in a televised game against the league leading Texas Stars Saturday. It was a back and forth effort that saw the Wolves climb into the lead to lose it twice, and eventually drop the game.

It happened earlier in November in a game against the Grand Rapids Griffins, too: taking an early lead only to lose steam compared to the opposition.

Lots of good news in a game that was a downer. Good action, particularly in the first period, by the Wolves put a lot of pressure on the Stars. The Stars were held off during eight power plays, matching the team's season high freeze of the San Antonio Rampage. And the power play is becoming more of a factor, going one for four on Saturday.

Still, the lack of discipline on the Wolves, giving eight man advantages and being offered only four of their own, demonstrates something. And the story is told, too, by the type of penalties: hooking and holding. Defensive penalties.

I do like what I'm seeing, despite the loss.

In the final penalty kill in the game, a penalty kill that would have left the Wolves with just 41 seconds to score a tying goal, they played with desperation. They put pressure on the Stars, who had to defend, while on the power play, in their own zone.

But the game is about moving forward to a better team and a new banner. To do that, the discipline needs attention. The defense needs work to not just feel the confidence to avoid the clutch and hold style that draws penalties, but the physical conditioning and training to be on the right side of the puck so such penalties are not necessary.

On the other side of the ice, the new Texas coach, Glen Gulutzman has finally turned the Stars. They were the  Iowa Stars at one time, a troubled franchise that is still generating news.

This was an exciting game, despite the disappointing result. And the Stars, with an exciting new bench boss, are turning into a great edition to the league.

Paul Postma and Scott Lehman continue to be day-to-day. Angelo Esposito, according to a Wolves source, is apparently out for the season. Arturs Kulda was back on the ice Saturday after being out for about two weeks. After the game he said he felt good, but that he was still working on getting back to speed. Kulda has a +/- of 13, ranked sixth among active players.

Chelios talking about 25 game extension

user-pic
Patrick Boylan

I write the Wolves blog for ChicagoNow

"I've had an offer," Chris Chelios said in an interview with BIlly Gardner on WPWR Saturday night, "I'm more content playing here, playing the 20 minutes, as I would be going to an NHL team and being the seventh defenseman."
"I'm in a pretty good situation here. It would take a pretty good opportunity where I could get a fifth or sixth spot. But I don't want to bail out on the (Wolves). Right now my plans are to be here. Realistically if anything is going to happen it will happen closer to the trade deadline, when teams are looking for insurance. But it would have to take a pretty good situation to leave the Wolves."
"I think I'm allowed to sign another (PTO)," Chelios said.


Wolves Break Black Friday Losing Streak, Gobble Up Lake Erie Monsters 3-2

user-pic
Jane Rickard

I'm nuts just ask anybody.

It was a tense night at the Allstate by the time of puck drop, would the home team break the Black Friday Curse? Despite the best efforts of the Cleveland team the Wolves emerged victorious 3-2. Bret Sterling would be the hero of the day fighting his way into the crease and scoring the winning goal at 10:30 into the third. Sterling, he is a powerful lot of fearless player in a small package.


Tonight the Wolves meet the Texas Stars at the Allstate arena at 7:00 bring on those yellow roses.


As always here are images of last nights fun:

IMG_4769.gif

Drew MacIntyre faces a snow shower with the support of Chris Chelios and Steve MCarthy, Cleveland 's Cedric McNicoll looks for a way in for the puck.

IMG_1936.gif

Wolves wives and cubs work on the annual Toys for Tots Drive with the US Marine Corps. Containers will be at entrances for collection of toys between now and Christmas, just look for the guys in uniform.

IMG_2010.gif

Cleveland nettie Trevor Cann makes a lovely glove save.IMG_4994.gif

Darryen Haydar in his first return to Chicago ice since leaving the Wolves after the 08' championship season is greeted warmly by fans.

IMG_4782.gif

Kevin Doell and Ryan Stoa mix it up during a face off.

IMG_5019.gif

Lake Erie Goalie Billy Sauer provided relief for a struggling Trevor Cann late in the game. Sauer had been called up to Cleveland late into his game last night with the Las Vegas Wranglers. He grabbed a quick bite and caught the red eye to Chicago. 

Another Black Friday loss: PK and early lead melts away

user-pic
Patrick Boylan

I write the Wolves blog for ChicagoNow

Black Friday has come and gone and the discussion of whether the Wolves have some sort of curse, well, Head Coach Don Lever doesn't buy it, saying he doesn't believe in curses (and in any case, what is the curse? Just that the team has a poor record of 2-11-0-1 playing on Black Friday).


But how do you explain a game where the team takes a lead 65 seconds into the contest, goes on to kill two full two minute five on three power plays and stops 29 shots on goal and it still loses the game? Well we can start by asking where the offense is: where is the offense? Don Lever says ask the offensive line. Stay tuned for tomorrow.


The 5:3 penalty kill is now 4/4 for the season, with the total penalty kill running at 89.7 percent. However, if you adjust that for the time since Chris Chelios/ Lever joined the team, the PK is 93.7 percent. Would you believe there is a team with an even better PK? Yep, The Hershey Bears have a better PK at 94 percent.


Continue reading...

Turkeys Away: Wolves are 2-10-0-1 on Black Friday

user-pic
Patrick Boylan

I write the Wolves blog for ChicagoNow

Black Friday, the day after the team has filled itself. For your enjoyment, I've researched the history of the Chicago Wolves on games on Thanksgiving, and immediately after the holiday. The only time the team has ever played on Thanksgiving Day was in its first year, 1994, when it faced the Fort Wayne Komets and won. If the first game after the holiday is Black Saturday, it has a perfect 2-0 record. However, if it plays on Black Friday, it has a terrible record: 2-10-0-1. And, in five of the years, the loss started a multiple game losing streak.

Continue reading...

Chicago Wolves Thanksgiving Home Stand ,Day 6, Game 3, Win 3!

user-pic
Jane Rickard

I'm nuts just ask anybody.

The Chicago Wolves did it again, beating the Grand Rapids Griffins 3-2 last night at the Allstate Arena. Perhaps it was the thought of owner Don Levin's traditional American Thanksgiving dinner today at the Drake for players and families that inspired them. At last the Wolves offense seemed to be more energized and organized. Still, as they sleep off that turkey dinner tonight I pray the ghosts of peewee coaches past whisper in their ears, "Get your tush in their goalie's face!" And "Protect your goalie but don't block his view !".


Here is a bit of a taste of the game for those who were caught in the holiday traffic.

Thumbnail image for IMG_1467.gif

Brett Sterling struggles against the boards on his way to scoring the game winning goal .

IMG_1481.gif

Pile up at the goal mouth! A worthy effort but no goal..IMG_3689.gif

Kevin Doell on offense for the Wolves,he was a welcome returnee this year from the European Leagues .IMG_3850.gif

Grand Rapids nettie Larson gets a snow shower at the end of the third period.

Wolves Thanksgiving Home Stand Day 2 Win 2

user-pic
Jane Rickard

I'm nuts just ask anybody.

The Texas Stars came to Chicago for the second day of the Thanksgiving home stand and left without points in their pockets. Coach Lever's Wolves having defeated them 3-1 in a hard fought game much closer than the score implies. By the end of the night the Wolves who not so long ago were in the league's basement now were tied for 2nd place in the West. As we take a two day breather in this busiest week of the Wolves schedule, yes lets take a moment to celebrate 2nd place. Whining about the holes in the Wolves offense can wait until later in the week.


Here are some tasty images of the game.

IMG_3446.gif

Wolves Josh Gratton mixes it up with Luke Gazdik


IMG_3380.gif


IMG_3414.gif

Chris Chelios as always using perfect technique.

IMG_3427.gif

Brent Krahn last year he was a Wolf, this year he is in a Stars uniform. He still is a great goalie.

IMG_3575.gif

From his knees Brett Sterling tries to put one in the net, the man never stops trying!






Chicago Wolves from worst to second in a month

user-pic
Patrick Boylan

I write the Wolves blog for ChicagoNow

The Chicago Wolves are winning with a tough bunch of goaltenders. Holding the line in two weekend games after more than 40 shots on goal each, Peter Mannino and Drew MacIntyre have given up just two goals in the Friday and Saturday exhibitions. In Sunday's exhibition against the league-leading Texas Stars MacIntyre stopped 26 shots on goal.

To review the situation, the team has gone from last in the league, with just two points on the morning of October 23rd, to second in the division this morning with 21 points and games in hand on most of the competition. The exception, the problem, was the Texas Stars. With 32 points, the Stars are leading the league in points. The win last night against the Stars was huge. It was so large that people at the Allstate did not believe.

Believe.

Continue reading...

Chicago Wolves Sink Rivermen 3-1

user-pic
Jane Rickard

I'm nuts just ask anybody.

The Chicago Wolves started the Thanksgiving home stand on the winning foot by defeating Peoria 3-1 last night at the Allstate Arena. Over the next seven days the Chicago Wolves will play host to Grand Rapids, Abbotsford and Manitoba for a six game marathon in eight days. A demanding schedule such as this weeks will test every member of the team and support staff. Let's hope everyone including the laundry service is up to it.


Here are images of the game.


IMG_0890.gif

Wolves Nettie Peter Mannio checks his stick during the second period.

IMG_0916.gif

Boris Valabik defends his goalie and the crease with a Riverman hot on his trail.

IMG_1006.gif

Oh boy, this is what Peter Manino saw last night charging toward him. Pretty intimidating? He held on and held his ground.

IMG_1160.gif

Anthony Stewart sees how flat a Peoria player can get against the glass!

Don Lever's first 29 days: unqualified success

user-pic
Patrick Boylan

I write the Wolves blog for ChicagoNow

Don Lever, please have a seat. You were hired by the Chicago Wolves October 21st. This is a few days early, but it is your 30 day review.


First, you don't appear to be the most friendly guy with the press, but that's okay, you don't need to like us and you have a way of speaking plainly that is refreshing. You tell it to us as you see it and we don't need to peel away the BS. Thanks.


Win/loss record. Well there were ten games since the 21st and you've taken 15 of the 20 points. Seven wins, with one shootout loss to Manitoba in your first outing. In hockey's strange world of accounting, that is a 75 percent win ratio, better than any other team. Thanks, the team was filled with talent and the fans were wondering what the heck had gone wrong out there in early October, before you arrived.


Let's see, style, well the team is putting together a nasty penalty kill. It's 87.5 percent right now, that includes the 24 PKs the team fought before your hire, so the adjusted PK would be 92.5 percent. WOW! I mean... can you do better Don? Perhaps 110 percent here would be worth noting. But seriously, this places the team third in the league.


The defense is much improved. In addition to the tough PK you can also see that in the goals for (32) versus goals against (23). They are running a ratio of 1.39 in favor of the Wolves, placing it fifth in the league.


And, the power play, after adjustments, is, oh dear, 4.9 percent? It has actually gotten worse. Well you were always a defensive minded coach. But the fans like goals. The total special team index is 97.4 percent, in the long run great teams need to have this index over 100 percent. Emphasis needs to be placed on the special teams scoring. With a powerful offense, this isn't much to ask.


What? The team is the leader, tied for first place in scoring while short handed? Let's see, yes, the team has six, putting it in a tied position for first in this stat. However two of the short-handed goals happened before you were here. But it's nice you haven't shut down one of the most attractive things about the offense with your new system, there are still spectacular breakaways and rushes leading to keeping the opponents off balance.


The penalty minutes, almost a measure of the discipline of the team, has declined to 11.1 minutes a game average from 18.3 minutes a game. The team is disciplined, scoring more than the opponents, keeping them on their toes. The save percentage of the goalies, a measure of confidence, has improved to 92.03 percent from 90.14 percent.


And the team is coming off a successful circus road trip, as noted earlier, this is only the fourth time in its history it has earned more than half the points available during this period.


So, overall, it's been a good month. Thanks. Has anyone discussed the annual January slump? That's scheduled to appear about the time you come up for your 90 day review.

The circus trip: a big tent success

user-pic
Patrick Boylan

I write the Wolves blog for ChicagoNow

The Chicago Wolves have one more game to play in their "circus" road trip, usually the longest period the team spends away from Chicago during the year, caused by the appearance of the Ringling Bros., Barnum & Bailey Circus at the Allstate Arena each November. This year the team planned six games on its November circus trip, over a period of 19 days.


It has been a very successful road trip. So far, the team has taken eight of the points, with two more to be determined Friday night in Rockford. That's eight of twelve points, and the final two points not yet decided.


This is a time of bonding for the Wolves. Other teams use a light schedule in October to bond, the Wolves do it over shared pre-dawn flights and playing in hostile arenas. In the 2008-9 season, after coming out of October with a 5-2-1-1 record, or 12 points in nine games, the team continued to accrue points in the circus trip with a record of 4-2-0-0 or eight points. Since it was coming off of the Calder Cup Championship it was assumed a good year was in store.


But things went sour starting on Boxer Day as the team went on a ten game slump, picking up only three points before putting together a three game streak of wins. The season was a washout and the team didn't make it to the playoffs, only the second time that has ever happened to this franchise.


The 2006-7 team went 5-1-0-0 for the circus trip, something this year's team can duplicate. While the Calder Cup winning team in 2007-8 went 6-0-0-1. That's the record for wins on the trip, 13 points out of 14 available.


There have been terrible years for the circus trip: 2005-6, the team took just three points in five games; 2004-5, three points in five games; 2002-3, four points in five games; 2000-1 three points in five games and the all time worst circus trip in 1995-6: 2 points in seven games.


In fact, since these circus trips started in 1995-6, fifteen seasons, the team has only put together more than half the points just four times, including this year. Any road trip can be a real set-back or it can be meaningless, too. Still every two points on the road now are welcome when the pressure builds in late March and early April and it seems the same two points are hard to find.


Continue reading...

Jason Krog-Alphawolf

user-pic
Jane Rickard

I'm nuts just ask anybody.

Last summer when it was announced that Jason Krog , the 2008 American Hockey League Most Valuable Player would be returning to wear a Wolves uniform hearts beat faster all over Chicago. When Krog skated out wearing the captains "C" on opening night there was universal approval from the fans. It seems that at least for Krog, he can come home again.


So with out further delay, a midweek treat, images of Jason Krog, Alphawolf of the pack.

IMG_1664.gif

Jason Krog taking a face off 10/14/2009

IMG_4395.gif

Jason Krog, Playoffs 2008, game 4 against the Milwaukee Admirals

IMG_8227_2.gif

Jason Krog 10/15/2007 the first meeting between the Wolves and the IceHogs. overtime had just started and both Krog and the linesman look simply exhausted.



Chelios a Coyote? Rumor #2

user-pic
Jane Rickard

I'm nuts just ask anybody.

Phoenix Coyotes GM Don Maloney is rumored to be attending Fridays Wolves/San Antonino game. Speculation is he will be checking out the Wolves newest defensemen, Chris Chelios as a possible addition to the Coyotes.


http://www.thestar.com/sports/article/723913--coyotes-have-eye-on-chris-chelios

Chris Chelios to Montreal? Rumor #1

user-pic
Jane Rickard

I'm nuts just ask anybody.

We all have been waiting for the rumors to start on what will ultimately happen with Chris Chelios and the Chicago Wolves. This one seems more credible than most, that Chris Chelois may be brushing up on his French and looking toward Montreal.


What do we KNOW:

-Chelios has signed a 25 game contract with the Wolves that can be renewed for a total of 50 games this season.

-Chelios has made no secret of his intentions of returning to the NHL.

-As a player he has been playing hard and fast and looks in great shape.


Let the speculation begin!


http://translate.google.com/translate?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.corussports.com%2Fhockey%2Fnouvelles%2Fchris-chelios-et-bob-gainey-se-sont-parles-1819491.html&sl=fr&tl=en&hl=en&ie=UTF-8



Chicago Wolves Make IceHogs Squeal Dominating 3-1

user-pic
Jane Rickard

I'm nuts just ask anybody.

It was not a good night to be an IceHog fan at the Allstate last night, There was lots to celebrated for the Wolves. First there was the return of Jason Krog from Atalanta none the worse for National Hockey League wear. Drew MacIntyre had his new mask on and was looking good in net. Lastly there was Chris Chelios scoring the icing on the cake with moments to go.


On the other end of the ice despite some stand out defense work by Rockford's Brian Connelly in the third period they left the building adding another in the "L" column. Rockford Coach Bill Peters probably will have them skating drills in their sleep before Wednesdays home game against San Antonino. Rockford is a town not accustomed to loosing for long.


Here are some images of the game.

IMG_0712.gif

Chicago's Artus Kulda takes Jake Dowell to the glass during the first period in last nights action at the Allstate.

IMG_2135.gif

Brett Sterling and Richard Petiot get ready to work the crease while Rockford nettie Joe Fallon prepares to defend.

IMG_2150.gif

Flopping on his belly Rockford goalie Joe Fallon struggles to regain command of the crease.

Chicago Wolves 3, Rockford IceHogs 1

user-pic
Patrick Boylan

I write the Wolves blog for ChicagoNow

The extra effort kids tonight are the Barrington Red Wings. We found a few on the concourse before the game.

IMG_0632.JPG

Barrington Red Wings visit the Chicago Wolves v Rockford IceHogs game, November 1, 2009 Credit: Jane Rickard




The Chicago Wolves and the Rockford IceHogs will play eight of the season's ten games by the end of the year. With four of the games now behind them, the two teams seem evenly matched, with the home advantage proving crucial in each contest.

So, again on Sunday, November 1, the home team, the Wolves, took the game in a close contest, 3-1, with the game winning goal coming late in the third period with just 4:03 remaining off of a Chris Chelios fireball from the right circle on Rockford Goalie Joe Fallon.

What is it about these two teams? The Wolves coming off of a 4-1 loss to the (Austin) Texas Stars and an early morning flight to O'Hare; the IceHogs coming off of two weekend back-to-back losses against the Milwaukee Admirals, both 2-1? In the three seasons the Hogs and the Wolves have faced each other more than 82 percent of the games have gone to the home team.

Continue reading...

NHLPA flies apart; Why is Chelios a still a player?

user-pic
Patrick Boylan

I write the Wolves blog for ChicagoNow

January 6, 1998
Alan Eagleson pleads guilty to three charges in a Boston federal court room. The next day, he pleads guilty again, this time in a Canadian court. Eagleson, the first executive director of the NHLPA, created a scandal remembered by some commentators as among the 25 greatest sports scandals.
July 28, 2005
Bob Goodenow, who had led the players through the 2005 lockout, the only time a professional sport has canceled its season in North America, resigns as NHLPA executive director following the NHL and the NHLPA reaching a tentative agreement.
March 11, 2007
Following dismissal of a federal suit by Chris Chelios and others, Ted Saskin is placed on a paid leave by the NHLPA. Although the suit alleged he was improperly elected and had not represented players salaries correctly to the players president, in the end the accusation that got him was being accused of accessing players e-mails.
August 31, 2009
A search committee selects Paul Kelly, a former federal prosecutor, as the new executive director. He is let go in August 2009 under a cloud, a Canadian jurist, in a report to the NHLPA, says Kelly improperly read the executive minutes that reviewed his performance. The players reps, in a meeting in Las Vegas, vote 22-5 to support the ouster of Kelly. Chelios is one of the five supporting Kelly.
September 1, 2009
Pat Flatley, assistant director of player affairs resigns followed quickly by Bob Lindquist, a key financial consultant to the NHLPA. Ian Penny, the chief counsel of the NHLPA, takes over as an interim executive director. Chelios is put on a search committee to locate a new ED.
September 3, 2009
Glenn Healy, an NHL veteran goalie who had been the director of player affairs, resigned noting the atmosphere of office politics.
October 18, 2009
Led by Chelios and others, the NHLPA fails to form a quorum on the motion to form a committee to look into union operations.
October 23, 2009
Interim Executive Director Ian Penny writes a letter to the NHLPA executive board alleging he has been “constructively dismissed.” He points to Chelios as the cause of much of his problems in the office. Two versions of the memo are transmitted in the same e-mail.
October 27, 2009
Friction between Penny and Chelios builds over the weeks since the dismissal of Kelly. George Malik of MLive (Booth Newspapers) alleges in his blog that player agent Alan Walsh has launched a Twitter-based campaign against Chelios.
October 30, 2009
The committee formed by Chelios and others issues a memo to NHLPA staff, the ombudsman, Penny and others, including the divisional player agents, directing them on how to conduct themselves during the investigation the committee is engaging in. They warn they will be hiring outside counsel. Penny resigns, blaming Chelios.Liz Mullen, of Sports Business Journal, reports on Twitter that the review committee has appointed Mike Ouellet acting executive director.

Rockford IceHogs, Chicago Wolves battle into shootout; Chicago wins 3-2

user-pic
Patrick Boylan

I write the Wolves blog for ChicagoNow

The Chicago Wolves and the Rockford IceHogs battled for 65 minutes without reaching a decision. After a goaltender battle that saw Chicago Blackhawks prospect Corey Crawford turn aside 25 shots and Chicago Wolves Goalie Manny Legace turn aside 32 shots, LaGrange, Ill. Native Tim Stapleton, who had scored a short handed goal earlier in the game, scored the winning goal in a shootout.

Although the Wolves are credited as having only six shots on goal in the first frame, they were hear stoppers for Crawford. Rylan Kaip was foiled by Crawford at point blank range. Then Blackhawks prospect Bryan Bickell, on the other end, fired from the top of the slot at 4:54 to make it 1-0 IceHogs. It took the Wolves until 8:50 into the period before they had their next shot on goal, while the Hogs had already put 9 on the board.

With Paul Postma in the sin bin, the Wolves had a 3:2 short handed break-away. Chris Chelios and Arturs Kulda fed Stapleton for a wrap-around that beat Crawford to tie the score. It was Stapleton's second short handed score of the year, putting him in a five way tie for the lead in that measure.

Continue reading...

Granato refuses to be victim; Everything has meaning

user-pic
Patrick Boylan

I write the Wolves blog for ChicagoNow

It's enough to make you cry. He was fired last week. In his business, hiring is highly seasonal and nearly every opening occurs in early summer. Plus his brother wasn't renewed at his position and his sister was told that she wouldn't be called on either

It is the brief story of Don Granato, former Chicago Wolves Coach, cancer survivor, a person whom everyone agrees is a wonderful person. Relieved October 19 with Assistant Coach Jason Christie after starting the season with a 1-5 record, ChicagoNow found him at home over the weekend.

"I don't dwell on things," Granato told ChicagoNow. "If I didn't think I worked as hard (as I could) and was as committed (to win), then there might be a reason to second guess. I'm better today than I was when (the Wolves) first hired me.

Continue reading...

Chicago Wolves Defeat Abbotsford Heat 7:1

user-pic
Jane Rickard

I'm nuts just ask anybody.

It's early on Sunday morning after a late Saturday night at a Wolves game. Well, at least I think it was the Wolves last night, who were those masked men?


Last night entering the Allstate the vibe was still there, the crowd was expecting great things. Yesterdays effort although a loss still felt good as the team played well. Tonight surely there would be a win, a win it would be. Not a wimpy 3:2 win but a booming Wolves 7:1 win over the Abbotsford Heat. It seems that the changes made this week in the locker room have made their way to the ice.


As a photographer you notice things, this season the team has been skating "tighter" physically. Jaws were clenched, smiles were rare on the ice. As one observer put it there was a total lack of "joy", these guys are lucky enough to be playing a game for a living and there didn't seem to be any emotion beyond frustration on the ice. The team were playing like rookies at a camp. Each one looking for a spot on the team, nowhere near a solid unit yet.


I don't know what to credit, new coaches, a seasoned teammate, but these things seem to be changing. First when looking at the over a thousand photos taken this weekend smiles were back, jaws were unclenched. The defense epically looked more disciplined yet more relaxed. The entire blue line has taken their game up several notches and that to these defense loving eyes is a beautiful thing to see.


This is where the plate of crow comes out, I have been one of the more negative voices regarding the addition of Chris Chelios. Frankly I thought his joining the Wolves was an exercise in vanity on his part and would be a problem with team chemistry. Then I watched him work with the younger players for two games from the glass and studied the photos. For the time he is here it looks like he will be an asset to the team, he is working with the younger players on ice and they look to him. Christopher Chelios is simply a beautiful skater, it is easy to see why he can still play at 47 . As he glides he uses the physics of blades and body so no energy is wasted, last night he used four strides to cross the ice, lovely. My only remaining reservation about Chelios is this PTO, he only has 48 games maximum left on his eligibility, that's if a NHL team doesn't make him an offer. From the way he looks, that is a very big if, how long will Chelios stay with the Wolves?


Here are some images of the game, Wolves next home game is this Wednesday the 28th against the Rockford Icehogs. It's going to be fun to show them the new Wolves!

IMG_0155.gif

Abbotsford goalie David Shantz defends his crease with the help of blueliner Matt Pelch. Meanwhile Wolves Captain Jason Krog looks for a chance to score.

IMG_0270.gif

Wolves defense at work, goalie Drew MacIntyre in crease, while Nathan Oystrick and Chris Chelios keep the Heat at bay. This is how it should look, no one between you and your goalie.

IMG_0361.gif

This is what a bad day at the office looks like, Joey Crabb gets the puck gets by David Shantz for the last time of the night, score is now 7:1, time to warm up the bus.

IMG_0229.gif

"It's fun to stay at the YMCA!" Who could resist this fan?

Wolves douse Heat 7-1; Expect the first of several call-ups this week

user-pic
Patrick Boylan

I write the Wolves blog for ChicagoNow

ROSEMONT, ILL--- The Chicago Wolves have kept opponents limited to just one goal in 125 minutes of play this weekend. Compare that to the 23 goals scored against the team in the other six games played this season. A 7-1 win over the Heat. Sweet.

The Wolves came out of the darkness, perhaps led by 47 year-old Chris Chelios or perhaps by the shock of having a new coach. It was a three point weekend, more points than the team has gained the rest of the season combined.

And there were moments of brilliance too, on the part of Abbotsford, that the defense of the Wolves crushed. This is the weekend when the depth of the team seemed to be unveiled, causing our eyes to blink in disbelief. It is the team that was forecast to play, suddenly stepping on the ice.

Continue reading...

Pre Game Excitement at the Allstate!

user-pic
Jane Rickard

I'm nuts just ask anybody.

Game excitement, the magic was still in the air from last night. Just before game time I did a bit of running and caught a few of the Wolves faithful being themselves around the arena.  The game would start in a few minutes against the Abbotsford Heat however obviously the crowd was already well on it's way to having a great time before the teams hit the ice.  Here are some images of the fun on hand.

IMG_0079.gif

Fans now receive a new game day publication when they enter the building.

IMG_0082.gif

A Father takes care with his son's hearing with ear cups for the opening fire works.

IMG_0083.gif

The bidding was fast and furious on the "Wolves Stick it to Cancer" auction. One of the many Wolves charities.





Moose, Wolves go to shoot out; Moose take a win from tough Wolves defense

user-pic
Patrick Boylan

I write the Wolves blog for ChicagoNow

Chelios adds jump to Wolves; Moose win in OT

Thumbnail image for IMG_9745.JPG

Fans meeting in the Allstate Concourse before the game October 23, 2009. Credit: Jane Rickard

Rosemont, Ill.--- The Manitoba Moose and the Chicago Wolves couldn't settle the winner of their game in regulation or a five minute overtime period. Instead it was a battle of the older generation that finally settled the winner, as 42 year-old Moose Captain Mike Keane and Matt Pettinger, 29, scored shoot out goals on Manny Legace, 36, spoiling 47 year-old Chris Chelios' homecoming.

It was a defensive battle, as you might expect with a leading NHL defenseman on the ice and a new coach who won the Calder Cup by executing a outstanding defense. Legace and Moose Goalie Cory Schneider were brilliant. The Wolves came out strong, with 11 shots on goal in the first period and limiting the Moose offense to just five shots on goal. The hop was in the Wolves team, led by Chelios who took a rifle shot at Schneider from the blue line in his first shift and sent Dusty Collins, 24, into the boards on his second shift.


Continue reading...

Chicago Wolves Lose to Manitoba Moose 1:0 in Shoot Out

user-pic
Jane Rickard

I'm nuts just ask anybody.

The entire arena felt like prom night, there was a palpable excitement in the air.  Was it Don Lever's new coaching staff, the first game of Chris Chelios in a Wolve's uniform?  Who cared, it just plain felt good to feel the vibe in the Allstate Arena tonight walking in.

IMG_9934.jpg

Chris Chelios takes a shift playing defense for the Chicago Wolves, Credit: Jane Rickard

There were three periods of well matched play, the Wolves playing with more heart against the Moose than had been seen on home ice in many a month.  The first 60 minutes ended in no score and overtime came and went.  In the end it would be a shoot out that would decide the contest,.The Wolves walking away with one point for their pains, their third of the season.  It is a good start, and to quote Roddy Doyle " I believe in starts". Tomorrows game against the Abbotsford Heat is yet another chance another new beginning.


Here are some images of the game.IMG_9807.gif

Wolves Andrew Kozek lets the Moose Mario Biznak know that he is there.

IMG_9856.gif

Moose Goalie Corey Schneider.

IMG_0047.gif

Third period, one of the many near misses of the period. Corey Schneider and Wolves golaie Manny Legace both had stellar nights. 


Chris Chelios takes to ice in bout against Manitoba Moose

user-pic
Patrick Boylan

I write the Wolves blog for ChicagoNow

IMG_9918.JPG

Chris Chelios takes a moment in the action October 23, 2009 to look at the Chicago Wolves championship banners. It was his first night skating for the Chicago Wolves. The game, at the Allstate Arena, was against the Manitoba Moose. Credit: Jane Rickard

Chris Chelios took to the ice for what I estimate to be six shifts of about 30 seconds on average period here. The oldest player on the ice at 47 years old, he was more than twice the age of many of his teammates; he has been playing hockey, in fact, since before many of them were even born.

His impact was obvious with a shot on goal in the first shift, a rifle shot from the blue line that was stopped by Moose Goalie Cory Schneider. In his second shift he laid a glass rattling hit on 210 pound Moose Center Dustin Collins.

And that was the story throughout the game. In the final period it was the old guy who threw himself in between the goal mouth and the puck, saving Manny Legace's shutout.

It was a Chris Chelios night, homecoming for the local kid who made it to the National Hockey League. A celebration of a man's determination not to let his age be a factor in his life.

"Chelios was fabulous," Head Coach Don Lever said after the game. "There was a sigh of relief when he hit the ice" each shift.

Chelios, looking flushed but not winded said "I felt good. We were playing good D."

"I'm trying to keep things simple," Chelios said. "I don't know I can be this physical every game"

Continue reading...

Tix to Friday's Chicago Wolves game getting tight; Chelios skates for first time

user-pic
Patrick Boylan

I write the Wolves blog for ChicagoNow

I'm hearing rumor that the tickets for the Friday night game between the Chicago Wolves and the Manitoba Moose will be tight. Ticket reps sent out an e-mail yesterday noting that availability to insiders would be open through today. If you're outside, and don't know a ticket rep, you wait till tomorrow to buy.

This is all caused by Chris Chelios suiting up for the Wolves. Add to that the appearance of new coaches on the bench for the first time and it's likely to be a circus at the Rosemont Allstate Arena.
Here's the e-mail from my former ticket rep:
"I am excited to announce that Chris Chelios has just signed a contract to play for the Chicago Wolves.  He is scheduled to play his first game with the organization at 7:30 p.m. this Friday night at Allstate Arena.  It should be a special night watching the future NHL Hall-of-Famer wear the Wolves sweater, and we've reserved a limited amount of great seats for our loyal fans.  If you would like additional seats or anyone in your circle of friends would like to witness this special night in person, please give me a call at 847-832-1936 before Thursday at 5 p.m.   Any remaining held seats will be released to the general public Thursday evening."
So, what is the average reader of this blog to do when they don't know a ticket rep? I'll share the number for my former ticket rep, tell him you're a personal friend of mine: Aaron Holz, 1-800-THE-WOLVES.

Wolves make it official: It's Lever

user-pic
Patrick Boylan

I write the Wolves blog for ChicagoNow

As we discussed last night, Don Lever was the leading of just two candidates to be the next coach of the Chicago Wolves. Here's the press release noting Lever's appointment.

Wolves Name Lever Head Coach


The Chicago Wolves have named DON LEVER (LEE-vur) the team's new head coach. In addition, the club has named RON WILSON assistant coach.


The 56-year-old LEVER becomes the seventh coach in Wolves history and brings 20 years of professional coaching experience to Chicago's bench, which includes winning the American Hockey League's Calder Cup in 2007 as head coach of the Hamilton Bulldogs.

The South Porcupine, Ontario, native has compiled a 235-184-21-8-17 record and .555 percent winning percentage in 465 games as a head coach in the AHL, which includes two seasons with the Rochester Americans (1990-1992) and four with Hamilton (2005-2009). He was awarded the Louis A.R. Pieri Memorial Award as the league's coach of the year in 1991, his first season as a head coach.

Continue reading...

Jason Shaver: Wolves to announce new coach by Thursday

user-pic
Patrick Boylan

I write the Wolves blog for ChicagoNow

We believe, based on all the facts we have, that Don Lever will be the next coach of the Chicago Wolves. Jason Shaver, the announcer for the Chicago Wolves told the Wolfpack Booster Club this evening that the announcement will be made Wednesday or Thursday.

Here are the three clues dropped by Shaver at the Booster Club meeting tonight:
  1. It is a coach with an impressive record
  2. Jason had seen him, but not frequently
  3. It is not Mike Keenan
Jason has spent the past several seasons calling games in the American Hockey League for the Houston Aeros and the Chicago Wolves. Both those teams play in the West Division of the AHL. Based on tip two, we're going to assume the coach is an AHL coach, but not in the West Division.

The Aeros and the Wolves played 12 teams in the remaining two division in the two years Shaver has been calling games in the two cities. Twelve coaches have changed jobs among those teams and all but two have current coaching assignments: Don Lever, currently a Chicago Blackhawks scout and Mike Stothers.

We'll look briefly at each. Lever was the head coach of the Hamilton Bulldogs and in 2007 coached them to the league championship. Lever has been head coach of the Amerks two seasons, the Bulldogs for four seasons and brought the teams to four post seasons between them, including the Calder Cup Championship. He was also an assistant NHL coach on the St. Louis Blues and also the Buffalo Sabres. He's been coaching since 1987. He's won the Louis A.R. Pieri Memorial Award in 1991.In the NHL he played in 1020 games starting in 1972 and ending in 1987.

Stothers was the first head coach of the Grand Rapid Griffins after Greg Ireland. His contract was not renewed after the Griffins failed to make the playoffs. He was an assistant coach in the NHL for two years and also head coach for the Owen Sound Attack. He has been coaching since 1991. He played 30 games in the NHL but is still remembered as an enforcer. There isn't any current information on what he has been doing since his assignment in Grand Rapids.

A Week of Change, Wolves and Hogs Superstitions Tumble.

user-pic
Jane Rickard

I'm nuts just ask anybody.

It has been a whirlwind for the Chicago Wolves during the last week. Among the lesser known changes have been the death of two great local hockey superstitions the "Hot Paw:" and the Rockford's  "Hammer Head" jersey.  Before the blogsphere enters into the canonization of Don Lever let's take the time to morn and discuss these traditions before we burry them.

IMG_0110.gif

"Hot Paw" Skates has a misfire! Both paws are loaded with fireworks and only one goes off, leading to the term" hot paw". 

The "Hot Paw" , for years the opening moments of every game  the Wolves mascot Skates comes out on the ice raises his paws and fires off two fists full of stars and fire. The beauty and regularity with which this happens has never stopped amazing crowds in the many years it has been done. Several years ago there was a series of misfires where only one paw fired leaving poor Skates to return to the locker room with one very hot and unexploded paw. Fans noticed the Wolves lost on those nights and the legend of the hot paw began. Last Wednesday Skates raised his paws and a misfire occurred, yet the Wolves carried the game against their biggest rival

 the Rockford IceHogs. Thus ending the superstition of poor Skates and his pyrotechnic wardrobe malfunction .


The "Hammer" jersey, many years ago when the United Hockey League Rockford IceHogs roamed the earth they premiered a new black jersey with the image of their tougher mascot "Hammer" on the front. They choose a Friday night game against a rival and of course went down in flames. Thus began the tradition of the evil Hammer sweater never to be worn by team or fan alike on a Friday night. Last Friday night when taking photographs I remarked to a young man sitting next to me that I had seen more than a few "Hammers" in the crowd. He then pointed out a pair in our section, well, considering the can of woop tush the Hogs opened up on the Wolves on last Friday night I'd say the Hammer curse 

is properly lifted.

IMG_1358.gif

The evil Hammer Head sweater





















Continue reading...

Chelios signs PTO w/ Chicago Wolves; expected to skate Friday

user-pic
Patrick Boylan

I write the Wolves blog for ChicagoNow

The Chicago Wolves signed a Professional Try Out contract with 47 year-old Chris Chelios, former captain of the Chicago Blackhawks today. According to a ticket rep "he is scheduled to play his first game with the organization at 7:30 p.m. this Friday night" when the Wolves play the Manitoba Moose.
A PTO allows Chelios to play 25 games with the Wolves. It can be extended to another 25 games in the same season. The Wolves play 80 games in a regular season and up to 28 games in the post season. The PTO is with the Wolves, not the Atlanta Thrashers. For Chelios to play with Atlanta, he would need to terminate his agreement with the Wolves and sign a new agreement with Atlanta.

Thumbnail image for IMG_0008.gif

Chris Chelios in practice with the Chicago Wolves. Credit: Jane Rickard

As discussed in a previous Call of the Wild, Chelios has said he wants to return to Chicago in part to watch his son Jake play. Jake is a forward on the Chicago Steel, an A-tier junior team which plays at the Edge Ice Arena in Bensenville, Ill. In addition to playing on the Wolves Chelios is a special advisor to the US Men's Olympic Orientation Camp which operates out of the Seven Bridges Ice Arena in Woodridge, Ill. His son Dean plays with Michigan State University.
 

Chris Chelios Signs with Chicago Wolves

user-pic
Jane Rickard

I'm nuts just ask anybody.

Press release courtesy of Chicago Wolves


The Chicago Wolves have signed 25-year National Hockey League veteran Chris Chelios. The Chicago native will make his Wolves debut on Friday when the team hosts the Manitoba Moose at the Allstate Arena at 7:30 p.m.


CHELIOS leads all American-born players with 1,644 career NHL outings, and has racked up 948 points (185G, 763A) and 2,891 penalty minutes with the Montreal Canadiens (1983-90), Chicago Blackhawks (1990-99) and Detroit Red Wings (1999-2009). 

"It is an honor for us to have him," said Wolves General Manager Wendell Young. "We are very excited to have someone of Chris' stature join our team. He will be an excellent example for our young players to watch, both on and off the ice." 

The 47-year-old blueliner has been awarded the Norris Trophy as the NHL's top defenseman three times (1989, 1993, 1996), and has been named to the NHL's First All-Star Team five times (1989, 1993, 1995, 1996, 2002). He has participated in 11 NHL All-Star Games, and been a member of three Stanley Cup winning teams (Montreal, 1986; Detroit, 2002 and 2008), while playing in the Stanley Cup Finals on three other occasions (1989, 1992, 2009). 

CHELIOS has competed in 266 Stanley Cup playoff outings, an NHL record, and has missed the playoffs only once in his 25-year NHL career. He has tallied 144 points (31G, 113A) and 423 penalty minutes in postseason competition. 

In addition to his storied NHL career, CHELIOS has represented the United States in International play on 12 occasions, which includes captaining Team USA in the 1998, 2002 and 2006 Winter Olympics. 

In accordance with team policy, terms of the Professional Tryout Contract were not disclosed. 

CHELIOS will be available to media tomorrow at 11 a.m., following the team's practice at the Allstate Arena. Additional details regarding coaches for Friday's game also will be available at that time.

 

 

Chicago Wolves fire Coach Don Granato, Asst Coach Jason Christie; Chelios not under consideration

user-pic
Patrick Boylan

I write the Wolves blog for ChicagoNow

Chicago Wolves fire Granato and Christie after worst start in franchise history

Rosemont, Ill.--- The Chicago Wolves fired Head Coach Don Granato and Assistant Coach Jason Christie this afternoon. Wolves General Manager Wendell Young said, "after missing the playoffs last season and starting 1-5-0-0, we can't wait any longer. The team wasn't moving in the right direction quickly enough."

Young said he would be splitting coaching duties with Senior Advisor and Director of Hockey Operations Gene Ubriaco. The team said it will have further details on coaching prior to Friday's game against Manitoba.

Granato and Christie posted a 39-42-3-2 record in 86 games behind the Wolves bench.


"It needed to be done," Billy Malek a Wolves fan said, "I think this is the perfect time, ten games could have been to late, they could have been 1-9 then it would have been in their head."


Malek said the team should be looking for a fiery players coach to replace Granato, "I think Bobby Nardela is being talked to and Steve Ludzik and they should be talking to Jeff Pyle." Malek said the team should not offer the position to Chris Chelios because "they need someone with coaching experience."


Thumbnail image for 1336A D Granato.GIF

Chicago Wolves Coach Don Granato leaving the bench on Saturday following loss to the Hamilton Bulldogs. Credit: Jane Rickard

Continue reading...

Wolves Drop Two in Long Weekend of losses.

user-pic
Jane Rickard

I'm nuts just ask anybody.

Friday night the Chicago Wolves lost in Rockford to the IceHogs in a 4:1 physical contest. Although the Wolves seemed to keep up with the always hard hitting Hogs they never played at the same level or intensity as their closest rival. It was to be the start of a long weekend.

IMG_0582.gif

Rockfords's Brian Connley and Mark Cullen box up Nathan Oystrick of the  Chicago Wolves during Friday nights physical play.

IMG_0853.gif

















































Continue reading...

Chicago Wolves make a number move, Chris Chelios your number is ready;

user-pic
Patrick Boylan

I write the Wolves blog for ChicagoNow

By now every Wolves fan should have noted how Scott Lehman, number seven is now Scott Lehman, number 28. If you missed it, this started last Wednesday before the Wolves game against the Rockford IceHogs.

What is the significance? Ask Chris Chelios:

ChicagoNow_Chris Chelios.jpg

Chris Chelios, captain of the Chicago Blackhawks

The Wolves have a full bench, 14 forwards, 10 blue liners and three goalies. Who is going to sit? Worse, who is going to be sent to Gwinnett to play? Bringing Chelios onto the team is going to make the situation more cut-throat. Threatening to add Chelios to the team and the stakes are already higher.

If you don't think that this question of how competition effects the play of a professional athlete, an athlete in competition for a literal handful of slots on the Atlanta Thrashers, is not driving play on the ice, stop here. This team has an abundance of riches. And that is its problem.

Right now the play on the ice resembles prospect camp. There is fierce competition to displace the other guy. In some way, the competition for slots is effecting the blue line worst of all. Why is the defense allowing itself to be penetrated so easily? It is basic stuff, not allowing the open space between your goalie and you to be penetrated by the other guy.

Mike Kiley, over at the Blackhawks Confidential  discussed last summer why he thought the Blackhawks should say no to contracting Chelios.


This isn't a knock on Chelios. But here are my reasons for the Chicago Wolves to say no too:

  • Signing Chelios would be good for minor league hockey attendance. The venues would be full and the new fans would see terrible hockey on the ice.
  • Chelios would displace a younger player and force greater competition among the surviving players in Chicago and in Gwinnett. We've already seen what that can lead to: prospect camp style play.
  • The signing would be good for Chelios. It would be a disaster for the Wolves season.

Continue reading...

AHL veteran rules explained

user-pic
Patrick Boylan

I write the Wolves blog for ChicagoNow

It is worth repeating what was written earlier about American Hockey League veteran rules, first because what was first written wasn't accurate, and second because I suspect that we're going to be hearing about Chris Chelios in Burgundy very soon.

-- First, veteran rules do not apply to goalies.
-- Second, there needs to be at least 12 non-veterans on the ice, unless there are fewer than 18 skaters.
-- Third, skaters who have played more than 260 qualified games are considered veterans.
-- Fourth, skaters who have played more than 260 qualified games, but less than 321 qualified games are considered veteran exempt. In other words, if a team dresses 18 skaters in a game, up to six can be veterans, no more than two can be from the exempt category.
-- Fifth, a team can dress five in the lineup plus one exemption. If you dress two exemptions then one becomes a veteran.

The Chicago Wolves have the following players on their bench, all veterans:
  • Steve McCarthy
  • Jason Krog
  • Brian Sipotz
  • John Pohl
  • Kevin Doell - exempt
  • Josh Gratton - exempt

Chicago Wolves v IceHogs

user-pic
Patrick Boylan

I write the Wolves blog for ChicagoNow

IMG_0539.JPG

Rockford IceHogs fans on opening night, October 16, 2009. Credit: Jane Rickard



IMG_0545.JPG

Rockford IceHogs fans on opening night, October 16, 2009. Credit: Jane Rickard

Chris Chelios signing with Chicago Wolves discussion on NHL on the Fly

user-pic
Patrick Boylan

I write the Wolves blog for ChicagoNow

Thanks to Wolfkeeper for sharing this on YouTube. The saga of Chris Chelios joining the Chicago Wolves continues. This was lifted from the October 14, 2009 segment.

Wolves v Rockford IceHogs

user-pic
Patrick Boylan

I write the Wolves blog for ChicagoNow

IMG_9481.JPG

Credit: Jane Rickard

IMG_9463.JPG

Credit: Jane Rickard



091014hogs 001A.jpg

Chicago Wolves mascot Skates in pre-game activities. When one paw misfires, as it did in this photo, some fans believe it is a portent of a loss. It is called a hot paw. Credit: Jane Rickard

A quick update, we'll update further into the day with a complete discussion.

The Chicago Wolves won their first game of the season, a 5-4 come from behind victory over the Rockford IceHogs at the Allstate Arena. The game was marked by four power play goals and a number of breakaway runs at either end. With the score passing back and forth, Rockford took a two goal lead in the second period. But Chicago was able to come back in the final period for the victory.

Chicago was the last team in the American Hockey League to mark a win. This was Manny Legace's first time in net for the Wolves.

Continue reading...

Chelios skates w/ Wolves; 47 year-old adds experience to line-up

user-pic
Patrick Boylan

I write the Wolves blog for ChicagoNow

Hoffman Estates, Ill.--- Veteran NHL defenseman Chris Chelios skated with the Chicago Wolves at their skate this morning at the Hoffman Estates Community Center & Ice Arena. Afterwards, Chelios, 47, said he is negotiating with the Wolves to sign a professional try-out contract. The PTO would allow Chelios to play 25 games with the AAA team, while leaving his options open if a National Hockey League team offered him a chance to play.

IMG_0008.gif

Chris Chelios skates with the Chicago Wolves Monday October 12, 2009. Credit= Jane Rickard

Chelios told reporters he was excited by the opportunity to return to Chicago and watch his son Jake play. Jake is a forward on the Chicago Steel, an A-tier junior team which plays at the Edge Ice Arena in Bensenville, Ill. In addition to playing on the Wolves Chelios is a special advisor to the US Men’s Olympic Orientation Camp which operates out of the Seven Bridges Ice Arena in Woodridge, Ill. His son Dean plays with Michigan State University. A PTO with the Wolves would create an informal relationship with the Atlanta Thrashers.

Continue reading...

Chicago Wolves lose 2-1 as Moose take series

user-pic
Patrick Boylan

I write the Wolves blog for ChicagoNow

The Chicago Wolves dropped a second game to the Manitoba Moose last night, 2-1. The loss marks the third regular season loss of the season and the worst start for the Chicago Wolves in franchise history.


Scoring first in the contest, the Wolves looked good in the first period. Brett Sterling scored a power play goal with an assist going to Jason Krog and Johnny Pohl. However, early in the second period, a loose puck from deep in the Manitoba end was mishandled by goalie Drew MacIntyre in the Chicago goal mouth and floated in. It took several minutes for the last Manitoba touch to be identified, it was Michael Keane. (Here is a URL to the goal. The goal is 0:59 in and the video of it lasts for just eight seconds.)

Continue reading...

Chelios and Legace to practise with Wolves Monday

user-pic
Patrick Boylan

I write the Wolves blog for ChicagoNow

Rumors have been floating for weeks about Chris Chelios and Manny Legace joining the Chicago Wolves. Today, the Chicago Wolves confirmed that Chelios and Legace will be skating with the team at its practice on Monday. Neither player is currently listed on the Wolves team roster.

Chelios, 47, would be near his son, Jake, 18, who plays on the junior league Chicago Steel. In addition, Chelios has expressed an interest in returning to Chicago. And, since leaving the Detroit Red Wings, Chelios has worked at Seven Bridges Ice Arena in Woodridge, Ill. as a special advisor to the US Men's Olympic Orientation Camp.

At 25 seasons in the National Hockey League, Chelios is tied for second for length of service with Mark Messier. Chelios, who expressed an interest in returning to the NHL in an interview with NHL.com, has played 1,644 NHL regular season games, ranked fourth among NHL players, and has played 1,910 NHL games including post season play, which is ranked third among NHL players.

Continue reading...

For Wolves Fans a Midweek Treat

user-pic
Jane Rickard

I'm nuts just ask anybody.

It's mid week and everyone could use a pick me up. The Wolves are packing their bags for the first road trip of the season to Manitoba to meet the Moose. An October surprise this year the Manitoba trip usually scheduled in January or February and in deep cold and not on a warm Columbus Day weekend.


To get us all though to Friday's televised game here are a few photos from last Saturday's opening game. Just a taste of hockey to whet our appetites for some Moose and Wolf combat.

Thumbnail image for IMG_9045.gif

Wolves Captain Jason Krog threatens to score early in the first frame, Mark Dekanich in goal for Milwaukee Admirals.IMG_8907.gif

Kevin Doell and linemate block a Milwaukee player during a second period face off.IMG_4023.gif

During the first period Admiral Mark Santorelli did his best to sneak one past nettie Drew MacIntyre, it as for naught. His best effort was declared a no goal by referee Kyle Rehman

Wolves lines

user-pic
Patrick Boylan

I write the Wolves blog for ChicagoNow

I've put the lines together, I could be wrong about these, but this is what I thought I saw out there:

Offense lines:

1.       Krog, Sterling, Stapleton [first line]

2.       Doell, Crabb, Holzapfel [checking line]

3.       Pohl, Esposito, Machacek

4.       Kaip, Stewart, Kozek [energy line]

Defense lines

1.       McCarthy, Vernace

2.       McCarthy, Postma

3.       Buckley, Hunt

4.       Lewis, Kulda

The Pohl/ Esposito/ Machacek line, with Buckley and Hunt were on the ice for both of the even strength Milwaukee goals.

Game time: Chicago Wolves opener

user-pic
Patrick Boylan

I write the Wolves blog for ChicagoNow

Rain and wind checked the excitement of the fans in the pregame festivities held here. The team was giving out rally rags. Although the lower bowl has a high capacity, they haven't gotten the crowd into the expected white out yet.

IMG_3912.JPG


IMG_3891.JPG

Painting the ice

user-pic
Patrick Boylan

I write the Wolves blog for ChicagoNow

A nice picture from Wolfkeeper of the crew painting the ice at the Allstate Arena in preparation for the opening game today.

Painting the Ice on Twitpic

The crew paints the ice at the Allstate Arena in preparation for the Chicago Wolves opening game. Credit: Wolfkeeper (Vlad Len)

A great blue line and heavy duty fire power; the downside of being great

user-pic
Patrick Boylan

I write the Wolves blog for ChicagoNow

With the game now seven hours away, several things are clear, several still to be determined about the Chicago Wolves. The roster lists one of the strongest blue lines seen here in the club's history. That is backing up two experienced goalies in Peter Mannino and Drew MacIntyre. The issue now isn't who to play but who to sit or send to Gwinnett to play in the ECHL.

Up front the team looks stacked, led by former MVP Jason Krog; this is an exciting lineup with a lot of firepower. At noon, Saturday, the team says it has 28 on its roster; it can only put 20 on the ice. And, it is likely the blue line is going to get even better shortly, as the Atlanta Thrashers picked up Christoph Schubert from waivers. The Atlanta blue line, too, is full. So who to send down or trade? The choices include Boris Valabik, Anssi Salmela and Mark Popovic according to Atlanta Journal Constitution writer Chris Vivlamore.

Continue reading...

I don't bench for fighting: Granato

user-pic
Patrick Boylan

I write the Wolves blog for ChicagoNow

In an exclusive interview this week, Chicago Wolves Head Coach Don Granato told the Call of the Wild he has never benched a player due to fighting. “It's a part of the game,” Granato said, “it's how we police the game.”

Granato said Mike Hoffman, a noted enforcer, was frustrated last year, returning to the bench after challenging opponents, noting to Granato that the other players refused to fight. A key moment in Hoffman's time with the Chicago Wolves happened on December 27, 2008 when he knocked out Nolan Yonkman in a third period fight.


The KO frightened opponents.

Continue reading...

11 Reasons I love the Chicago Wolves and minor league hockey

user-pic
Patrick Boylan

I write the Wolves blog for ChicagoNow

You may have missed it this week, but the Chicago Blackhawks gave us a taste of minor league heaven with two preseason games played in Switzerland, all part of the Victoria Cup. Saturday, the Chicago Wolves will launch their season, and like the Zurich hockey fans, they will be screaming, and pounding, and chanting. You'll be able to watch it from home on broadcast television. For the first time, WPWR, My50 Chicago, will air 15 home games.


What you'll see on television won't be exactly what the fan in the stands experiences. It may be minor league hockey, but the game is fast and there are moments of major league wonder. But here are some highlights:

  • The mascot: Skates. Every minor league team has a mascot. But, none of them are as cool as Skates. Skates has a good heart, but he is a wolf and he loves to dance with the ladies and hug the kids.

Continue reading...

Most Active Pages Right Now

ChicagoNow.com on Facebook