Gameday: Chicago Wolves at Charlotte Checkers

Chicago Wolves (32-22-2-3) at Charlotte Checkers (31-19-3-5)

  • I still say the Wolves logo looks more like a rabid dog, and not so much like a wolf… but it does have the vintage 1990’s look about it that the Carolina Panthers (old) font has.
  • Only one point separates the two teams, with Charlotte in the division lead (a place they’ve held onto for all of 2012), however Chicago has one more game played, so even if the Checkers lose in OT or a shootout, they would maintain the lead. (Though they have to get that one point to maintain the lead!)
  • Chicago is on a two-game win streak.  The Checkers have struggled a bit, and went 0-1-1 last weekend against Lake Erie.
  • Against the Midwest division this season, Charlotte has a record of 13-6-0-2, however the Wolves have found a chink in the Checkers armor, and lead the series 2-3-0-1.
  • Special teams may very well be the biggest key to the matchup tonight and tomorrow.  Charlotte is ranked in the top ten in both the power play and penalty kill (PK:7th, PP:6th).  Chicago, on the other hand, has quite polar-opposite special teams records.  They are last in the league on the power play, but 10th on the penalty kill.
  • The third period may be tough to watch no matter which team you prefer.  Both Charlotte and Chicago struggle immensely in the third period.  Charlotte has allowed 62 goals and only scored 45 in the third, and Chicago has allowed 51 and scored 37.  That is a -17 goal differential for Charlotte, and a -14 goal differential for Chicago. Can I please petition to have the AHL adopt a two-period, 40 minute game, because the Checkers would be number one if they did that!

In The Crease:

  • Wolves starting goalie Eddie Lack is 3-1 against Charlotte this year.  On the season, in 35 games played he is 16-15-0-3.  (2.30 GAA, .926 SV%).
  • Matt Climie, in 26 games played, is 16-9-0-0.  He has a 2.59 GAA and .921 SV%.  He is 1-1 against the Checkers.
  • Mike Murphy is 1-2 in four games played against the Wolves.  I was pretty pissed in December when he was pulled after the rest of the team decided not to play any defense.  Though Murphy’s numbers against Chicago aren’t spectacular, he’s 15-11-2-0 on the season (2.68 GAA, .910 SV%).
  • Justin Peters has not faced the Wolves this year, as until this weekend, every game against Chicago was during the time he was with the Hurricanes backing up Cam Ward.  In 15 games played, he’s 6-7-1 (2.46 GAA, .920 SV%).

Scoring and Shooting:

  • Mark Mancari has 49 points in 53 games played (25G, 24A).  In only three games against the Checkers, has five points (4G, 1A). 
  • Darren Haydar has 43 points in 54 games this year (14G, 29A).  In six games against the Checkers, he has only two points (1G, 1A).
  •  In 56 games with the Checkers, Chris Terry leads the team with 47 points (12G, 35A). In six games against Chicago, he has three assists.
  • Zach Boychuk, in 46 games played, has 32 points (14G, 18A). He has three points against Chicago (1G, 2A).

Gametime:  7:00 p.m. EST

Charlotte Radio: None
Charlotte TV: TWCA
Charlotte Twitter: @CheckersHockey@PaulBranecky,
Chicago Twitter: @Chicago_Wolves@TheShaves
Officials
Referee:  Keith Kaval (#40)
Linesmen: Terry Wicklum (#58), Mark Hamlett (#81)
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