GDT: Chicago Wolves vs Iowa Star - Rd 2 of the Playoffs
Well, the Wolves won 7-0 in tonight's opening match. They chased Iowa goalie Dan Ellis after 25 minutes scoring four goals. Michael Garrnett earned his first playoff shut out. This was also the Wolves first five game win streak all season.
The good part of this game was that some of the second and third line players scored today like Kevin Doell, Colin Stuart, and Andre Deveaux.
This is a real important win because this series will be played in a 2-3-2 format rather than a 2-2-1-1-1 format. It is an AHL rule that teams further than 300 miles apart play the 2-3-2 to keep travel costs down.
They won 7-0. Coach would be crazy to mess with the lineup.
However, Kevin Doell took a puck to the head or neck last night in the 3rd and did not return. Thankfully he left the ice on his own, but if he's hurt that would leave an opening for a center. Hopefully not though, that line has started to really click.
I dont understand how a team can win 7-0 one night, and lose 5-4 to the same team another night.
Well, they did not come out and play as hard. They left too many opponents camp out unchecked near the goal. Two of the goals would have required unbelievable saves in order to be kept out of the net. It also didn't help that the ref called a bad game. He missed two calls against Iowa in the last minute of play, and in the last 5 minutes called the Wolves for holding on a play where the Iowa player clearly took a dive. This killed any momentum that the Wolves were building toward in the last half of the third period.
Despite all that, the Wolves didn't play as hard around the front of their own net, and it cost them. Happens.
And today we have a prime example why Boris Valabik will be back in the minors for next year (besides all the playing time he has missed). He gets hit with a clean hit and retaliates for a 2 minute penalty. Then, comes in to hit a guy and puts him arm up to get the guy in the head for an elbowing call. The second one has put us down 1-0 in a very tight game to this point (7 minutes gone in the second of game 3).
He needs to learn to reign in his temper.
EDIT: Yep, he is doing nothing this game to help his cause. He gets beat by the Stars player and has to make a desperate dive to poke check the puck. He stands a guy up at the blue line to make a nice stop, then has to take the extra shot to drop the guy to the ice and gets called for a penalty. Just after the Wolves fight back to get the lead 2-1, Valabik takes another dumb penalty to put the Stars on the power play. They score to tie it up. Valabik's dumb penalties have led to both Stars goals. He has three for the game through two periods.
Sterling took alot of penalties in Game 3 as well.
He was called for three penalties, but one was a horrible call by the ref. To quote myself from the AHL forum thread...
Originally Posted by Majik1987
Game 3 has started. One of the worst goalie interference calls I've ever seen. Ellis comes out of the net, Sterling makes his shots and Ellis continues his slide into him. Sterling gets called. Just terrible.
I don't recall the exact circumstances of the others, but Sterling's third period penalty came when Steve Kozari was making really questionable calls against the Wolves.
Sterling's penalties were definitely not in the same category as Valabik's. Valabik was just roughing up the opponent because he lost his cool.
Penalties don't worry me too much. That sort of stuff you can correct to a much greater degree than you can actual physical ability. How has his positional play and overall defensive game been? You mentioned he was beaten by one Stars player then made a better play on another occasion. I'm more interested in those anecdotes really.
Wolves win game 4 by a final score of 6-1. Nice to see that the scoring is spread out again. The team isn't just waiting for the Haydar-Krog-Sterling line to carry the load. Tonight's big scorer was Andre Deveaux with two goals. Deveaux was acquired in the trade with Springfield/Tampa for Kyle Wanvig and Stephen Baby.