With 21 games remaining in the regular season, the Wolves sit in second place in the Midwest Division with 65 points (30-20-2-3) and trail first-place Charlotte by three points, but hold one game in hand; Chicago, which has posted a 14-8-1-0 mark since the calendar turned to 2012, also holds the fourth spot in the Western Conference playoff race.
Wolves captain Nolan Baumgartner is set to play in his 1,000th professional game on Friday; the 35-year-old defenseman has appeared in 143 National Hockey League contests and 856 American Hockey League games throughout his 16-year pro career.
The Wolves open a five-game homestand against Grand Rapids on Wednesday; Chicago, which has notched a 14-9-0-2 mark at home this year, has only eight regular-season contests at the Allstate Arena after the conclusion of its five-game homestand on Feb. 25.
The Wolves host the Houston Aeros in their final schoolday game of the year at 11 a.m. on Tuesday; Chicago has posted a 5-1-0-0 mark in School Day games since 2009-10 and have outscored its opponents 23-8 in its six morning tilts over the last three seasons.
Right wing Darren Haydar, who will serve as team captain, and defenseman Kevin Connauton will skate for the Western Conference team in tonight’s 2012 AHL All-Star Game in Atlantic City, N.J.; this year’s contest marks the second straight year that Chicago has sent multiple players to the All-Star Game.
The Wolves finished the first half of the regular season with a 5-3 loss to Lake Erie, which snapped their season-best five-game winning streak; after 38 games, Chicago sits in second place in the Midwest Division with 46 points (21-13-1-3) and trails first-place Charlotte by two points but holds two games in hand.
The Wolves swept a three-games-in-three-nights set last weekend for the first time since Dec. 27-29, 2010; Chicago, which has posted a 10-3-0-0 mark in its last 13 tilts after suffering through a season-long five-game winless streak from Nov. 27 to Dec. 9 (0-3-1-1), sits in second place in the Midwest Division with 42 points (19-12-1-3).
The Wolves open a season-high six-game homestand against Lake Erie on Saturday; Chicago, which has notched a 8-5-0-2 mark at home this year, has played just 15 of its 32 games this season at the Allstate Arena, tied for the fifth-fewest home tilts in the AHL.
Chicago has won six of its last seven contests after suffering through a season-high five-game winless streak; the Wolves rank seventh in the Western Conference with 34 points (15-10-1-3), but hold at least one game in hand on everyone ahead of them in the standings except the Milwaukee Admirals.
The Wolves play six of their remaining eight games in December against Midwest Division foes; Chicago, which has posted a 7-6-0-1 mark against divisional foes this year, shares third place in the Midwest Division with 26 points (11-9-1-3) and holds at least one game in hand on everyone except Milwaukee.