Gameday

Tale of the Tape: Dec. 26


After struggling through a 13-game stretch from Nov. 18 to Dec. 20 where they scored just 24 goals, the Chicago Wolves are riding back-to-back 5-goal outbursts heading into tonight’s game at Milwaukee.

Friday, Dec. 26, 7 p.m.
Bradley Center

MIL
Team Record: 15-10-0-3
Last Game: 3-2 OTW at Toronto (Dec. 21)
Season Series: 4-1-0-0
Last Meeting: 4-1 Home Win (Nov. 26)
CHI
Team Record: 16-11-3-0
Last Game: 5-3 W vs. Grand Rapids (Dec. 22)
Season Series: 1-2-2-0
Last Meeting: 4-1 Road Loss (Nov. 26)

Storylines

  • After struggling through a 13-game stretch from Nov. 18 to Dec. 20 where they scored just 24 goals, the Chicago Wolves are riding back-to-back 5-goal outbursts heading into tonight’s game at Milwaukee.

  • The Wolves’ 10 goals in their last two games isn’t their highest bac-to-back total of the season. On Oct. 31, Chicago stacked up 6 goals in a win at Grand Rapids and delivered 5 goals the next night in a home win over Milwaukee.

  • The Wolves are back in the hockey frame of mind after a three-day break that found some players scattering across North America while others (and their loved ones) spent the holiday at the home of team chairman of the board/governor Don Levin. 

  • Monday’s win over Grand Rapids kicked off a stretch where Chicago plays six out of seven games against Midwest Division foes. Considering the second- through fifth-place spots in the division are so tight (Chicago 35 points; Milwaukee 33 points; Lake Erie 31 points; Grand Rapids 31 points with every team having two games in hand on the Wolves), every game’s result is magnified.

By The Numbers

19.5 – The Wolves rank sixth among AHL teams on the power play with a 19.5 percent success rate. Chicago has converted 6 of 26 power-play chances (23.1 percent) during its five road games in December.

82.9 – The Wolves rank 15th among AHL teams on the penalty kill with an 82.9 percent success rate, but they’ve killed off their last 23 on the road. Chicago hasn’t surrendered a power-play goal away from home since Viktor Arvidsson scored for Milwaukee on Nov. 21.

.821 – The Wolves’ points percentage when scoring first (11-2-1-0), which includes ROB BORDSON’s opening goal Sunday at Iowa and JOHN McCARTHY’s opening goal Monday vs. Grand Rapids. That percentage shares fifth with Syracuse and Texas.


Follow The Action

Tonight’s game begins at 7 p.m. and can be seen on The U-Too (channel 26.2). U-Too also can be found on XFinity’s Chs. 230 (HD) and 360 (SD), RCN’s Ch. 35 and WOW’s Ch. 170. The game can also be streamed on www.ahllive.com.

Those away from a TV or computer can follow @Chicago_Wolves or @ChiWolvesLive on Twitter for live in-game play-by-play.


Player Spotlight

30 JordanBinnington

#30 Jordan Binnington
Goaltender

In the five matchups between Milwaukee and Chicago this season, Binnington has only started one game and is also the only win the Wolves have against the Admirals. 

The Fresh Prince of Rosemont posted 18 saves on 19 shots in a 5-1 victory on Nov. 1 at Allstate Arena. Of the five games, that win was the only time the Wolves held the Admirals under three goals. 

Binnington is currently on a two-game winning streak averaging two goals against in those starts. If the Wolves offense can continue to roll at the rate they’re on, Binnington should have it easy between the pipes without the pressure of posting shutouts.

Austin Watson

#51 Austin Watson
Center

Several different Admirals have made an impact against the Wolves, but Watson has been one with success putting the puck in the net as of late. 

The 22-year-old center is averaging a goal scored per game over the last two battles with Chicago for a total of three in the series. He also leads Milwaukee in goals scored with 12 — tied for fourth in the league — including a goal in each of their last four games. 

Shutting down one particular player isn’t the name of the game against Milwaukee, as they have several capable of being the “go-to” player. With 16 Admirals having tallied at least a point against Chicago this season, limiting their chances is in the best interest of the Wolves.

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