Thursday, Feb. 11, 6:00 p.m. Quicken Loans Arena
With 30 games remaining in the regular season, no contest counts as a must-win. But with the Wolves chasing the Lake Erie Monsters (and the Charlotte Checkers) for a spot in the playoffs, a regulation win tonight would be particularly valuable for Chicago.
After Lake Erie’s 3-2 overtime win over the Wolves on Tuesday night, the Monsters moved into fourth place in the Central Division. While Lake Erie has played two more games than Chicago, the Monsters own 9 more points and stand 72 percentage points ahead of the Wolves in the standings.
Based on today’s standings, the Wolves are chasing the Monsters and the Checkers for the final spots in the Calder Cup Playoffs. The new AHL playoff qualification format allows the fifth-place team from the Central Division to take the place of the fourth-place team from the Pacific Division if it owns a superior points percentage. If the season ended today, Lake Erie (.594) would claim the fourth and final spot in the Central Division while Charlotte (.574) would supplant Bakersfield (.535) for the fourth and final spot in the Pacific Division.
The Wolves have one advantage over the rest of the Central Division teams: They’re the only one that faces nothing but Central Division foes the rest of the way, so there’s a double benefit to each victory.
Tonight’s contest marks the first of four road games this week for the Wolves, who will stay in Cleveland for a Thursday encounter against the Monsters before moving on to Manitoba over the weekend.
By The Numbers
120: With 2 assists on Tuesday, PAT CANNONE pulled into a tie with Scott Pearson (1997-2000) for 20th place on the Wolves’ all- time scoring list at 120 points. Next on the list is Tim Bergland, who compiled 134 points from 1994-99.
4.5: Chicago didn’t dent the scoresheet on its five power-play opportunities Tuesday, which dropped its conversion rate to 4.5 percent (1 of 22) versus Lake Erie this season.
3: DANNY KRISTO had his third 2-goal game of the season on Tuesday, which is the most on the team..