Welcome to Wolves Insider, presented by Are You Really Winning?: The weekly report that gives you an inside look at the latest Chicago Wolves news and happenings. Look for a new edition of Wolves Insider each week.
MATT DONOVAN IS PILING UP THE POINTS
Matt Donovan’s main focus during each game is to keep the puck from going into the Wolves net.
The defenseman’s second-most important task is to spearhead the Wolves’ offense from the back end—and even chip in a goal here or there.
The 19-point spree has given Donovan 28 on the season, which ranks second on the Wolves behind Rocco Grimaldi’s 32 and tied for 11th in scoring in the American Hockey League. Donovan is tied for the league lead with 26 assists, including an AHL-high 14 on the power play.
The 33-year-old from Edmond, Okla., said his scoring output comes from playing smart defense.
“You have to bear down on defense and the offense will come,” Donovan said. “Whether that’s assists or goals, you can’t think about that, you have to play defense first.”
Donovan said that he has settled in with the Wolves after playing in Germany with Adler Mannheim last season.
“I’m getting more comfortable every game,” Donovan said. “I was in Europe last year so it was a little different getting to know the different players and different system here. I’m just trying to get more comfortable every game and help the team win any way I can.”
While the offensive stats are gaudy, Donovan hopes to improve on his minus-21 plus-minus rating, a statistic that is an indicator of strong play at both ends of the ice. A player is given a plus when he’s on the ice when his team scores an even-strength goal and a minus when he’s on the ice when the opponent scores.
“I enjoy the pluses more than the assists right now,” Donovan said. “I’m trying to get back to the positives.”
Donovan has plenty of time to think about such things as he makes the trek from his home in Milwaukee to the Chicago area for games and practices.
“I’m driving every day from Milwaukee but it hasn’t gotten old,” said Donovan, who added that he listens to podcasts during drives to and from the rink. “It hasn’t been too bad. I have three little kids so it’s nice to have a little quiet time in the car every day.”
The milestones just keep coming for Chris Terry, and the Wolves forward said he has his family to thank for it.
First, the veteran recorded his 700th career American Hockey League point on Nov. 12 against the Rockford IceHogs, becoming the 26th player in league history to hit that mark.
Terry called scoring his 300th “obviously, really cool” and was particularly thrilled that his family—including 2-year-old son, Brooks, was in attendance.
“I’m not sure he’ll remember it but good thing for YouTube so he can see it later in life,” Terry said with a smile.
Even more special was the next night when Terry’s family surprised him by watching the pregame warmups from the Wolves bench. Terry said his family, including his parents and his wife, Chelsey, are instrumental in his success as a hockey player.
“The more I think of the milestones I’ve hit, it’s a true credit from the early days on with my parents and the rest of my family to my wife throughout my pro career the sacrifices they’ve made,” Terry said. “They sacrificed a lot to continue to allow me to do what I love to do and to chase winning.”
Here’s No. 300:
IMPACT PLAY OF THE WEEK
On Tuesday night, Chris Terry and Max Comtois put together this highlight-reel play that resulted in Comtois’ seventh goal of the season and helped the Wolves hand the Texas Stars a 3-2 defeat.
REPUBLIC BANK SAVE OF THE WEEK
Goaltender Keith Kinkaid made this sparkling save–one of 24–during the Wolves’ win over the Stars on Tuesday night at Allstate Arena.
C.D.E. COLLISION CENTERS’ COLLISION OF THE WEEK
During the Wolves’ game against Grand Rapids last Friday night, Ryan Wagner crunched the Griffins’ Eemil Viro into the Allstate Arena boards.
Weekly rewind (1-1-1-0)
FRIDAY, DEC. 29
Griffins 6, Wolves 3: Chris Terry notched his 300th career American Hockey League goal and added an assist while Vasily Ponomarev and Rocco Grimaldi each also had a score and a helper for the Wolves but Grand Rapids got goals from six different skaters.
SATURDAY, DEC. 30
Monsters 4, Wolves 3 (OT): Rocco Grimaldi had a goal and an assist while Cory Conacher and Chris Terry also scored but the Wolves couldn’t hold off the North Division-leading Monsters and dropped their fourth game in a row—though Chicago did earn a point with the overtime loss.
TUESDAY, JAN. 2
Wolves 3, Stars 2: Rocco Grimaldi scored the game-winner in the third period, Max Comtois had a goal and an assist, Matt Donovan also tallied and Chris Terry added two assists for the Wolves.
First Star of the Week
CHRIS TERRY, F
The 34-year-old from Brampton, Ontario, had two goals–including the 300th of his AHL career–and three assists in the three games. For the season, Terry has 11 goals and 14 assists in 29 contests.
Where we stand
9-15-3-2, seventh in the Central Division.
|Friday, Jan. 5
|Saturday, Jan. 6
|Saturday, Jan. 13
|H-E-B Center at Cedar Park
|Sunday, Jan. 14
|H-E-B Center at Cedar Park
|Friday, Jan. 19