Photo Credit: Teamshred/SmugMug.
Photo Credit: Teamshred/SmugMug.

The Wolf Pack dropped a tough one tonight as they were shutout by the Albany Devils 3-0.  The Pack had no energy and were unable to generate any positive momentum.  They gave it all their best last night in Portland.  They went from wining 5-0 to losing 3-0.  They went 100 to 0 real quick in the span of under 24 hours.  This is a bump in a road as I am not worried by this loss.  They will recover the next weekend.  Magnus Hellberg stopped 24 of 27 shots as he is hanged with the loss in net.

Game Recap

The first twenty minutes for the Wolf Pack were sluggish.  The frame reminded me of their previous loss, with a similar story line.  The Devils grabbed an early lead, 2:29 in.  The Pack were not doing much, and they had to shake it off.  However, they have not.  The Devils had the early jump, and they continued to apply pressure.  The defense was unable to help Magnus Hellberg ,13:24 in the first.  The Devils crashed the crease after playing the puck along the boards.  It was a quick, surprising play to extend Hartford’s deficit to 2-0.  The rest of the frame was calm.  It was even throughout, but the Devils had surges.  Magnus Hellberg continued to make key saves and keep the group in it.  All hope was not loss.  They still had forty minutes left.  Shots favored Albany, 12-8.  The Pack needed quality offensive chances that was noticeable.

The Pack stared well in the second, but they eventually fizzled out.  Hartford had quality chances in the beginning stages and they came close.  Raphael Diaz hit post during the early surge by Hartford.  However, the group toned down their play while time was ticking away.  The Devils began to generate opportunities and Magnus Hellberg made excellent saves.  The Pack had limited chances, and struggled to convert on any.  In the second half of the frame, Hartford was rewarded the game’s first power play and they registered no shots on goal.  They seemed invisible, quiet with the puck.  The transitioning from defense to offense was not frequent.  They had a few shots and limited pressuring while Albany had longer periods of pressure and quality chances.  They Pack played better than the first, but they seemed to struggle to pick up the intensity.  After forty minutes of play, there was no change of score.  Shots favored Albany, 20-17.  The Pack need a strong third to turn the tide.

Hartford continued to struggle in the final twenty minutes.  They looked fatigued, tired and out of it.  The Devils continued with their surges early on.  Just after Brady Skjei‘s high-sticking penalty, the Devils extended their lead to 3-0, 3:27 in.  The Pack had time to come back, but they ran out of gas.  They had limited chances and were unable to generate any positive momentum.  Time was ticking away for Hartford as they did not utilize their opportunities.  Magnus Hellberg continued to stay solid in net.  The Devils continued their game and the Pack gave little resistance.  After sixty minutes, Hartford was unable to score.  Shots favored Albany, 27-21.

Final Thoughts

The Pack had no energy.  They struggled from the beginning and never recovered.  The group was unable to produce anything offensively.  The compete level for Hartford was low because they were fatigued.  They gave it their best last night in Portland, and was unable to continue that tonight.  The Pack can play better.  They just need rest.  I would not worry about this loss.  They will have better efforts next weekend, tired or not.

The Pack return back home to Hartford this Friday night as the powerful Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins visit for a 7:15pm face-off.

Ricky’s 3 Stars

  1. Raphael Diaz
  2. Magnus Hellberg
  3. Nicklas Jensen

Game Notes

  • Yann Danis, former Wolf Pack goalie from last season, shutout Hartford twice this season.
  • Travis Oleksuk’s point streak is snapped at four games.
  • The Pack’s winning streak on the road is snapped at seven wins.
  • The penalty kill is strong for Hartford lately.  They have killed the past 26 penalties in the last 10 games.
  • Ryan Graves and Nicklas Jensen recorded a team high of shots, at 4.
  • Injured scratches: Matt Lindblad, and Tyler Brown (sick).
  • Healthy scratches:  Luke Adam, and Calle Andersson.